Title:
Dual-receptacle packaging and applicator devices
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a packaging and applicator device comprising: two receptacles, each comprising a body and a removable closure cap; and a coupling member that is suitable for joining the two receptacles together in mutual alignment, each closure cap including a fastener portion leaving, inside the coupling member, a gap in which the fastener portion of the other closure cap can be engaged, in such a manner as to have axial overlap of the closure caps.



Inventors:
Ponton, Thierry (Maisons Alfort, FR)
Drugeon, Lionel (La Garenne Colombes, FR)
Martin, Francois (Bois-Colombes, FR)
Application Number:
11/898719
Publication Date:
03/20/2008
Filing Date:
09/14/2007
Assignee:
L'OREAL (PARIS, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D51/18
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Primary Examiner:
ELOSHWAY, NIKI MARINA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OLIFF PLC (with Nony) (P.O. Box 320850, Alexandria, VA, 22320-4850, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A packaging and applicator device comprising: two receptacles, each comprising a body and a removable closure cap; and a coupling member that is suitable for joining the two receptacles together in mutual alignment, each closure cap including a fastener portion leaving, inside the coupling member, a gap in which the fastener portion of the other closure cap can be engaged, in such a manner as to have axial overlap of the closure caps.

2. A device according to claim 1, each fastener portion extending over less than a complete circle about the longitudinal axis of the device.

3. A device according to claim 1, each fastener portion extending angularly over an angle that is greater than 120° about the longitudinal axis.

4. A device according to claim 3, each fastener portion extending angularly over an angle that lies in the range 170° to 180° about the longitudinal axis of the device.

5. A device according to claim 1, each closure cap including a first portion in relief that is arranged to snap-fasten on a second portion in relief of the coupling member.

6. A device according to claim 5, the second portion in relief defining a shoulder that extends over an angular sector that lies in the range 130° to 140° about the longitudinal axis of the device.

7. A device according to claim 1, the coupling member including at least one ramp for guiding each fastener portion towards a predefined location inside the coupling member, while the closure caps are being inserted in the coupling member.

8. A device according to claim 7, the coupling member including abutments that prevent the closure caps from being inserted without sufficient angular offset between them to enable axial overlap.

9. A device according to claim 1, the coupling member presenting a shape having symmetry about a center.

10. A device according to claim 1, including two applicator members that are secured to respective ones of the closure caps.

11. A device according to claim 10, the applicator members being different.

12. A device according to claim 10, the applicator members being a brush and a comb.

13. A device according to claim 10, the applicator members being connected to the closure caps via stems fitted to the closure caps.

14. A device according to claim 13, the stems being fastened to the closure caps by snap-fastening.

15. A device according to claim 14, each closure cap including a central pin that is engaged in the stem between tabs that are used for snap-fastening.

16. A device according to claim 1, each fastener portion extending over less than a complete circle about the longitudinal axis of the device and each closure cap including a first portion in relief that is arranged to snap-fasten on a second portion in relief of the coupling member.

17. A device according to claim 1, each fastener portion extending angularly over an angle that is greater than 120° about the longitudinal axis and each closure cap including a first portion in relief that is arranged to snap-fasten on a second portion in relief of the coupling member.

18. A device according to claim 1, each fastener portion extending over less than a complete circle about the longitudinal axis of the device and the coupling member including at least one ramp for guiding each fastener portion towards a predefined location inside the coupling member, while the closure caps are being inserted in the coupling member.

19. A device according to claim 1, each fastener portion extending angularly over an angle that is greater than 120° about the longitudinal axis and the coupling member including at least one ramp for guiding each fastener portion towards a predefined location inside the coupling member, while the closure caps are being inserted in the coupling member.

20. A device according to claim 1, each fastener portion extending angularly over an angle that is greater than 120° about the longitudinal axis, the coupling member including at least one ramp for guiding each fastener portion towards a predefined location inside the coupling member, while the closure caps are being inserted in the coupling member, and the coupling member including abutments that prevent the closure caps from being inserted without sufficient angular offset between them to enable axial overlap.

21. A device according to claim 1, each fastener portion extending over less than a complete circle about the longitudinal axis of the device and the coupling member presenting a shape having symmetry about a center.

22. A device according to claim 1, each fastener portion extending angularly over an angle that is greater than 120° about the longitudinal axis and the coupling member presenting a shape having symmetry about a center.

23. A device according to claim 1, each closure cap including a first portion in relief that is arranged to snap-fasten on a second portion in relief of the coupling member and the coupling member presenting a shape having symmetry about a center.

24. A device according to claim 1, the coupling member including at least one ramp for guiding each fastener portion towards a predefined location inside the coupling member, while the closure caps are being inserted in the coupling member and the coupling member presenting a shape having symmetry about a center.

25. A device according to claim 1, the coupling member including at least one ramp for guiding each fastener portion towards a predefined location inside the coupling member, while the closure caps are being inserted in the coupling member, the coupling member including abutments that prevent the closure caps from being inserted without sufficient angular offset between them to enable axial overlap and the coupling member presenting a shape having symmetry about a center.

Description:

This non provisional application claims the benefit of French Application No. 06 53771 filed on Sep. 15, 2006 and of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/850,639 filed on Oct. 11, 2006.

The present invention relates to packaging and applicator devices comprising: two receptacles each comprising a body and a removable closure cap; and a coupling member that is suitable for joining the two receptacles together in mutual alignment.

BACKGROUND

US application No. 2005/0019084 A1 discloses such a device, in which the coupling member is elastically deformable at least in part.

European patent EP 1 348 352 B1 discloses another example of a device of that kind, in which the closure caps are fastened by snap-fastening in the coupling member, each closure cap being prevented from turning relative to the coupling member by a set of teeth.

SUMMARY

There exists a need to reduce the axial size of a dual-receptacle device, and the invention seeks in particular to satisfy that need.

It achieves this by means of a packaging and applicator device comprising:

    • two receptacles, each comprising a body and a removable closure cap; and
    • a coupling member that is suitable for joining the two receptacles together in mutual alignment, each closure cap including a fastener portion that is configured to be engaged in the coupling member, said fastener portion leaving, inside the coupling member, a gap in which the fastener portion of the other closure cap can be engaged, in such a manner as to have axial overlap of the closure caps.

The invention makes it possible to make a device that is longitudinally more compact, but without said increased compactness being to the detriment of the quantity of composition contained in the receptacles.

The cooperation of the coupling member with the closure caps also makes it possible to maintain the receptacles in a closed position after they have been detached from the coupling member.

The invention also makes it possible to make a coupling member and closure caps having shapes that are relatively easy to mold and to unmold, therefore making it possible to manufacture them without the need to use complex molds including numerous movable inserts.

Each fastener portion may extend angularly over less than a complete circle about the longitudinal axis of the device.

By way of example, each fastener portion may extend angularly over an angle that is greater than 120° about the longitudinal axis of the device, e.g. over an angle that lies in the range 170° to 180°.

Each closure cap may include a first portion in relief that is arranged to snap-fasten on a second portion in relief of the coupling member.

By way of example, the first portion in relief is formed by a step in the radially outside surface of the fastener portion, and the second portion in relief defines for example a shoulder that extends for example over an angular sector that lies in the range 130° to 140°, about the longitudinal axis of the device.

The coupling member may include at least one ramp, and preferably two diametrally-opposite ramps, for guiding each fastener portion towards a predefined location inside the coupling member, while the closure caps are being inserted in the coupling member.

The coupling member may include abutments that prevent the closure caps from being inserted without sufficient angular offset between them to enable the axial overlap.

The coupling member may advantageously present a shape having symmetry about a center, so as to make it possible to mount the closure caps in the coupling member without having to comply with a particular orientation.

The closure caps may present identical shapes.

The coupling member may be made with a shape that can easily be unmolded, thereby making it possible to increase the variety of materials that it is possible to use in making the coupling member, for example.

The device may include two applicator members that are secured to respective ones of the closure caps, and for example said applicator members may be different, e.g. being a brush and a comb.

The applicator members may be connected to the closure caps via stems that may be fitted to the closure caps, e.g. being fastened to said closure caps by snap-fastening.

Each closure cap may include a central pin that is engaged in the stem, between tabs thereof that are used for snap-fastening, so as to reduce the risk of the stem becoming detached.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention can 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 an elevation view of a device constituting an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic longitudinal section of the FIG. 1 device, with one of the closure caps shown separated from the coupling member;

FIG. 3 is a diagram showing one of the receptacles and the corresponding closure cap screw-fastened thereon;

FIG. 4 is a diagram showing one of the closure caps engaged in the coupling member;

FIG. 5 shows a receptacle in isolation;

FIG. 6 is an elevation view of one of the stems shown in isolation;

FIG. 7 is a longitudinal section of the FIG. 6 stem;

FIG. 8 shows the other stem in elevation;

FIG. 9 is a longitudinal section of the FIG. 8 stem;

FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic and perspective view showing a closure cap;

FIG. 11 is a partially cut-away elevation view of one of the closure caps;

FIGS. 12 and 13 are two longitudinal sections of the FIG. 14 closure cap, on XII-XII and XIII-XIII respectively;

FIG. 14 is a plan view as seen looking along XIV in FIG. 11;

FIG. 15 is a longitudinal section showing the coupling member;

FIG. 16 is a plan view as seen looking along XVI in FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a view from below as seen looking along XVII in FIG. 15; and

FIG. 18 shows a detail XVIII of FIG. 15.

MORE DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The packaging and applicator device 1 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises two receptacles 2, 3 containing respective compositions A and B which can be taken from the receptacles by means of applicators 4 and 5 including respective applicator members 6 and 7.

In the embodiment under consideration, the applicator member 6 is a mascara brush for the eyelashes and/or the eyebrows, said brush comprising a twisted-wire core and bristles extending from the turns of the core. The applicator member 7 is a comb for the eyelashes and/or the eyebrows.

By way of example, the compositions A and B are cosmetic compositions optionally for applying in succession. One of the compositions A and B can be in the form of a care product and the other can be in the form of makeup, or both of the compositions A and B can be in the form of makeup.

Each applicator 4 or 5 includes a closure cap 10 that is shown in isolation in FIGS. 10 to 14.

By way of example, each closure cap 10 is molded in a thermoplastic material, e.g. polyoxymethylene (POM).

Each receptacle 2 or 3 includes an externally-threaded neck 11 in which a wiper member 12 is fastened, as can be seen in FIG. 5.

The wiper members 12 associated with the receptacles 2 and 3 can be different, e.g. each being specially adapted to wiping the applicator member contained in the corresponding receptacle.

The closure caps 10 are joined together by a coupling member 13 that is in the general shape of a coupling bushing having the same longitudinal axis X as the device, and having opposite axial openings 14 and 15 in which the closure caps 10 that are associated with the receptacles 2 and 3 can be respectively engaged.

By way of example, the coupling member is molded in a thermoplastic material, e.g. acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).

Each closure cap 10 includes a fastener portion 20 that extends a mounting skirt 21 that is internally threaded and that serves for fastening on the neck 11 of the associated receptacle.

Each fastener portion 20 extends angularly about the axis X, as can be seen more particularly in FIG. 14, over an angle a that is about 175°, for example, in the embodiment under consideration.

At its base, the mounting skirt 21 includes a collar 61 that defines a step 23 that can come axially into abutment against an internal shoulder 25 of the coupling member, when the closure cap 10 is fully inserted therein.

Each closure cap 10 includes a transverse wall 27 that extends perpendicularly to the axis X and on which there is connected the mounting skirt 21 and a chimney 29 that is coaxial to the mounting skirt 21 and that serves to fasten a corresponding stem 30 or 31, connecting the applicator member to the closure cap.

At its end remote from the applicator member, the chimney 29 is closed by an end wall 35 from which a pin 36 projects towards the stem 30 or 31.

In the proximity of the end wall 35, the chimney 29 presents an annular bead 38 that serves to fasten the stem 30 or 31.

At its free end, the fastener portion 20 presents a tooth 40 that defines a step 41.

The tooth 40 can snap-fasten on a portion in relief 46 of the coupling member, said portion in relief presenting a small insertion slope 49 and projecting from the radially inside surface of the coupling member 13 in such a manner as to define a shoulder 47.

Each portion in relief 46 extends angularly, over an angle that lies in the range 130° to 140° in the embodiment under consideration, about the longitudinal axis X of the coupling member.

Between the portions in relief 46, the coupling member 13 includes two diametrally-opposite splines 50, each extending over an angle β of about 40° about the axis X.

Each spline 50 defines a first ramp 51 that is associated with the opening 15 and that makes it possible to guide the insertion of the fastener portion 20 of the closure cap that is engaged via said opening, so as to bring the tooth 40 to snap-fasten on the shoulder 47 when the closure cap 10 is fully mounted. Each spline 50 also defines a second ramp 52 that is associated with the opening 14.

Each of the splines 50 include two end portions 54 and 55 that are directed in opposite circumferential directions along planes that are perpendicular to the axis X, each end portion forming an abutment so as to prevent the corresponding fastener portion from being inserted while said fastener portion does not have the correct orientation.

In the embodiment under consideration, the coupling member 13 includes, in the vicinity of each axial end, an annular bead 60, as shown in FIG. 18, and the collar 61 formed at the base of the mounting skirt 21 is arranged to snap-fasten on said bead 60.

Each stem 30 or 31, e.g. molded out of a thermoplastic material such as POM, includes two tabs 70 for snap-fastening on the bead 38, the pin 36 being suitable for engaging in the recess 71 formed between the tabs so as to block the stem in place.

On the end remote from the tabs 70, each stem 30 or 31 includes a recess 73 or 74 for receiving the ends of the wire 75 constituting the core of the brush, or the fastener endpiece 76 for fastening the comb 7.

At least one of the stems can include a narrowing 80 of its section, so as to avoid unduly stressing the associated wiper member 12 during storage.

In order to assemble the device 1, the applicator members and the closure caps can be fastened on the stems 30 and 31, then the applicators constituted in this way are mounted on the corresponding receptacles.

Then, the closure caps 10 are fastened on the coupling member 13. The closure cap that is inserted first in the coupling member leaves a gap 100 opposite its fastener portion 20 for receiving the fastener portion of the other closure cap. The closure caps thus overlap, thereby making the device more compact in the axial direction.

In order to use the device, the user can unscrew one of the closure caps, even through said closure cap remains secured to the coupling member, by holding one of the receptacles with one hand, and while using the other receptacle in the other hand as a handle during application.

The invention is not limited to the embodiment described above.

For example, it is possible to use different applicator members, stems of different shapes, e.g. having a bend, and receptacles of different shapes.

The fastener means for fastening a closure cap in the coupling member could be provided in some other way, as could the fastening of the stems on the closure caps.

Where appropriate, the stems could be made integrally with the closure caps by molding thermoplastic material.

In cross-section, the closure caps could present a shape that need not be circularly-symmetrical about the longitudinal axis.

The coupling member could present a cross-section that is not circularly symmetrical, having a cross-section that is not circular, for example.

The expression “comprising a” should be understood as being synonymous with “comprising at least one”, unless specified to the contrary.

Although the present invention herein has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the principles and applications of the present invention. It is therefore to be understood that numerous modifications may be made to the illustrative embodiments and that other arrangements may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.