Title:
Closure With Dispersible Composition
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A closure for a container. The closure comprises a channel which extends therethrough. The channel is filled with a composition capable of being dispersed in an aqueous medium at an elevated temperature. The dispersible composition comprises a fragrance.



Inventors:
Gibis, Karl-ludwig (Limburgerhof, DE)
Housmekerides, Chris Efstathios (Ludwigshafen, DE)
Van Loyen, Dietmar (Ludwigshafen, DE)
Application Number:
11/719256
Publication Date:
11/13/2008
Filing Date:
11/21/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D39/00; A47L15/44; D06F39/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
THOMAS, KAREEN KAY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PARFOMAK, ANDREW N. (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A closure for a container, the closure comprising a channel which extends therethrough, the channel being filled with a composition capable of being dispersed in an aqueous medium at an elevated temperature, wherein the dispersible composition comprises a fragrance.

2. A closure according to claim 1, wherein around 0.5-2 grams of dispersible composition is used in the closure.

3. A closure according to claim 1, wherein the dispersible composition comprises between 1 to 40 wt % of fragrance.

4. A closure according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the dispersible composition incorporates one or more further components.

5. A closure according to claim 4, wherein the dispersible composition incorporates as a further component an anti-foam agent.

6. A closure according to claim 1, wherein the dispersible composition disperses by melting.

7. A closure according to claim 6, wherein the dispersible composition disperses at around 50° C.

8. A closure according to claim 1, wherein the dispersible composition comprises a paraffin wax.

9. A closure according to any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the closure is mounted on a container which container contains an automatic dishwashing formulation.

10. A container containing an automatic dishwashing formulation, the container having a closure according to claim 1.

11. A container according to claim 10, wherein the automatic dishwashing formulation is a drain cleaner formulation or is a machine cleaner formulation.

12. (canceled)

Description:

The present invention relates to a closure, particularly to a closure suitable for a container for placement in a washing machine such as a dishwasher.

Closures for bottles and other containers are well known. Typical closures may comprise a screw cap, a cork or a crimped cap. These closures are conventionally removed (manually or with the aid of a tool such as a bottle opener) so that the contents of the bottle or container may be accessed.

A further class of closures are those which seal a bottle or container and which are not removed before use, but instead are removed in the medium in which the contents of the container are to be dispensed. This type of closure has been found to be beneficial where the contents of the container are potentially harmful to a user, thus the contents are kept separate from the user and only allowed to be released in the medium of use. In this way the closure can be used to ensure the contents are released at the correct point in time in the medium.

In order to form such a closure the closure material requires several properties.

Firstly the closure has to be resilient enough to provide a seal until the contents are required by a user. As the contents of containers sold for domestic use typically comprise aqueous based compositions the selection of suitable closure materials is usually limited to those materials which have a low solubility in water.

Additionally the closure has to be able to be dispersed in the medium in which the contents are required. As the contents of containers sold for domestic use are typically sold for use in a domestic washing/dishwasher machine the material has been selected such that it may be dispersed (by dissolution/melting) at the usual temperature of operation of such machines (around 20-80° C.).

These factors together with cost considerations have dictated that wax has been used as the closure material: wax is insoluble in water and has an appropriate melting point. An example of a container having such a closure is a machine cleaner for placing within a dishwashing machine comprising a bottle having a wax closure.

It is an object of the present application to provide an improved closure.

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a closure for a container, the closure comprising a channel which extends therethrough, the channel being filled with a composition capable of being dispersed in an aqueous medium at an elevated temperature, wherein the dispersible composition comprises a fragrance.

Most preferably the container is used to retain a composition to be dispersed into an automatic washing machine. Thus according to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a container holding an automatic washing formulation, the container having a closure which comprises a channel extending therethrough, the channel being filled with a composition capable of being dispersed in an aqueous medium at an elevated temperature, wherein the dispersible composition comprises a fragrance.

In use the closure of the present invention has been found to be surprisingly advantageous. One of the main advantages of having a fragrance separated from the remainder of the formulation in the container and also adjacent to the exterior of the formulation packaging is that the impact of the fragrance upon a consumer, when selecting the product in a shop, is heightened.

Furthermore the impression of the fragrance on the consumer when using the formulation in the container is enhanced throughout the whole washing cycle. This is especially useful in the context of automatic dishwashing as a pleasing waft of fragrance is noticed by a consumer both during dishwasher operation and when opening the dishwasher at the end of the wash cycle.

With both of these advantages it has been noticed that a small amount of fragrance is needed in the closure/container of the present invention to achieve the desired fragrance effect. The amount required is much smaller than that which would be needed if the fragrance were present in the composition. This is exceptionally significant: of all of the components present in an automatic washing formulation fragrances (although generally present at low concentration) are probably the most expensive. Thus anything that is able to reduce the amount of fragrance needed has a large effect on the price of the overall formulation.

A further advantage is that of safety, more chiefly child safety. As the fragrance is separate from the automatic washing formulation it has been found that the odour of the automatic washing formulation is much less attractive (although not in use—see above). Indeed the odour of the formulation is much more ‘chemical-like’ (i.e., smelling of chemicals) rather than smelling of pleasant fragrance odours such as flowers or fruit. As a result, the formulation becomes considerably less attractive to children. Thus the danger of ingestion of the formulation by a child is greatly lessened, without the need for a ‘child-resistant-closure’.

Normally around 0.5-2.0 grams of dispersible composition is used in the closure, more preferably 0.8-1.5 grams and most preferably 1.0-1.2 grams. Generally the closure comprises between 1 to 40 wt % of fragrance (e.g. about 5 wt % or about 20 wt %).

The dispersible composition may incorporate one or more other components usually found in an automatic washing formulation.

In a preferred embodiment (for an automatic dishwasher formulation) the dispersible composition incorporates an anti-foam agent. This has found to be particularly advantageous when the automatic washing formulation in the container is aqueous as often anti-foam agents are hydrophobic due to their hydrophobicity the anti-foam agents can be difficult to integrate into an aqueous formulation (often turbidity or separation/settling is observed.

Where present the anti-foam agent may comprise from 40-75% of the dispersible composition

Preserved examples of anti-foam agents include silicones.

The dispersible composition may comprise a plurality of separate/individual compositions. These may be present as an admixture or may be arranged adjacent one another, e.g. in a layer or concentric structure. The channel may have a number of separate portions or associated retaining recesses to retain the separate/individual compositions.

Most preferably the dispersible composition disperses by melting. The dispersible composition preferably disperses at the temperature of operation of an automatic washing machine, usually around 20-80° C., more preferably around 50° C. This is particularly useful for an automatic dishwasher. The container can be placed in the automatic dishwasher without the consumer having to open the container and expose themselves to the often aggressive formulation contained therein. During the operation of the dishwashing machine when the temperature therein exceeds 50° C. the dispersible composition becomes dispersed and the formulation is released. This means that release of the composition into the pre-wash (which typically operates at a temperature lower than 50° C.) is avoided.

The dispersible composition most preferably comprises a paraffin wax. The paraffin wax dispersible composition preferably has a melting point of around 50° C. As the fragrance typically reduces the melting point of the wax, generally a wax having a melting point higher than 50° C. is employed to ensure that the overall composition has this melting point. The ‘pure’ wax preferably has a melting point of about 55° C.

For protection, e.g. in storage/transport, the closure may have an additional sealing means. Generally the dispersible composition is covered by a removable sticker (e.g., an aluminium/paper/plastic sticker) before use. The sticker may be peeled away by the consumer before placing the container in the dishwasher. Other additional sealing means may comprise a screw cap.

Clearly the container and thus the size of the closure can be varied to suit the requirements of use. Generally the container is sized to accommodate around 250 cm3 of an automatic machine formulation.

Most preferably the formulation in the container is an automatic dishwashing formulation. Generally the automatic dishwashing formulation is a drain cleaner/machine cleaner formulation. Such as drain/machine cleaner generally incorporates components such as acid, builder, surfactant, preservative, dye, stabiliser and thickener.

A preferred example of a machine/drain cleaner formulation is below.

ComponentWt %
Nonionic surfactant0.1-20% 
Citric acid1-30% 
UV stabilizer0-0.1%  
Dye0-0.1%  
NaCl0-5%
NaSO40-5%
PEG0-5%
Waterbalance

This may be a bi-phase formulation.

A further example of a machine/drain cleaner formulation is below.

ComponentWt %
Cationic surfactant1-5%
Nonionic surfactant0-1%
Cumene sulfonate3-5%
Citric acid5-30% 
Dye0-0.1%  
Waterbalance

This may be a bi-phase formulation.

A further example of a machine/drain cleaner formulation is below.

ComponentWt %
Nonionic surfactant 0-5%
Citric acid5-30%
Monopropylene gycol 0-5%
Cumene sulfonate0-10%
Waterbalance

This may be a bi-phase formulation.

The invention is further illustrated in the following figures, wherein:—

FIGS. 1 and 2 are cross-sectional views of a closure in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 1 shows a first embodiment of a closure 1. The closure 1 comprises a channel 2. The channel 2 is circular and comprises a wider upper section 2a and a narrower lower section 2b. Disposed within the channel 2 is a dispersible material 3, comprising a fragrance. The dispersible material 3 is preferably a water insoluble wax, such as paraffin wax.

The closure 1 has a dependent curtain 4 for attachment to a bottle (not shown). The dependent curtain 4 may comprise a screw thread for screwing onto a bottle. Alternatively the curtain 4 may comprise a ‘snap-fit’ mechanism for attachment to a bottle.

FIG. 2 shows a second embodiment of a closure 1. This closure 1 has all of the features of the first closure. In addition disposed around the channel 2, the closure 1 comprises a groove 5. The groove 5 may be used to contain a second dispersible material 3a, in addition to the primary dispersible material 3 disposed in the channel 2.

In use the closure 1 is exposed to an aqueous medium such as the washing liquor of an automatic dishwashing machine (not shown). The dispersible material 3 (and 3a where present) remains intact until the temperature of the aqueous medium is high enough to initiate melting of this material 3. When this occurs any contents of the bottle are exposed to the aqueous medium and may be released from the bottle.