Tsaparis Tscience - Science of Diapers

Tsaparis Tscience
Posted at 10:41 AM, Nov 12, 2014
and last updated 2015-02-04 12:06:28-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Being a parent is tough, and if it weren't for disposable diapers it would be that much harder.

But what goes into those absorbent layers to make sure that you don't have a leaky diaper? To answer, we reached out to our friends at the FSU chemistry department, Dr. Mark Kearley and his assistant Chris Brewer. They explained to us that it comes down to a large molecule with a large name, "Sodium Polyacrylate".

According to Dr. Kearley, Sodium Polyacrylate, "...has long strands of positive and negative charges, but they're intertwined. So, when they are in their dry state... the strands are really tight. But, when you start to introduce water, they start to break apart and expand."

Dr. Kearley did a demonstration for us to show how absorbent the substance is, you can see it by watching the video to the left.

When even just a small amount of Sodium Polyacrylate is added to diapers it can do wonders to holding in the fluids and that's what keeps disposable diapers from leaking.

For more fun Tscience, tune into Tsaparis Tscience every Wednesday morning on WTXL's Sunrise.