A new study published last week by researchers from the University of Kitakyushu in Japan claims that diapers can partially replace sand in the mortar and concrete composites used to construct buildings. It was found this method can be used without compromising the building’s structural integrity.
In Indonesia, where a proof-of-concept building was constructed for testing the theory, diapers were washing with sodium chloride, dried, and then shredded. Afterward the material was added to composite mixtures.
The study was published in the peer-reviewed open-access journal Scientific Reports. In conclusion, the study shows that up to 8% of the sand used in concrete blocks could be replaced with diapers when building a single-story house in Indonesia, without lessening strength.
Siswanti Zuraida, lead researcher and native of Indonesia, collected diapers from her own children and used local sources for more materials.