Title:
Pouring Element for Cardboard/Plastic Composite Packagings and Packaging Provided with Said Pouring Element
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Shown and described is a pouring element for cardboard/plastic composite packagings, which comprises a base provided with an opening with a pouring edge and a peripheral flange, and an opening element as well as a cardboard/plastic composite packaging provided for said pouring element. In order to improve the opening operation of a cardboard/plastic composite packaging provided with such a pouring element without having to forego the advantage of small overall height and in order to minimize the production costs, it is claimed that the opening element, at its front end, comprises a piercing and ripping element which can be folded downwards approximately about 90°, in that the guide has restricted guidance elements for folding the piercing and ripping element and in that the opening element, at its rear end, projects from the base. In the packaging, a weakened zone is provided in a corner area of the gable top, which is devoid of the support material and in which the opening is merely coated with at least one plastic layer.



Inventors:
Gloor, Daniel (Zetzwill, CH)
Bernhard, Fabian (Flurlingen, CH)
Application Number:
11/658709
Publication Date:
01/22/2009
Filing Date:
03/31/2006
Assignee:
SIG TECHNOLOGY AG (NEUHAUSEN AM RHEINFALL, CH)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
222/528
International Classes:
B65D5/74
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DEMEREE, CHRISTOPHER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE WEBB LAW FIRM, P.C. (PITTSBURGH, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A pouring element for a cardboard/plastic composite packaging, comprising: a base having an opening with a pouring edge; a peripheral flange; and an opening element adapted to be linearly displaced in a guide, wherein the pouring element is applied to an exterior of a gable top of a packaging, wherein the gable top is provided with a weakened zone, further wherein the opening element at a front end thereof, comprises a piercing and ripping element adapted to be folded about 90° downwards, in that the guide has restricted guidance elements for folding the piercing and ripping element and in that the opening element, at a rear end thereof, projects from the base.

2. The pouring element according to claim 1, wherein the piercing and ripping element, has a plurality of peripheral teeth situated on an edge of the piercing and ripping element that penetrates the packaging interior.

3. The pouring element according to claim 1, wherein the projecting end of the opening element is formed as a gripping latch.

4. The pouring element according to claim 3, wherein elevations or recesses are provided on a top side of the gripping latch for grip improvement.

5. The pouring element according to claim 1, wherein the piercing and ripping element is joined to the opening element with a film hinge.

6. The pouting element according to claim 1, wherein a contact area of the base has detent elements, wherein the detent elements keep the opening element fixed in an opened position.

7. The pouring element according to claim 1, wherein the base and the opening element are constructed in a single piece and are connected to one another by means of a predetermined breaking point, wherein the predetermined breaking point self-destructs when the packaging is opened for the first time.

8. The pouring element according to claim 7, wherein the predetermined breaking point is formed as a mark of originality.

9. The pouring element according to claim 7, wherein the pouring element is injection-moulded in an outstretched position, wherein a lower surface of the base, has a recess for receiving the opening element and further wherein the opening element is formed so as to be able to pivot about 180° into the base.

10. The pouring element according to claim 7, wherein the opening element outside the base is of two-layer construction and in an assembled position thereof has a film hinge at an end thereof.

11. The pouring element according to claim 1, wherein the base and the opening element are constructed in two pieces.

12. The pouring element according to claim 1, wherein the base has a lid for re-closing the opening of the base.

13. The pouring element according to claim 12, wherein the lid has a peripheral seal for tightly closing the opening of the base.

14. A cardboard/plastic composite packaging, in particular rectangular flat gable top composite packaging for use with a pouring element comprising: a base having an opening with a pouring edge; a peripheral flange; and an opening element adapted to be linearly displaced in a guide, wherein the pouring element is applied to the exterior of a gable top of a packaging, the gable top is provided with a weakened zone, further wherein the opening element at a front end thereof, comprises a piercing and ripping element adapted to be folded about 90° downwards, in that the glide has restricted guidance elements for folding the piercing and ripping element and in that the opening element, at a rear end thereof, projects from the base, wherein the weakened zone in a corner area of the gable top, wherein the corner area is devoid of support material and wherein the opening is merely coated with at least one plastic layer.

15. The packaging according to claim 14, wherein the opening is sealed with a barrier layer.

16. The packaging according to claim 15, wherein the barrier layer is constructed of aluminium foil.

17. The pouring element according to claim 1, wherein a contact area of the opening elements has detent elements wherein the detent elements keep the opening element fixed in an open position.

Description:

The invention relates to a pouring element for cardboard/plastic composite packagings, more particularly beverage packagings, which comprises a base provided with an opening with a pouring edge and a peripheral flange, and an opening element that can be linearly displaced in a guide, and to a cardboard/plastic composite packaging for use with such a pouring element.

DE 44 43 556 A1 discloses a pouring element as specified above, comprising an element arranged displaceably in the base which, after first-time opening of a packaging provided with such a pouring element, simultaneously serves as opening element and as sealing part. This pouring element is characterised by a small overall height, but is in need of improvement in that a separate opening aid is required for opening the pouring opening for the first time, said opening aid representing a separate disposable part after the opening operation. This prior-art pouring element, therefore, is not particularly user-friendly, since the opening consists of two steps (pushing up and tearing open).

The object of the invention is therefore to configure and refine the pouring element, specified initially and described in detail above, in such a way that the opening operation of a cardboard/plastic composite packaging provided with such a pouring element is improved without having to forego the advantage of small overall height. In addition, production costs are to be minimized, which is achieved by single piece construction of the pouring element.

This object is achieved in the case of a pouring element with the features of the preamble in Claim 1, due to the fact that the pouring element is applied to the exterior of the gable top of a packaging, which gable top is provided with a weakened zone, that the opening element, at its front end, has a foldable piercing and ripping element, which penetrates the weakened zone of the packaging when the package is opened under the effect of restricted guidance elements, destroys the weakened zone and is removed from the pouring edge together with the opening element, so that a sufficiently large pouring opening is produced and the opening element, at its rear end, projects from the base.

In the case of cardboard/plastic composite packaging provided with such a pouring element the object is achieved by a weakened zone in the corner area of the gable top, which is devoid of the support material and in which the opening is merely coated with at least one plastic layer.

The invention recognized that a flat-lying pouring element can be opened with only one pulling movement, wherein the opening element, arranged displaceably in the base, is used to open a packaging provided with such a pouring element for the first time. As a result of the design of the restricted guidance element it is ensured that when the opening element is pulled out of the base, the piercing and ripping element is folded downwards about a given angle, for example 90°, and in this way penetrates the packaging interior and at the same time the coating of the pouring opening present in the packaging material, consisting of plastic foil and possibly aluminium foil, is reliably destroyed. For this purpose, the piercing and ripping element, along its edge penetrating the packaging interior, preferably has a plurality of peripheral teeth.

The design of the piercing and ripping element in conjunction with rigidly arranged lateral guiding elements ensures “restricted control” of the piercing and ripping element, wherein the linear movement of the opening element, in conjunction with the geometry of the lateral guiding elements cater for the pivot movement of the piercing and ripping element when the packaging is opened for the first time.

In accordance with a further teaching of the invention the piercing and ripping element is joined to the opening element with a film hinge. This embodiment is particularly advantageous as regards its production from a technical aspect.

A further embodiment of the invention provides that the contact area of the base and/or the opening element have detent elements, which keep the opening element fixed in its opened position. In this way it is ensured that the polyethylene foil or the composite made from polyehylene and aluminium foil compressed by the piercing and ripping element, after the package has been opened, develops such strong resetting forces that the size of the pouring opening is reduced during the pouring operation.

According to a further embodiment of the invention the base and the opening element are preferably constructed in a single piece and are connected to one another by means of a predetermined breaking point, which self-destructs when the packaging is opened for the first time. Production costs for this single piece construction are particularly low, since only one injection-moulding tool is required. A pouring element constructed in such a way according to the invention is injection-moulded in the outstretched position in accordance with a further embodiment of the invention and the base, on its lower surface, has a recess for receiving the opening element, into which the opening element is pivoted about 180° before application onto the packaging. For this purpose, the opening element, outside the base, preferably is of two-layer construction and in the assembled position has a film hinge at its end. A predetermined breaking point, between the part of the opening element projecting from the base as a gripping latch and the base, is destroyed when the pouring element according to the invention is opened for the first time and therefore simultaneously serves as a mark of originality.

A further teaching of the invention provides that the base and the opening element can also be constructed in two pieces. The two-piece construction permits simpler design of the injection-moulding tools used, but does not require two injection-moulding tools and thus higher production cost.

Finally it is provided that the base can have a lid for re-closing the pouring opening. Preferably, the lid is configured in such a way that, when it is re-closed also in its pivoted position, it provides a reliable seal with the base. For this purpose, the lid, on its lower surface, preferably has a sealing element matching the pouring opening, which may also consist of a flexible material.

The invention is described in detail below on the basis of a drawing, representing only one preferred exemplary embodiment, wherein there is shown:

FIG. 1 a pouring element according to the invention, partly opened, in perspective view,

FIG. 2 the pouring element according to the invention, elongated (before final assembly), in perspective view,

FIG. 3 the pouring element according to the invention, closed, in plan view,

FIG. 4 the closed pouring element in cross section along line IV-IV from FIG. 3,

FIG. 5 the pouring element according to the invention, partly opened, in plan view,

FIG. 6 the partly opened pouring element in cross section along line VI-VI from FIG. 5, and

FIG. 7 the pouring element from FIG. 1, however with a lid moulded on the base.

FIG. 1 shows, in perspective view, a pouring element according to the invention in partly opened position. A base 1 has a peripheral flange 2 for later joining to a not illustrated composite packaging. The base 1, at its front end, possesses a pouring edge 3 and encloses the later pouring opening O. The opening element 4, which at its end has a pivotable piercing and ripping element 5, adjoins the end of the base 1 turned away from the pouring edge 3. The function of the piercing and ripping element 5 is clearly recognizable from the further figures and the associated description.

As already explained the pouring element according to the invention is preferably produced in a single piece. FIG. 2 shows how such a pouring element appears after the injection-moulding process, that is to say, before “final assembly”. At “final assembly” it is only necessary to fold down the opening element 4 about 180° in the direction of the arrow not designated in more detail, so that it is received by the base 1 having a corresponding recess A and only a gripping latch G still protrudes from the base. In this position the pouring element according to the invention is applied to the composite packaging having a corresponding weakened zone in the vicinity of the pouring opening.

The “finished” pouring element is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 in closed position and in FIGS. 5 and 6 in half open position. A special embodiment of the piercing and ripping element 5 and the base 1 caters for restricted guidance of the piercing and ripping element 5 when the gripping latch G is manipulated. For this purpose, the piercing and ripping element 5, on its upper side, firstly has lateral cams 6A and 6B and pressure pads 7A and 7B, as particularly clearly recognizable from FIGS. 3 and 5. The base in the vicinity of the pouring opening O has laterally arranged pins 8A and 8B and guide rails 9A and 9B.

When the gripping latch G is pulled out, the cams 6A and 6B are pressed down by the pins 8A and 8B and cause the piercing and ripping element 5 to pivot. So that the not illustrated foil layer of the composite packaging is reliably destroyed, the piercing and ripping element 5, on its lower surface, has a plurality of peripherally arranged teeth 10. After the teeth have penetrated the foil layer after only short displacement of the opening element 4, the piercing and ripping element 5 is pivoted downwards about 90° under the effect of cooperation between the pressure pads 7A and 7B and the guide rails 9A and 9B of the base 1, wherein the extracted foil remains inside the teeth 10 of the piercing and ripping element 5. In this position, curved about 90°, the piercing and ripping element 5 is removed from the pouring edge 3 of the base 1, so as to open the pouring opening O. Furthermore, the gripping latch G of the pouring element according to the invention possesses elevations 11, in order to improve the grip during the extraction operation.

From FIG. 4 it is clearly recognizable that the opening element 4 and the piercing and ripping element 5 are connected to one another by means of a film hinge 12. In this case, the contact areas 13A and 13B adjacent to the film hinge 12 form an angle of 90°, so that the folded piercing and ripping element 5 reliably lies against the opening element 4. There is no illustration to show that the two contact areas 13A and 13B can also have restricted locking elements.

In order now to prevent possibly arising resetting forces of the plastic foil extracted from the pouring area leading to a closure movement of the opening element 4 and therefore to undesirable partial reduction of the pouring opening O, the opening element 4 has a plurality of detent elements 14, which cooperate with a rest edge 15 correspondingly arranged on the lower surface of the base 1 and which keep the opening element 4 fixed in its opened position, as evident from the enlargement in FIG. 4.

When the packaging is opened for the first-time, the opening element 4 must be separated from the base 1, for which purpose a predetermined breaking point 16 is provided between the two component parts, which can simultaneously serve as mark of originality, wherein it is indicated to the consumer at a glance whether the packaging has already been previously opened or not.

From FIGS. 4 and 6 it is clearly recognizable that the opening element 4 is of two-layer construction in its area projecting from the base 1, wherein the layers are connected to one another with a film hinge 17. The two-layers may be connected to one another, by bonding or welding for example. So that also when the packaging is re-closed a reliable seal in the rear area of the base element 1 is achieved, the opening element, on its lower surface, has a frame 18, as especially clearly recognizable from FIGS. 2 and 6.

There is no illustration to show that the weakened zone of a paper/plastic composite packaging, matched to the pouring element according to the invention, is constructed as a slit, devoid of the support material in the vicinity of this slit, and the opening in the support material is merely coated with at least one plastic layer. Additionally, the opening can also be sealed by a barrier layer, for example made from aluminium foil.

The piercing and ripping element 5 reliably destroys this/these layer/s when the packaging is opened for the first time and exposes the pouring opening O required for pouring by removal over nearly the entire length of the base 1. In this way, a particularly large exposed surface develops, so that the pouring element according to the invention is also suitable for use with products having chunky ingredients, such as pea soup for example.