Title:
Receptacle including a fiber covering, and a method of manufacture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a receptacle (1) comprising a tubular body (2) formed by a sheet comprising at least a first layer of plastics material and an outer, second layer that is fibrous, said sheet being assembled into a tube along at least two of its edges.



Inventors:
Ramet, Marc (Ansieres, FR)
Application Number:
10/882341
Publication Date:
02/03/2005
Filing Date:
07/02/2004
Assignee:
L'OREAL (Paris, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B29D23/20; B65D35/02; B65D35/10; A45D40/00; A45D40/26; B29C53/38; B29C57/10; B29C65/02; (IPC1-7): B65D69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OLIFF PLC (P.O. BOX 320850, ALEXANDRIA, VA, 22320-4850, US)
Claims:
1. A receptacle (1) comprising a tubular body (2) formed by a sheet (8) comprising at least a first layer (9) of plastics material and an outer, second layer (10) that is fibrous, said sheet being assembled into a tube along at least two of its edges.

2. A receptacle according to claim 1, characterized by the fact that it includes a dispenser member (3) fixed to a first end of the tubular body (2).

3. A receptacle according to claim 2, characterized by the fact that the tubular body is closed at a second end, opposite from the first end, by heat-sealing the sheet (8) to itself.

4. A receptacle according to claim 2 or claim 3, characterized by the fact that the dispenser member (3) is made of plastics material.

5. A receptacle according to any one of claims 2 to 4, characterized by the fact that the dispenser member (3) is made with a threaded endpiece (5).

6. A receptacle according to any one of claims 1 to 4, characterized by the fact that the layer of plastics material (9) is assembled with the fibrous layer (10) by pressure and optionally while hot and/or while using an adhesive.

7. A receptacle according to any preceding claim, characterized by the fact that the second layer (10) comprises a fiber material.

8. A receptacle according to claim 7, characterized by the fact that the fiber material is a woven cloth.

9. A receptacle according to claim 7, characterized by the fact that the fiber material comprises a non-woven fabric, a felt, an animal fur or an imitation fur, flocking, or paper.

10. A kit comprising: a receptacle (1) as defined in any preceding claim; and an article selected from the following list: personal articles, in particular a handbag, a backpack, an umbrella, a wallet, a pen case, a spectacle case, a vanity case, a garment, an undergarment, a suitcase, a briefcase, a hat, a cap, or a shoe, furnishing or decoration elements, in particular a seat, a couch, curtains, or wall covering; said article including a fabric or other covering, the fibrous layer (10) being made of the same fabric or covering.

11. A method of manufacturing a receptacle, in particular a tube, the method comprising the following steps: forming a tube form a sheet (8) comprising at least a first layer (9) of plastics material and a second layer (10) that is fibrous, said second layer (10) being on the outside of the tube.

12. A method according to claim 11, characterized by the fact that it further comprises the step consisting in: assembling together two opposite edges (8a, 8b) of the sheet along a longitudinal line (12) of the tube.

13. A method according to claim 11 or claim 12, characterized by the fact that it further includes the step consisting in: cutting off a segment of tube and fixing a dispenser member (3) to one of the segment, or fixing the dispenser member to one end of the tube and then cutting off the segment of tube.

14. A method according to claim 13, characterized by the fact that it further comprises the step consisting in: closing the second end of the segment of tube opposite from the first end by flattening the segment of tube and heat-sealing it along a transverse closure line (4).

15. A method according to any one of claims 11 to 14, characterized by the fact that the sheet is formed by assembling together under pressure, and optionally while hot and/or with adhesive, a fibrous layer and at least one film of thermoplastic material.

Description:

The present invention relates to receptacles intended, amongst other things, for packaging fluids, in particular in powder, liquid, or gel form, and the method also relates to methods of manufacturing such receptacles.

European patent applications EP 1 281 333 A2 and EP 1 275 321 A1 describe cosmetic articles covered on the outside in fabric. In application EP 1 275 321 A1, the fabric is a stretch fabric, which restricts the range of materials that can be used.

There exists a need to improve the appearance of receptacles, in particular flexible tubes used for packaging cosmetics, without that excessively complicating manufacture thereof.

In one of its aspects, the present invention thus provides a receptacle comprising:

    • a tubular body formed by a sheet comprising at least a first layer of plastics material and an outer, second layer that is fibrous, said sheet being assembled into a tube along at least two of its edges.

The term “assembled along at least two of its edges” should not be understood restrictively, and covers the case where the longitudinal edges of the sheet are touching without overlapping and the case where they overlap.

The outer, second layer enables the receptacle to be given an attractive appearance, while the first layer enables the substance to be packaged in leaktight manner inside the receptacle.

In an embodiment of the invention, the receptacle includes a dispenser member fixed to a first end of the tubular body. The tubular body may be closed at a second end opposite from the first end by heat-sealing the sheet to itself, thus enabling the receptacle to be given an overall shape that becomes flatter and wider on going away from the first end, similar to that of conventional flexible tubes.

The dispenser member is advantageously made of plastics material, in particular by injection molding. The dispenser member may be made, for example, with a threaded endpiece onto which a cap can be screwed. The dispenser member may be injected in contact with the tubular body so as to become assembled therewith.

The first layer of plastics material may be assembled with the outer, fibrous layer by being passed between rollers.

The outer layer may comprise a woven cloth, a felt, flocking, a non-woven fabric, animal fur, or imitation fur, or indeed paper.

The receptacle may be filled with a cosmetic, or a care product.

In another of its aspect, the invention also provides a receptacle comprising a tubular body made by shaping a flexible sheet, the sheet comprising at least a first layer of plastics material and an outer, second layer that is fibrous.

In another of its aspects, the invention also provides a kit comprising:

    • a receptacle as defined above; and
    • an article selected from the following list: personal articles, in particular a handbag, a backpack, an umbrella, a wallet, a pen case, a spectacle case, a vanity case, a garment, an undergarment, a suitcase, a briefcase, a hat, a cap, or a shoe, furnishing or decoration elements, in particular a seat, a couch, curtains, or wall covering;

said article including a fabric or other covering, the fibrous layer being made of the same fabric or covering.

In another of its aspects, the invention also provides a method of manufacturing a receptacle, in particular a flexible tube, the method comprising the following steps:

    • forming a tube from a sheet comprising at least one layer of plastics material and an outer, second layer that is fibrous.

The method may further include at least one of the following steps:

    • assembling together two opposite edges of the sheet along a longitudinal line of the tube;
    • cutting out a segment of tube and fixing a dispenser member to one end of the segment, or fixing the dispenser member to one end of the tube and then cutting off the segment of tube; and
    • closing a second end of the segment of tube, opposite from the first end, by flattening the segment and heat-sealing it along a transverse line.

The dispenser member may be made by injecting plastics material in contact with the tube or tube segment.

The invention will be better understood on reading the following detailed description of a non-limiting embodiment thereof, and on examining the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing an example of a flexible tube made in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-section on II-II of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a tube being formed from a sheet and a segment of tube being cut off to form the tubular body of the receptacle;

FIG. 4 shows the segment of tube in isolation after it has been assembled with the dispenser member; and

FIG. 5 is a diagram of a kit including a receptacle made in accordance with the invention.

The tube 1 shown in FIG. 1 comprises a tubular body 2 that is elongate along a longitudinal axis X, being provided at a first axial end with a dispenser member 3. the tubular body 2 is closed at a second axial end, opposite from the first, along a closure line 4 that extends substantially perpendicularly to the axis X.

The dispenser member 3 comprises a threaded endpiece 5 defining a dispenser orifice 6 which can be closed in leaktight manner by a cap 7 that is arranged for screwing onto the endpiece 5. By way of example, the dispenser member 3 is made by injection molding a plastics material.

The body 2 is made from a flexible sheet comprising an inner layer 9 of plastics material and an outer layer 10 presenting a particular texture, with the two layers 9 and 10 being assembled together, for example, by being pressed together, in particular when hot, and/or by using an adhesive. The assembly pressure can be obtained by passing between rollers, for example.

The tube 1 can be made as follows.

The sheet 8 is shaped into a tube, as shown in FIG. 3. While the tube is being formed, two opposite longitudinal edges 8a and 8b of the sheet 8 are assembled together along an assembly line 12 by heat-sealing via the layer 9 of plastics material.

Thereafter, the tube is cut up into segments each for forming the tubular body 2 of a receptacle 1, the cutting being performed by a cutting tool shown diagrammatically in FIG. 3. The tube segments are placed on a carrousel and corresponding dispenser members 3 are made by injection molding a plastic material at one end of each segment. The injected material becomes bonded by local melting of the material in the plastic material layer 9 of the sheet 8.

After the cap 7 has been put into place, each tube segment is filled through its open end that is opposite from the dispenser member 3.

The tubular body 2 is closed at its end opposite from the dispenser member 3 by being flattened while hot using jaws that are shown diagrammatically, the inner layer 9 of plastics material becoming heat-sealed to itself along the line of closure 4, as can be seen in FIG. 4.

The substance contained in the receptacle 1 can be extracted, for example, by squeezing together two opposite faces of the tube. Where appropriate, the tube may return to its initial shape because of its shape memory due to the absence of any permanent deformation of the sheet 8.

The layer 10 may be made of a material that is fibrous, in particular a textile material. The material may be obtained by weaving or by knitting. The textile may be made of natural or synthetic yarn, in particular yarn made of cotton or other material of vegetable origin. The fabric may equally well comprise polyester or polyamide yarn or metal yarn.

The fibrous material may also be a felt, a non-woven fabric, animal fur, or imitation animal fur.

The fibrous material may also be a coating of flocking.

The outer layer 10 may receive printing or may be subjected to surface treatment.

The layer 9 may be free from any fibers and may be constituted by a film of thermoplastic material, for example a polyolefin, in particular polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP). The thickness of the inner layer 9 may lie, for example, in the range 0.1 millimeters (mm) to 1 mm, e.g. being about 0.3 mm to about 0.6 mm.

The sheet 8 may comprise more than two layers, in particular one or more additional layers inside or outside the layer 9 for forming barriers against certain volatile components of the substance contained in the receptacle, or against oxygen in the air.

Where appropriate, the sheet 8 may incorporate a metal layer, e.g. an aluminum layer, which may be coated on both opposite faces in respective layers of plastics material.

A receptacle made in accordance with the invention can be associated with an article, e.g. a garment, with the fabric from which the garment is made then being the same as the fabric constituting the outer layer 10, as shown in FIG. 5.

Naturally, the invention is not limited to the embodiment described above.

In particular, the receptacle may comprise a tubular body which is closed at its end opposite from the dispenser member, not by being flattened, but, for example, by being fitted with an end wall, the end wall being heat-sealed around its periphery to the tubular body, or being movable as the receptacle is emptied.

Similarly, the dispenser member 3 need not include a threaded endpiece, for example so as to enable the substance contained in the body of the receptacle to be extracted by means of an applicator that is inserted through an opening in the dispenser member, with the dispenser member then being no more than an annular part suitable for fixing to a cover. The dispenser member may also be arranged to enable a pump or a valve to be secured thereto or it may include such a pump or valve.

The sheet 8 may optionally be folded or bent in such a manner as to impart various sections to the receptacle, in particular sections that are round, oval, elliptical, or polygonal, e.g. triangular or square.

Throughout the description, including in the claims, the term “comprising a” should be understood as being synonymous with “comprising at least one”, unless specified to the contrary.