Kimberly-Clark Launches Innovation Challenge: How can we rapidly move liquid against gravity in a cost-effective manner?
When consumers purchase our personal care products, such as disposable diapers or adult incontinence products, they have specific needs that must absolutely be met. These products need to effectively manage bodily fluids in a form that is:
• Cost effective
• Discrete enough to preserve dignity
• Comfortable to wear for extended periods of time and varying levels of activity.
At Kimberly-Clark, our brands like Cottonelle, Depend, Huggies, Kleenex, Kotex, Pull-Ups, and Scott, use several different materials to construct the absorbent system within our products, including melt-spun, wet-laid tissue, bonded air-laid mixtures of natural and synthetic fibers, bonded carded webs, and granulated superabsorbent polymers.
However, the materials we use have a trade-off between permeability and capillarity. Some materials have high permeability to allow large amounts of liquid to penetrate, but can’t move that liquid against gravity. Other materials have high capillarity, able to move liquids against gravity, but not able to absorb much volume. Our goal is to achieve the ability to move large volumes (up to 100ml) of liquid against gravity (height of 15cm) quickly (within 15 seconds). This would allow for full utilization, prevent saturation, and improve wet fit.
MindSumo hosts challenges for Kimberly-Clark and over 250 other companies to help generate unique ideas and insights from a community of over 300K US college students.