Sumo/Kelheim : High-performance absorbent was...

High-performance absorbent washable diaper pad

(Source: Sumo/Valeria Mitelman)
(Source: Sumo/Valeria Mitelman)

Up to the age of 3, a baby uses around 5,000 diapers. In Germany alone, 10 million diapers are disposed of every day. Sumo, a creative lab for material and product development, has created a reusable cloth diaper that is made entirely of sustainable materials while offering high performance and innovative design.
The Sumo Diaper is a fitted cloth diaper that consists of a waterproof cover and absorbent inserts. The cover is sewn in such a way that a pocket is formed: this is where the absorbent pad is inserted to prevent slipping. To further enhance the performance of this absorbent pad, the team from Sumo GmbH, Berlin/Germany, partnered with Kelheim Fibres GmbH, Kelheim/Germany, to use their functionalized specialty viscose fibers with adapted cross-sections. Needle-punched/thermo-bonded nonwovens with a blend of specialty viscose and polylactic acid (PLA) bicomponent fibers were chosen to ensure the product's washability. The PLA is made from natural and renewable raw materials.  
Inside the pad, in the distribution layer (ADL), the trilobal cross-section of the Galaxy fiber from Kelheim Fibres forms capillary channels that enable efficient and optimized liquid distribution and thus optimum use of the capacity of the absorbent core, offering low rewet values. In the absorbent core, the segmented hollow fiber Bramante stores liquid not only between but also inside the fiber. The liquid remains there even when pressure is applied to the construction, providing very good rewet values. Bramante can absorb up to 260% of its own weight in liquid (cotton only achieves values of around 50% here).  
The innovative nonwovens construction performs significantly better in tests in terms of air permeability, liquid absorption and rewetting than commercially available solutions made of synthetic fibers or cotton in knitted structures.

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