Title:
Hermetically closed disposable container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The hermetically closed disposable container contains a substance or a substance mixture and is equipped with a break-off location for opening the container. The container consists of plastic and is constructed of a vessel and of a closure, wherein the closure after the filling of the substance or substance mixture into the vessel is connected to the vessel with a material fit. The break-off location is provided on the outer circumference of the container so that this may be easily broken open.



Inventors:
Rolle, Philipp (Neumunster, DE)
Application Number:
09/811854
Publication Date:
05/02/2002
Filing Date:
03/19/2001
Assignee:
ROLLE PHILIPP
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/50, 220/276
International Classes:
A61J1/06; B01L3/14; B65D1/02; B65D17/40; B65D23/00; B65D75/58; (IPC1-7): B65D17/40
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLTON, ROBIN ANNETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COHEN, PONTANI, LIEBERMAN & PAVANE (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A hermetically closed disposable container with a substance or substance mixture located therein and with a break-off location for opening the container, said container consisting of a plastic and being constructed of a vessel and a closure, wherein the closure after the filling of the substance or the substance mixture into the vessel is connected to the vessel with a material fit, and wherein the break-off location extends over the circumference of the container.

2. A disposable container according to claim 1, wherein the break-off location is formed by a circumferential and at least a sectioned reducing of the wall thickness of the container.

3. A disposable container according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the break-off location is formed by a groove in the outer side of the container wall, which has a cross section tapering to the base of the groove, preferably notch-shaped.

4. A disposable container according to one of the preceding claims, wherein it has an essentially hollow-cylindrical and longitudinally extended shape and the break-off location is arranged at a distance to both ends.

5. A disposable container according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the break-off location is arranged in the region between a quarter and a half of the total length of the container measured from one end.

6. A disposable container according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the closure is formed as a lid closing the vessel at the end-face.

7. A disposable container according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the vessel comprises a thickening which projects inwardly, is preferably thickened with respect to the remaining wall and on which the lid rests at the end-face and/or into which the lid immerses.

8. A disposable container acording to one of the preceding claims, wherein the lid comprises a section inserted into the vessel and a section resting on the vessel at the end-face.

9. A disposable container according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the lid is connected to the vessel by welding and wherein the vessel and the lid are formed of the same plastic.

10. A disposable container according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the vessel is filled with a liquid substance and just as the closure consists of a diffusion-proof plastic.

11. A disposable container according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the container is filled up to below the break-off location.

12. A disposable container according to one of the preceding claims, wherein it is filled with a combustible substance or substance mixture.

13. A disposable container according to one of the preceding claims, wherein two or more chambers hermetically closed from one another are provided which have a common break-off location.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to a hermetically closed disposable container according to the features in the introductory part of claim 1.

[0002] Such disposable containers are known and applied in ampulla form in pharmaceutical but also other fields. The substance located in the ampulla is hermetically closed with respect to the outer atmosphere. For opening or for removing the substance the container is opened at a break-off location. With glass ampullas used today the break-off location is pre-notched so that by way of only a slight force effect a breaking open of the container and subsequently the removal of the substance located therein is possible.

[0003] A disadvantage with these glass ampullas is that on account of the material there is always an injury risk on breaking open the ampulla as well as also with the later material removal. Furthermore with the breaking-open there may occur fine glass fragments which likewise represents a risk potential, be it that they fall into the substance located in the ampulla or create an increased injury potential. On drawing-up with the syringe these fragments may then be carried along which may lead to considerable problems. Finally such glass ampullas may not or only with a very great technical expense be filled with combustible or potentially explosive substances since on closing the ampulla at least in a part region there is reached a temperature which correponds at least to the melting point of the used glass.

[0004] Although it is known to design disposable containers as a glass container with a screw closure, these however have not proved successful since the sealedness is not absolutely reliable and moreover there also exists the danger that the closure for whatever reason inadvertently releases. The same also applies to other elastomer closures.

[0005] From DE 87 15 376 there is known a packaging beaker consisting of plastic as is for example used for packaging evaporated milk. This container is comparatively complicated in its manufacture and on account of design is not so suitable for medical pharmaceutical applications. The break-off location in the upper side of the container has a small outlet cross section which furthermore after the opening may be closed again without further ado without this being immediately recognisable. The container shape demands a complicated tooling. Finally the break-off location arranged in the upper side of the container demands a high manufacturing accuracy since on the one hand the break-off location is to be sufficiently stable in order to avoid an inadvertent damage or opening, on the other hand however must be able to be opened only with a slight finger force since inspite of the formed-on vane, the gripping surface for handling is very small. The component forming the vane must furthermore be designed so stable that the moments introduced with the handling may be securely transmitted onto the break-off location without first causing a breakage of the component itself.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Proceeding from the last-mentioned state of the art it is the object of the invention to design a disposable container according to the known type, in particular for medical pharmaceutical applications such that this on the one hand is inexpensively manufacturable and on the other hand avoids the previously mentioned disadvantages.

[0007] This object is achieved according to the invention by the features specified in claim 1. Advantageous embodiments of the invention are deduced from the depenent claims, the subsequent description and the drawing.

[0008] According to the invention the disposable container is formed by a plastic vessel which comprises a closure which after the filling of the substance or substance mixture is connected to the container with a material fit. For opening, the container has a break-off location at which it may be broken open by hand. With a suitable material choice it may be reliably ensured that the breaking-open is effected in a fragment-free manner, thus the disadvantages of glass ampulla with respect to this are reliably avoided. The break-off location is to be dimensioned in dependence on the used plastic material so that the container where possible may be broken open with a simple hand force without the aid of a tool. The material-fit closing may be effected in a simple manner by adhesing or preferaby by welding. Both methods, in particular with the filling of combustible substances, such as solvents (acetone, alcohol etc.) have the advantage that one does not need to work under explosion-safe conditions. The temperatures arising with the welding e.g. with the ultrasound welding of plastics are so low that there is no danger of ignition or explosion with numerous substances, such as for example acetone, alcohol, thinners, etc. The container according to the invention may be inexpensively manufactured of injection moulded parts; the handling, in particular with the filling and the subsequent closing is not a problem with regard to manufacturing technology since for the supply of the vessel and the closure a suitable detaching unit is to be provided, wherein the vessel as well as the closure may be designed such that the detaching and the supply may be effected with little technical expense.

[0009] The container according to the invention is particulary predestined for medical pharmaceutical substances, but also other fine chemical filling substances. By way of the fact that the break-off location does not lie in the lid as is otherwise usual with such plastic containers, but in the region of the circumference of the container, the break-off location may be dimensioned considerably more stably than with known containers. The force engagement ratios are almost ideal, in particular when the break-off location is arranged in the region of the middle of the container. The forces for breaking open the container are transmitted by the container itself, no additional components are to be provided. A further considerable advantage of the invention lies in the fact that it is immediately recognisable when the container has been opened for the first time, which is particularly important for medical pharmaceutical applications. A reclosability is only possible with the help of separate components which is likewise advantageous in the medical application field.

[0010] Usefully the container is formed such that it consists of a vessel with an essentially hollow cylindrical and longitudinally extended shape which is closed with a lid as a closure, e.g. on the upper side.

[0011] The break-off location may basically also be formed in the region of the closure when this closure is formed such that it continues the vessel, or may also lie between the closure and the vessel, preferably however it is provided on the vessel side, and specifically in the shape of a circumferential groove which reduces the wall cross section. A breaking-open of the container may be simplified by way of a suitable choice of the shape of the groove. As far as this is concerned it is advantageous to form the groove with a cross section tapering to the base of the groove, preferably notch-shaped in cross section so that there arises a corresponding notch effect which weakens the vessel wall at this location in a directed manner.

[0012] With this the groove is usefully arranged such that it lies at a distance to both container ends as close as possible to the middle of the container in order to ensure a good force transmission on opening. Preferably the break-off location is arranged in the region between a quarter and half of the total length of the container measured from one container end so that a sufficient force engagement surface remains near to the container ends.

[0013] It is advantageous when the vessel at its upper side comprises a thickening which is strengthened with respect to the remaining wall thickness and on which the lid lies at the end-face and into which the lid also usefully immerses. With this the thickening not only creates the necessary contact surface for the material fit connection between the lid and the vessel but simplifies in particular also the detaching and orientation of the component during the manufacture, i.e. on filling and subsequent closing.

[0014] If the lid is farmed such that it with a section immerses into the vessel and with another section at the end-face lies on the vessel, then this is advantageous since directly after the filling of the vessel, the lid by way of its placing on initially primarily closes the vessel essentially in a sealed manner. The lid on account of its shaping is position-fixed so that the actual closing, in particular when this is to be effected by welding, in a subsequent working step may be effected without special measures for fixing the lid.

[0015] The closure is preferably connected to the vessel by welding, for example by ultrasound welding. In particular when the vessel and the lid consist of different materials it may be useful to connect these to one another by adhesing. With this multi-component adhesive as well as single-component adhesive or melt-adhesive may be applied. With the application of adhesives the temperature loading may be kept even lower which e.g. may be advantageous with the filling of temperature-sensitive substances.

[0016] In particular when the vessel is to be filled with a liquid substance, for example with a solvent or likewise it is useful to design the vessel and the closure and where appropriate also the adhesive diffusion-proof. The vessel and the closure should then consist of diffusion-proof plastic, thus of a barrier plastic or suitably coated. If, which is advantageous, the vessel and the closure consist of the same plastic and are connected to one another by way of welding then the container contents exclusively comes into contact with one plastic type which on account of the system reduces the interaction with the content substance. At the same time for an improved viewing control preferably a transparent plastic may be used which for protecting the contents from light may be specially coloured.

[0017] In order to prevent the substance located within the container from being inadvertently spilled on opening, i.e. on breaking open, it is useful to fill the container only up to below the break-off location.

[0018] The disposable container according to the invention is with regard to manufacturing technology favorable to manufacture and is in a special manner suitable for combustible materials or material mixtures which according to the state of the art may not be filled in such containers or only with a high technical expense.

[0019] The container according to the invention may have the simplest of shaping and is in particular suitable for volumes up to 50 ml. The container may be designed rotationally symmetrical which is advantageous with regard the handling, identification and testing.

[0020] With the container according to the invention also muti-component substances may be stored separately when the container is equipped with two or more chambers which have at their disposal a common break-off location. Such a container may for example consist of several cylindrical vessels which are arranged next to one another, are connected to one another with a material fit and which comprise as a common break-off location grooves aligned to one another.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0021] The invention is hereinafter explained in more detail by way of an embodiment example shown in the drawing. The single FIGURE shows a disposable container according to the invention with a removed lid, in a longitudinal section.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0022] The disposable container 1 represented in the FIGURE consists of a vessel 2, a closure in the form of a lid 3 and is partly filled with a substance, here a fluid 4.

[0023] The vessel 2 has essentially a hollow cylindrical shape, at is lower end is rounded in the manner of a test-tube shape and at its upper end is formed open. Roughly over half the length the vessel 2 has a circumferential groove 5 V-shaped in cross section which reduces the wall cross section in this region for forming a break-off location. Towards the upper end the vessel 2 is closed by a thickening 6 which projects in a step-like manner on the outer side so that there is formed a considerably strengthened wall cross section with respect to the remaining vessel wall. The inner side of the vessel 2 is smooth and formed without projections or undercuts, only on the upper side is there provided a chamfer 7 which is to simplify the introduction of the lid.

[0024] The lid 3 has an essentially step-like cylindrical outer contour and comprises a downwardly directed first section 8 which is insertable into the vessel 2. This first section 8 is divided into a downwardly directed lower part 8a and an upper part 8b lying above this. The lower part 8a is peripherally formed such that it may be immersed into the vessel 2 with play, whilst the upper part 8b with respect to the inner diameter of the vessel 2 is shaped such that it may only be introduced under a force effect by which means there is achieved a rigid seating and a certain primary sealing after the introduction. A second section 9 of the lid 2 is designed flange-like and dimensioned such that it has the same outer circumference as the thickening 6 of the vessel 2. With the lid 3 placed on the vessel 2 the lower side of the second setion 9 bears on the end-face of the thickening 6. In this region the lid 3 and the vessel after the filling are welded or adhesed to one another. In the upper side the lid 3 comprises a centric, pocket-bore-like recess 10 with which the lid 3 may be guided. Otherwise this recess 10 ensures that the lid over its whole extension has essentially a constant wall thickness.

[0025] The fluid 4 located in the container is filled up to shortly below the break-off location 5 so that on breaking open the container this fluid is not spilled. The filling level is indicated at 11 in the FIGURE.

[0026] The vessel 2 and the lid 3 are manufactured of diffusion-proof material as injection moulding parts. Thess parts are led to a filling installation in which the vessel 2 is filled with fluid 4 (or another substance or substance mixture) up to the desired filling level height 11. Thereafter the lid 3 is firstly introduced into the upper side of the vessel 2 with the lower part 8a, whereupon also the upper part 8b is slided in. Then the thus provisonally closed vessel is led to a welding installation which sealingly welds the flange-like section 9 of the lid 3 to the end-face of the thickening of the vessel. Alternatively the lid 3 may also be adhesed to the end-face of the thickening. For use the disposable container 1 by way of both hands without the aid of a tool is broken open, wherein by way of a directed bending of the container 1 this in the region of the break-off location formed by the groove 5 is broken open so that the fluid located therein 4 may be removed.

[0027] A container with several chambers sealed from one another may be realised in that for example several of the previously described disposable containers 1 are arranged next to one another, wherein the grooves are aligned to one another so that the container in one go may be broken open. 1

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS
 1disposable container
 2vessel
 3lid
 4fluid
 5groove
 6thickening
 7chamfer
 8first section of 3
 8alower part of 8
 8bupper part of 8
 9second section of 3
10 recess
11 filling level