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Liquid uptake by fibrous absorbent materials

Landeryou, Mark; (2001) Liquid uptake by fibrous absorbent materials. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The thesis elucidates the mechanisms for fluid-material interactions within incontinence pads and helps to address the lack of understanding in this area. By providing a better understanding of liquid uptake by fibrous materials, the work will contribute to the design of better products for incontinence sufferers. A review of flow in porous media is presented covering the methods used to measure and model fluid transport, particularly relating to flow in textiles and other fibrous materials. The majority of the work described in the thesis focuses on the wicking properties of needle-felt fabrics. Such felts are used in reusable (washable) incontinence pads and also provide a simplified model for the more complex materials used in disposable products. An apparatus was designed, built, and used to measure wicking in textile materials. The simplified case of one-dimensional semi-infinite liquid uptake from an infinite reservoir was studied in detail for a range of felts. Mass uptake and wetted area were measured using a digital balance and camera. In particular, the impact on wicking of liquid temperature, sample orientation (horizontal, vertical and angles between), and felt compression were investigated. Wicking into textile materials is commonly understood using a simple capillary tube model for flow. To evaluate the application of capillary models the felt microstructure was examined. Encapsulated cross-sections of felt samples were prepared, and software written to identify fibres penetrating the plane of an examined section. While some aspects of liquid wicking, were found to be as expected from a simple capillary tube model, wicking appeared to be reduced in very open structured fibrous materials. It is suggested that this was due to the existence of unsaturated flow where only saturated flow was assumed. Considerable variation in liquid saturation was found in the samples during wicking.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Liquid uptake by fibrous absorbent materials
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Applied sciences; Incontinence pads
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10119514
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