Garment-integrated wetness sensing for leak detection

Esther W. Foo, Robert M.T. Pettys-Baker, Shawn Sullivan, Lucy E. Dunne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


Detecting fluid emissions (e.g. urination or leaks) that extend beyond containment systems (e.g. diapers or adult pads) is a cause of concern for users and developers of wearable fluid containment products. Immediate, automated detection would allow users to address the situation quickly, preventing medical conditions such as adverse skin effects and avoiding embarrassment. For product development, fluid emission detection systems would enable more accurate and efficient lab and field evaluation of absorbent products. This paper describes the development of a textile-based fluid-detection sensing method that uses a multi-layer "keypad matrix" sensing paradigm using stitched conductive threads. Bench characterization tests determined the effects of sensor spacing, spacer fabric property, and contact pressures on wetness detection for a 5mL minimum benchmark fluid volume. The sensing method and bench-determined requirements were then applied in a close-fitting torso garment for babies that fastens at the crotch (onesie) that is able to detect diaper leakage events. Mannequin testing of the resulting garment confirmed the ability of using wetness sensing timing to infer location of induced 5 mL leaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISWC 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450351881
StatePublished - Sep 11 2017
Event29th ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, ISWC 2017 - Maui, United States
Duration: Sep 11 2017Sep 15 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on Wearable Computers, ISWC
VolumePart F130534
ISSN (Print)1550-4816


Conference29th ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, ISWC 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Kimberly Clark Corporation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Association for Computing Machinery.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • E-textiles
  • Fluid
  • Leakage
  • Sensing
  • Wearable technology
  • Wetness


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