9:00 am - 11:30 am
Innovative Components & Concepts
Fundamentals of Fiber in Fluid Movement
Absorbent hygiene products such as diapers and sanitary pads have been a necessity for centuries. As products have evolved from being comprised of grasses and animal furs through various other materials and forms, one thing has remained constant, the need for fibers (elongated elements) of one kind or another. The use of cellulose fibers in absorbent hygiene products dates back to the early 20th century, when nurses began using wood pulp bandages to make sanitary pads. During World War II the original use of creped cellulose tissue in diapers began, as an alternative to cotton cloth diapers since cotton was needed in the war effort as a raw material for “gun cotton” (nitrocellulose explosives). This began the evolution of the disposable products, in some cases relying on up to 60-70 grams or more of cellulose fibers to absorb liquid and reduce leakage.
As time progressed, airlaid applications and superabsorbent polymers were introduced, and cellulose fibers usage decreased. Although usage decreased, cellulose fibers provide fundamental attributes (based on their shape and hydrophilicity) in absorbent hygiene products that are difficult to obtain by SAP, synthetic fibers and nonwovens from same. Now, over a century later, absorbent hygiene products have evolved and cellulose fibers remain a key sustainable raw material offering properties such as absorbency, wicking, dry and wet strength. In addition to intrinsic properties of native cellulose fibers, fluff pulp producers have extended and added new features to meet consumer demands such as comfort, odor control, skin wellness, and more.
This presentation will explore the science of fluid-flow, the physical processes that govern mass transport of liquid (especially against the “arch enemies”, gravity and pressure) and the fundamental requirement for “fiber-shaped” elements in effective product designs.
» Jun Zhang, Ph.D.
Absorbent Product Technology Lead, International Paper - Global Cellulose Fibers
BIOGRAPHYJun grew up in Yangzhou, China and went to Nanjing University to pursue his BS and MS in Polymer Science and Engineering. He obtained his PhD in State University of New York at Stony Brook and spent one and a half years in UMass Amherst as a postdoc before joining Kimberly-Clark in 2008.
Jun joined International Paper in 2018 from the Kimberly-Clark Personal Care Research & Engineering organization as their Global Absorbent Core Lead. He is now managing projects in the absorbent arena in International Paper’s Innovation Center located in Federal Way, WA. He will develop program-level responsibility for new product development projects relating to cellulose fibers products targeting baby care, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence end uses.