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Thread: Gripes about diapers for a BioE class?

  1. #1

    Question Gripes about diapers for a BioE class?

    Hello everyone,

    I am currently enrolled in a BioE (Bio-engineering) program at college and one of my assignments is an "engineering problem proposal" where we basically take a simple medical device and propose an improvment to it.

    I wasn't sure what to do but then my teacher told us to do something simple, like a band-aid or something.

    For whatever reason band-aid made me start thinking of other simple devices with medical applications.

    So I came to the idea of doing adult diapers, and this got me thinking of problems a typical diaper has. Besides the obvious (leaking and capacity) I couldn't think of any other problems.

    So I ask you, the IC board, what would you improve on the diaper? (doesn't matter which brand or whatever)

    Thanks in advance guys

  2. #2


    Awsome, well from a physics point of view I would look at the diaper structure; is it the optimal structure (some degrees of freedom would be: walking friction, fluid flow and best possible path for even distribution). Also, this is a cool idea I had, its about the absorbancy fluff (A-fluff) to structure fluff(s-fluff); in conventual diapers the two components are mixed together into a constant desity, if to much A-fluff is used then all the absorbed fluid in the rear will spill out by the act of sitting. However if one was to have the s-fluff distributed in a pattern (think of support beams) more A-fluff would be about to be in the mixture without the fluids being forced out by sitting (of course the the amount extra would depend on the s-fluff distrobution.

  3. #3


    I would change 2 things. 1. The absorbency. 2. How fast it absorbs.

  4. #4


    I've had a few ideas...sent them to Bambino (TBHG) last year...I will look for them...what time frame do you have?

    Basically though...put all of the best features of premium baby-diapers...sans the baby-ish prints etc for this purpose....scale up, and proportion corrections...fold them in half, instead of thirds (helps to locate center)...two large tape/velcro tabs (one per side)...that fasten on to a shorter-height reinforced landing zone...

    *Bambino's landing zone goes too far down past the hip joints, and takes the needed tension off of the lower abdominal/belly zone...the landing or frontal tape zone...should act as a reinforcement 'belt'...where the tabs holding the posterior, also create the cinch of the 'belt'... said belt as described will also help to form a controlled crease (i.e. while sitting)...keeping the anterior diaper in place...while allowing the folding material to expand into a better pouch...below the belt...Also, helps to keep the wet diaper from sagging...particularly sliding downward...

    ...and it goes on like that...hope that helps...I had drawings somewhere too...(not submitted to TBHG)...


  5. #5


    Hey James,

    If you can find a way to get the diaper to stay tightly fitted and not ride down over people's hips - you could be a wealthy man!


  6. #6


    Or for men some kind of adaption that helps locate the tip of the penis over an area of high absorbancy with an ability to wick to an area away from the "delivery point" quite quickly - perhaps utilising absorbent gel in the bulk of the diaper. I have in mind soft inner wings to provide a comfortable means of location and avid voiding too near the leg bands - which can lead to leaks.

  7. #7


    yeah, one of my biggest gripes about diapers is the flooding when my penis isn't pointing in the right general direction (easily happens when moving around) perhaps, not quite a pouch? but a cross band similar to the side gathers that might keep one's willy from getting too far off the beaten path?, or at least guide the urine stream more towards the center of the diaper?

  8. #8


    A better wicking system that evenly disperses.

    Better leak guards around the crotch and rear leg and front waist that actually stops press-out and would basically cause more swelling than leaking (without being so tight on the skin like a tight diaper cover that leaves itchy red marks).

    Non-failing re-taping (like the velcro landing area/plastic backed) system that is more silent for public changes.

    Better breathing without being cloth-backed like a 'one-way' mirror but plastic. Air in, no liquid out.

    Something better than the SAP beads that leak thru the holes inside and sticks to the skin. (Mostly just annoying at times)

    And besides the better seals - something that has much better odor control for BM accidents
    Last edited by kitsiulla; 23-Sep-2011 at 06:11.

  9. #9


    Certainly areas for boys and girls should belooked at with better absorbency is required by each gender.

    Men should point down but don't always for obvious reasons, so think about that, perhaps some form of hood to act as a splashback, so that we don't inadvertantly pee over the top of the nappy.

    For women, when they pee, they need additional absorbancy on the bottom and to the rear of the nappy - so think about a nappy designed for each sex instead of the usual unisex we have to put with.

    Much faster absorbancy would be very welcome. The majority of leaks I get whilst wearing pads or disposables are due to an inability to absorb my flow fast enough. So when you start to test nappies, instead of slowly pouring 100ml of water or so onto them, try pouring in 453ml of water fairly quickly and see the difference, the greater amount of fluid poured in quicker will usually result in pooling of liquid and failure of the leg bands. Which is exactly what happens when I wet (the 453mil is the most I have ever flooded into anappy at once), but try up to 600ml which some people can pass at any one wetting.

    Sagging, adding 500ml to a nappy adds 1.24 pounds(UK) or half a kilo. So think about wicking liquid away from the bottom of the nappy.

    Side leaks. The reason I don't wear disposables at night is that I sleep on my side and they leak. Solve that one, get it patented and you'll never have to work again. the current design of disposables is based primarily on the needs of hospital or care homes where most patients are nursed on their backs and aren't very mobile. However real world needs are much different, so look at the possibilty of improving the so called overnight nappies, which usually means additional absorbant material, look at the possibilty of extending the absorbant material in to the hip area or wings, which are normally just plastic with no gel or pulp at all. I did contact one of the manufacturers of adult nappies about this. The response I got was something along the lines of "this is done in order to keep the slip discrete under outdoor clothes. Our customer research has shown that people don't want bulk around the hips that would make it more obvious that non-standard underwear was being worn".

    Fastenings, whether tape, velcro, hope or prayer need to be improved. A disposable will usually be designed to fit a variety of waist sizes . With a 42 inch waist I'm normally at the far end of a medium , but slightly too small for a large, which tend to start at 44 inch. But whatever size, if landing zones are provided they tend to be :
    a), too small - in terms of waist size, the landing zone, ideally should allow the tapes to be applied to cover any of the waist sizes the nappy is designed for. This could mean having a landing zone that is 6 inches across.
    b), too narrow.
    c), wrong angle.
    I would say that 99% of disposable nappies are designed to be put on by someone else, and not by the person wearing them. I know some people can put a nappy on standing or sitting, but there are a lot that can't and throw in something like arthritis ( especially in the hands) can make changes difficult, most of the time you need 3 hands. so have a look at the possibility of some form of 'grippy' material on the outside of the front wings and the inside of the rear wings that will hold the two together (they are only going to be used while you put the nappy on, so don't have to be able to stay permanently fixed or wight bearing), then you could use both hands for applying the tapes and getting the snug fit you need.
    Or perhaps look at a completely different method of fixing, perhaps a velcro like material fitted to the wings so that you could fasten and unfasten the nappy a bit like the way you open and close a book.

    Just a few ideas for you.

  10. #10


    My design would be for a regular out and about day time diaper that could be tweaked on the assembly line to make more than just the one style. Add more padding and it's a more discreet night-time diaper, close the sides and make them elastic and it becomes a pull-up, make them smaller and it becomes effective protection for older kids and teens. This is what I would do:

    1) Better side protection. There is not a single disposable diaper out there that has anywhere near enough side protection. If you open and stretch a diaper on the ground and just look at it, you will see that it is just a giant pad that comes with it's own plastic pants. There are probably good reasons for there not being any padding in the sides of diapers, but I don't know what they are.

    2) Cut. I think that the cut of a diaper should be more like that of regular underpants. I will always enjoy a diaper like a Bambino, Abena, Secure X-plus etc. for bed or really extended lengths of needed protection. I still feel as though most of your regular day to day diapers should be a more trim cut. They don't necessarily need to be so tall that they stick out three or four inches above your waist, and they don't need to be so tall that SIX tapes are needed to keep it closed! I think that's a little overkill. I beleive that if you were to cut the diaper down you would allow for a much better taping system.

    3) Center. I also think that as a compliment to the cut of your new diaper, the middle padding should be re-thought. This is the worst area in any diaper as there just isn't enough padding. I have always wondered how well it would work if you could design "break" in the middle of the padding along the center line that would allow it to "fold" so that it would form a channel or rather a "river valley" between the legs? I believe that if this could be done you could cut down on diaper waddle, allow more room for more padding whil taking up less space side to side, and even help create a nice holding area for messes? I don't know how that would hold up to sitting as far as leaks, but this kind of thing should be almost leak proof while standing.

    4) Tapes. To go along with the cut and trim of my diaper I would also address the taping issue I hinted at earlier. I believe that one tape would be sufficient in my diaper design, but it would have to be a little bit more advanced than just a square tape. With less materiel on the side of the diaper, a larger tape could be employed effectively. I would shape the tape more like half of a large "knee band-aide", the one that looks like the letter "H". With this kind of shape, a smaller "bikini" style brief, and some elasticity built in you could use the one tape to both pull on the bottom of the diaper to close the leg openings and the top to close the, well, top as you could pull the two ends of the same tape in two directions.

    This is the diaper that I would love to see come to market for those of us that are active and love wearing, or have to wear on the outside and are looking to be more discreet but still yearn for premiums. The thing here too is I think this diaper would make for a much better fit, better containment, easier to wear, easier to conceal, better protection, look better, and would help many of those out there that think diapers are the end of the world and become shut-ins get back out there and enjoy life WHILE using less materials to make and THUS being CHEAPER.

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