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Disposable diapers are prone to accidental damage during use, since a caregiver may accidentally rip or puncture the elastic material. To reduce the incidence of material failure, the toughness of the apertured elastic trilaminate body paneling material needs to be improved without reducing the elasticity, breathability, and material cost. A “tougher” material was defined as a material with greater tensile strength and puncture resistance than standard, commercial product. The design team took a two-pronged approach to this problem. First, experiments were designed to quantify the effects of altering the die temperature, the resin blend, the cross directional stretch activation depth, and production line speed on toughness. A 2-level, full factorial analysis revealed that the process variables that had the largest effect were activation depth and die temperature. While altering the resin blend improved toughness, the trilaminate elasticity suffered. Decreasing both activation depth and die temperature resulted in a 19.7% greater puncture resistance than the original material, which was able to withstand 17.5% greater tensile load. However, only a minimal increase in its elongation at break, 5.7%, was achieved. Decreasing only activation depth provided a better balance of the desired characteristics: an 11.5% increase in puncture resistance, 16.1% increase in tensile load, and 14.6% increase in elongation. The experimental data collected was used to supplement a finite element analysis model of altered aperture orientation. This showed that rotating the oval aperture by 90° reduced the maximum stress by 62.3%. These findings will pave the way for further elastic laminate material improvements.

Publication Date



Engineering, diapers



Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Bennett C. Ward

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Hooman Tafreshi

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Eric Frost

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Shane Nazworth

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2016

Next Generation Diapers: Increasing Elastic Laminate Toughness

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