Title:
Dehydrating and reclosable hinged plug-lid with tamper indicator and compensation device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is a dehydrating and reclosable hinged plug-lid that includes a dehydrating agent, a fixation mechanical system provided between the occlusion element and the open end of the tubular container, a tamper indicator, a compensation device for preserving the conditioned products provided inside the occlusion element and secured to said occlusion element, wherein said compensation device consists of a hollow device having an essentially conical, frusto-conical, polyhedral, frusto-polyhedral apparent shape with a large annular base and a small annular base parallel to the large base, the small base in contact with the conditioned products being coaxial and connected to the large base by at least one linking element that can be deformed under the action of a mechanical pressure and that can recover its initial shape when said pressure is no longer applied.



Inventors:
Portier, Benoit (Bourges, FR)
Guillon, Bruno (Paris, FR)
Application Number:
12/518922
Publication Date:
02/25/2010
Filing Date:
12/13/2007
Assignee:
AIRSEC S.A.S. (Choisy le Roi, FR)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/235, 215/227
International Classes:
B65D51/30; B65D47/08; B65D51/26; B65D81/26
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ACKUN, JACOB K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCOTT R. COX (LOUISVILLE, KY, US)
Claims:
1. Dehydrating and reclosable hinged plug-lid, constituting a system for sealed occlusion of an open end of a tubular container for the conditioning of moisture-sensitive products, comprising a dehydrating agent, a fixing mechanical system placed between an occlusion element and the open end of the tubular container, a tamper indicator, a compensation device for holding the conditioned products, positioned inside the occlusion element and secured to said occlusion element, characterised in that said compensation device comprises a hollow device having an essentially conical, frusto-conical, polyhedral or frusto-polyhedral apparent shape, comprising a large annular base and a small base parallel to the large base, this small base, in contact with the products, being coaxial and connected to the large base by at least one linking element that can be deformed under the action of a mechanical pressure and that can recover its initial shape when said pressure is no longer applied.

2. Plug-lid according to claim 1, characterised in that the ratio of the diameters of the part of the compensation device in contact with the product, that is to say its small base, and the end of said device connected to the lower part of the plug-lid, that is to say its large base, varies between 0.05 and 0.9.

3. Plug-lid according to claim 1, characterised in that the compensation device has an angle at the its top lying in an interval from 30° to 120°.

4. Plug-lid according to claim 1, characterised in that the at least one linking element of the compensation device is selected from: at least one deformable helix winding on an imaginary cone and coaxial with an axis of the device, and appearing as a frusto-conical or conical spring, and at least one deformable strip appearing as one of the edges of faces of an imaginary polyhedron in which the device lies or belonging to an imaginary surface of a cone or a truncated cone.

5. Plug-lid according to claim 4, characterised in that the at least one deformable linking element of the compensation device comprises at least one helix.

6. Plug-lid according to claim 4, characterised in that the at least one deformable linking element of the compensation device is preferentially formed by at least two helices with directions that are opposite and distributed regularly in space.

7. Plug-lid according to claim 4, characterised in that the at least one deformable linking element of the compensation device comprises at least one strip.

8. Plug-lid according to claim 4, characterised in that the at least one linking element of the compensation device comprises at least two strips, opposite or regularly distributed in space.

9. Plug-lid according to claim 1, characterised in that the compensation device is assembled by its large base, on the lower part of the housing containing a desiccant, by an assembly system.

10. Plug-lid according to claim 9, characterised in that the compensation device is, by means of a skirt and collar extending its large base, assembled on the bottom of the plug-lid by the assembly system.

11. Plug-lid according to claim 9, characterised in that the assembly system is selected from the group consisting of clipping, riveting, crimping, press-fitting, gluing and welding.

12. Plug-lid according to claim 1, characterised in that the compensation device is produced by injection moulding, using thermoplastic polymer materials.

13. Plug-lid according to claim 12, characterised in that the thermoplastic polymer materials are chosen from the group consisting of polyolefin homopolymers and copolymers, polyamides (PA), polystyrenes (PS), copolymers of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), copolymers of styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN), polymethyl methacrylates (PMMA), polyethylene terephthalates (PET), polybutylene terephthalates (PBT), polyacetals (POM), polyvinyl chlorides (PVC) and polycarbonates (PC).

14. Plug-lid according to claim 12, characterised in that the thermoplastic polymer materials are chosen from the group consisting of mono-olefin elastomers such as polymers of isobutylene/isoprene, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), ethylene propylene (EPR), ethylene propylene diene (EPDM), acrylic ethylene esters (EMA/EEA), fluorinated polymers, diolefin rubbers, such as polybutadiene, copolymers of butadiene-styrene (SBR), rubbers based on condensation products such as polyester and polyurethane thermoplastic rubbers, silicones, styrenic rubbers, such as styrene butadiene styrene (SBS), styrene isoprene styrenes (SIS), styrene ethylene butadiene styrenes (SEBS) and other block copolymers, used alone or in a mixture, formulated or not.

15. Plug-lid according to claim 1, characterised in that the dehydrating agent comprises a housing present on the bottom of the plug-lid, said housing containing a dehydrating material chosen from the group constituted by silica gels, molecular sieves and dehydrating products available in powder form or deposited on a powdery support or containing a capsule made from a dehydrating polymer material containing or not containing dehydrating fillers.

16. Plug-lid according to claim 1, characterised in that the fixing mechanical system placed between the occlusion element and the open end of the container is selected from the group consisting of a ring, collar and loop.

17. Plug-lid according to claim 16, characterised in that the fixing element is secured to the container by a system selected from the group consisting of press-fitting, clipping, gluing and welding.

18. Plug-lid according to claim 1, characterised in that the tamper indicator is formed by micro-links connecting all or part of a lower peripheral surface of the plug-lid to all or part of an upper peripheral surface of a fixing ring, collar or loop.

19. Plug-lid according to claim 1 further comprising a hinge of integral or mechanical type.

20. (canceled)

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a dehydrating and reclosable hinged plug-lid with a tamper indicator and a particular compensation device, fitting on to a tubular container for the conditioning, in a controlled atmosphere, of moisture-sensitive products.

Such moisture-sensitive products to be conditioned are generally products such as, for example, products of the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, veterinary, diagnostic and other types.

More precisely, the invention relates to a dehydrating and reclosable hinged plug-lid with a tamper indicator and a compensation device, constituting the reclosable means for occlusion of the open end of the container, said plug-lid being connected to the body of the container by a link of the hinge type associated with a ring secured to said container and having a tamper indicator placed between the plug-lid and said ring press-inserted on to the container at the time of its final closure after it has been filled.

When the container is opened for the first time by the user, this tamper indicator makes it possible to note that said container has not been opened after its filling by the pharmaceutical laboratory, thus ensuring the physical integrity of the protective packaging guaranteeing the qualitative and quantitative authenticity of the product contained.

More precisely, the invention relates to a dehydrating and reclosable hinged plug-lid with a tamper indicator and a compensation device, said compensation device making it possible to exert a mechanical pressure, through a spring action on the stored products, in particular pharmaceuticals, in the form of, more specifically, lozenges, cachets or tablets.

PRIOR ART

Many dehydrating plugs with a compensation device and a tamper indicator have been produced and are amply described in the patent literature. They are of the plug type, being press-fitted into the open end of a generally cylindrical container, thus providing the functions of dehydration and holding in position of the upper tablets positioned in the full or substantially full container, by means of a compensation device having the form of a spring or spiral. Thus said tablets can no longer move unintendedly inside the container during transport. The risk of mechanical damage of said tablets is thus avoided. However, such physical holding can be implemented only on a substantially full container. In order that the spring action of the compensation spiral can be exerted, it is important that the spacing region between the upper surface of the tablet and the lower surface of said compensation spiral in contact with the upper surface of the tablet to be held in position is smaller in height than the height of said compensation spiral.

Thus for example the document DE9203763 (GAPLAST) describes an absorbent plug that is inserted into the open end of a cylindrical container, with a view to closing it in a sealed manner. Such a plug comprises a ring that is press-fixed permanently on the upper outer end of the container, once the latter has been filled. This ring acts as a tamper indicator through the presence of divisible bridges situated between the upper part of said ring and the adjacent lower part of said plug. These divisible bridges are broken when the container is opened for the first time.

The dehydrating plug also comprises a chamber containing the dehydrating material. The dehydrating plug also comprises a compensation spring element of the cylindrical spiral type, of monolithic design, that is to say injected at the same time as the dehydrating plug.

Another document, DE8337183U (SANNER GMBH), also describes an absorbent plug that is inserted into the open end of a cylindrical container. Such an absorbent plug comprises a tamper indicator consisting of a collar equipped with a double set of divisible bridges, positioned between the lower ring and the plug. When the plug is opened for the first time, the intermediate collar is detached from the assembly by means of breaking of the upper bridges attaching it to the plug and breaking of the lower bridges attaching it to the ring fixed on the upper end of the body of the container. Such a plug moreover comprises a compensation spring element, also of monolithic design.

These plugs available in the prior art are not, however, provided with a hinge attaching them to the container and can, consequently, be easily lost by the user.

This is why another design is essential providing this additional reclosable hinged plug-lid function. In particular, the document EP1352844 (CSP) describes packaging that it is possible to reclose, protecting the products thus conditioned from moisture, comprising a container and a plug-lid, connected by an integral hinge and equipped with a spring element, attached to the internal part of the plug-lid, and a desiccant material held by the spring element.

This spring element, manufactured separately from the container and the plug-lid, is assembled on the bottom of said plug-lid and contains a sachet of desiccant.

The plug-lid described in this document has a hinge which is not secured to a ring fixed on the container but is directly secured to the container, the plug-lid, the hinge and the container being moulded in a single operation. Such a hinge is referred to as an integral hinge.

Such a design of container and plug-lid with integral hinge is more difficult to manufacture at the high rates of the packaging industry, unlike manufacturing being carried out in two perfectly cylindrical components, a tubular container on the one hand, and a plug-lid on the other hand, which is easier to implement on multiple-cavity moulds.

Moreover, this compensation spring element cannot have a large height since said element then interferes with the edge of the container, through its cylindrical shape, during closure of the container by rotation of the plug-lid around the axis of its hinge.

Thus the prior art shows that containers closed by a plug without a hinge can be provided simultaneously with a reserve of desiccant positioned in the plug, a tamper indicator and a cylindrical compensation spring of suitable size.

However the prior art also reveals that it is practically impossible to equip this type of container comprising the aforementioned means, namely a desiccant, a tamper indicator and a cylindrical compensation element, as soon as an attempt is made to replace a plug of the plug-in type with a hinged plug-lid, when the latter comprises a desiccant reserve chamber. This is because the cylindrical or frusto-conical compensation element of the hinged plug-lid, when said plug-lid is provided therewith, hits the edge of the container, through its minimum height necessary for its mechanical compensation action.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

There is therefore a technical problem posed and not solved, which is that of not being able to produce a container equipped with a hinged plug-lid, provided with a desiccant reserve chamber, a tamper indicator and also comprising a compensation device, with a minimum height sufficient for its mechanical compensation action, this device having the ability to deform under pressure and regain its shape when released.

Another problem posed to the designer is also of solving all or some of the drawbacks mentioned previously and thus constituting a significant improvement compared with the prior art.

Consequently, the invention relates to a dehydrating and reclosable hinged plug-lid, that closes a container for conditioning moisture-sensitive products, also having a tamper indicator and comprising a compensation means with a geometry lying within an imaginary volume and therefore of apparent shape such that:

    • it can allow the passage of said compensation means into the open space of the container during rotation of the plug-lid around the axis consisting of the hinge connecting the plug-lid to the tubular container while the plug-lid is equipped with its compensator and its housing containing the desiccant;
    • it is sufficiently efficient in terms of spring action, that is to say said compensation means indeed comes, through its mechanical action, to rest on the conditioned products in order to inhibit the vertical movement thereof.

The plug-lid according to the invention provides a solution to a technical problem posed and not solved in the prior art, which is that of being able to equip a container with a hinged plug-lid comprising both a compensation means and a dehydrating element in the body of the plug-lid.

Consequently, the invention relates to a dehydrating and reclosable hinged plug-lid, constituting the means for sealed occlusion of the open end of a tubular container for the conditioning of moisture-sensitive products, moreover comprising

    • a dehydrating means,
    • a fixing means placed between the occlusion means and the open end of the tubular container,
    • a tamper indicator,
    • a compensation means for holding the conditioned products, positioned inside the occlusion means and secured to said occlusion means,
      characterised in that said compensation means is a hollow device having an essentially conical, frusto-conical, polyhedral or frusto-polyhedral apparent shape, consisting of a large annular base and a small base parallel to the large base, this small base in contact with the packaged products being coaxial and connected to the large base by at least one linking means that can be deformed under the action of a mechanical pressure and that can recover its initial shape when said pressure is no longer applied.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Thus, according to the invention, the dehydrating and reclosable hinged plug-lid with a tamper indicator and a compensation device constitutes the means for sealed occlusion of the open end of the tubular container in which the products to be protected are conditioned and comprises a dehydrating means, a fixing means placed between the occlusion means and the open end of the container so as to secure the assembly comprising plug-lid and container, a hinge making it possible to connect the occlusion means to the fixing means and to open and reclose this container, a tamper indicator having the ability to visually indicate the first opening of said container and a compensation means making it possible to keep the conditioned products under a mechanical pressure.

This dehydrating and reclosable hinged plug-lid with a tamper indicator and a compensation device, for conditioning moisture-sensitive products:

    • constitutes the means for sealed occlusion of the open end of a tubular container, forming the product conditioning area, closed at one of its ends by a bottom and open at the other,
    • and moreover comprises:
      • a dehydrating means placed on the part of the occlusion means internal to the container;
      • a fixing means placed between the occlusion means and the open end of the tubular container, mechanically engaging irreversibly on said container, at the time of its final closure after it has been filled;
      • a hinge making it possible to connect the occlusion means to the fixing means;
      • a tamper indicator having the ability to visually indicate the first opening of said container equipped with its plug-lid;
      • a compensation means making it possible to keep the conditioned products under a mechanical pressure with a view to avoiding the risk of having said products, before use, move unintendedly inside the container during transport, this compensation means having a specific shape, being positioned inside the occlusion means and secured to said occlusion means.

The Occlusion Means:

The container is closed with the occlusion means that is the plug-lid type plug according to the invention, connected to the body of the container by means of a hinge itself secured to the body of the container by means of a fixing means, for example, of fixing ring type.

This means for occluding the open end of the container is a plug-lid coaxial with the container consisting of an upper end wall constituting said plug-lid and two peripheral walls coaxial with the axis of the plug-lid forming between them a deep peripheral groove whereof the walls are a distance apart from one another in order, when said occlusion means is closed, to cover the peripheral wall of the open end of the container so that a sealed and close contact is established between:

    • the bottom of the groove and the peripheral rim of the open end of the container;
    • the inner surface of the inner wall of said groove and the inner surface of the open end of the container;
    • the inner surface of the outer coaxial wall of the groove and the outer surface of the open end of the container.

An external peripheral limit stop of the collar type can be created close to the open end of the container on which the occlusion means can come to rest in the closed position.

Any means allowing the creation of sufficient, perhaps even reinforced, sealing between the body of the container and the plug-lid is possible within the scope of the invention. Thus, for example, an architecture of plug-lid with deep peripheral groove, allowing sealed covering by means of three peripheral areas of surface-to-surface contact with the open end of the enclosure, provides the sought-after sealing by close surface-to-surface contact, upon closure of the plug-lid.

In order to keep the plug-lid in the closed position, the inner face of the outer wall of the groove and the outer face of the outer wall of the enclosure can be provided with a latching means, requiring a mechanical force both for completing the closure of the plug-lid and for opening it.

In order to facilitate the operation for opening and closing the plug-lid, the flat lower edge of the outer wall of the groove can be extended by a gripping rim or have a recessed tab.

This rim-type protuberance or this tab-type recess make it possible to open the plug-lid more easily, in general with just one hand, and make it pivot around the axis of the hinge. They also make it possible to exert a lifting force sufficient to break the divisible bridges of the tamper indicator.

The Dehydrating Means:

The dehydrating plug-lid according to the invention comprises a moisture-absorbing means of added-on type.

The dehydrating agent is placed in a suitable housing, situated on the bottom of the plug-lid, said housing being closed by a closure means not sealed against ambient moisture, for example a porous cardboard membrane, in order to provide rapid desiccation of the moisture-sensitive products conditioned in the dehydrating container. The dehydrating agent used in the housing is chosen from the group constituted by silica gels, molecular sieves or other dehydrating products, available in powder form or deposited on a powdery support.

The dehydrating agent can also be a capsule contained in said housing and made from a dehydrating polymer material containing or not containing dehydrating fillers.

The Fixing Means:

A fixing means is placed between the occlusion means and the open end of the container so as to secure the assembly comprising plug-lid and container.

This fixing means can be of ring, collar or fixing loop type or be any mechanical system fixing said plug-lid to the tubular container.

The fixing means is secured to the container by press-fitting, clipping, gluing or welding. In a preferential configuration, this fixing means is secured to the container by clipping, that is to say press-fitting in a suitable groove upon final closure of the container after it has been filled.

The geometry of the groove is such that this fixing ring cannot be detached from the container once it has been put in place by pressure upon final closure of the container after it has been filled. The geometry is that of an undercut shape, playing on the relative possibility of deformation of the ring, equipped for its force-fitting with a circular chamfer.

The Hinge:

The physical link between the container, by means of the fixing means (the fixing ring), and the occlusion means which is a plug-lid, is preferentially an integral hinge, that is to say one moulded at the same time and in the same material as the plug-lid and the fixing ring to be secured to the body of the container. This integral hinge can be of film type or ribbon type.

A detachable mechanical hinge, providing closure accuracy, can also be considered but has as a drawback the fact of constituting an additional component, whereas this assembly comprising plug-lid, hinge, fixing ring and tamper indicator is single-piece and therefore manufactured in a single operation and in the same material.

This is because, in the case of a detachable rigid mechanical type hinge, this is formed from two parts, one integrated with the fixing ring that is fitted onto the container, the other integrated with the occlusion means.

The Tamper Indicator:

According to the invention, the plug-lid, secured to the conditioning container, once the fixing ring has been press-fitted, is effectively equipped with a tamper indicator, also referred to as a first-opening indicator, positioned between said ring secured to the container and said plug-lid. This tamper indicator, or inviolability means, is formed by micro-links connecting all or part of the lower peripheral surface of the plug-lid to all or part of the upper peripheral surface of the fixing collar or ring or else to any coupling system such as a loop fixing the lid on to the body of the container or secured to the body of the container.

These micro-links or divisible bridges are connecting micro-points, independent of each other but forming a perimeter or a single toothed area of connection between the plug-lid, that can be moved around its hinge and is reclosable once these links have been broken, and the ring or collar or the system fixing said plug-lid to the body of the container.

These micro-points are broken upon first opening by the application of a breaking force exerted on the plug-lid in the vertical direction upwards if a single connection by micro-points between the fixing collar or ring secured to the container and the plug-lid is concerned, or else in the horizontal direction by a circular pulling movement if a double row of breakage points of an intermediate collar between the fixing means and the plug-lid is concerned.

The first user performs this act and thus knows that he is indeed the first user. He can easily note whether said connection by micro-points is still present and intact or not.

The Compensation Means:

According to the invention, the plug-lid comprises a compensation means constituted by a hollow compensation device having an essentially conical, frusto-conical, polyhedral or frusto-polyhedral apparent shape, consisting of a large annular base and a small base parallel to the large base, which is coaxial therewith and is connected thereto by at least one deformable linking means having the ability to recover its initial shape, the small base being in contact with the packaged products. This compensation device positioned inside the occlusion means is secured to said occlusion means and has sufficient height for its mechanical compensation action to be exerted effectively.

This compensation device has an apparent shape such that its end in contact with the packaged products is substantially smaller in size than its end connected to the lower part of the plug-lid, thus enabling it to not interfere with the upper opening area of the tubular container during opening and closing of the plug-lid, once this has been permanently fixed on the container after filling.

More precisely, the ratio of the diameters of the part of the compensation device in contact with the packaged product, on which this mechanical compensation is exerted, that is to say the small base, and the end of the device connected to the lower part of the plug-lid, that is to say its large base, varies between 0.05 and 0.9 and preferentially between 0.1 and 0.6.

More precisely also, the angle at the top of the compensation device lies in the variation interval ranging from 30° to 120°.

Within the context of the aforementioned ratio:

    • when the apparent shapes are conical or frusto-conical, the small base and large base are circular and their diameters are real;
    • when the apparent shapes are polyhedral or frusto-polyhedral, the small base can be polygonal and leads to the measurement of an apparent diameter or circular with a real diameter, the large base always being circular with a real diameter.

The apparent shape of the compensation device, that is to say the imaginary volume in which said device is contained, that is to say its steric size, can be conical, frusto-conical, polyhedral or frusto-polyhedral.

When the imaginary volume is conical or frusto-conical, the at least one deformable linking means connecting the large base to the small base is an imaginary generator. The compensation device, when contained in a conical or frusto-conical imaginary volume, can comprise several deformable linking means, 2, 3, 4 or more in number and disposed around the axis preferentially symmetrically.

When the imaginary volume is polyhedral or frusto-polyhedral, one of the edges is constituted by the at least one real deformable linking means, connecting the large base to the small base, the other edges being imaginary. In particular, the polyhedral or frusto-polyhedral imaginary volume that comprises at minimum three lateral surfaces consequently comprises three real edges constituted by three deformable linking means. The same applies for 4 faces, 5 faces or 6 faces.

Such an imaginary volume thus allows the compensation device to not interfere, by this end of restricted size (its small base), with the upper opening area of the tubular container, during opening and closing of the plug-lid, once this has been permanently fixed on the container after filling.

This solution, which consists of modifying the apparent shape of the compensation device in order to avoid the device interfering with the upper edge of the tubular container during opening and closing of the plug-lid, is particularly advantageous.

The deformable means for linking the large base to the small base can be

    • at least one deformable helix winding on an imaginary cone and coaxial with the axis of the device, and appearing as a frusto-conical or conical spring or
    • at least one deformable strip appearing as one of the edges of the faces of the imaginary polyhedron in which the device lies or belonging to the imaginary surface of a cone or a truncated cone.

When the compensation device has a conical or frusto-conical apparent shape, the at least one deformable linking means is formed by at least one helix and preferentially two helices with directions that are opposite or not, distributed regularly in space. This at least one helix is connected, by its lower end, to the large, preferentially circular, base secured to the lower part of the plug-lid. This at least one helix is also connected, by its upper end, to the small, preferentially circular, base that is very small in size in physical contact with the conditioned product.

The cross-section of this at least one helix can be circular or polygonal.

The shape of the compensation device appears as substantially conical, lying within a conical imaginary volume. Said device thus ensures, through its ability to be compressed position-wise and through its spring action, that the conditioned products are held in position.

Other forms of helix can be considered such as, for example, helices with a counter direction of rotation or having a shape that is not strictly conical but slightly rhomboid.

When the compensation device has a polyhedral apparent shape, the at least one deformable linking means is formed by at least one strip and preferentially two strips, opposite or regularly distributed in space, this at least one strip being connected, by its lower end, to a large, preferentially circular, base that is fixed to the lower part of the plug-lid and by its upper end to the small polygonal or circular base that is very small in size in physical contact with the conditioned product.

The shape of the compensation device appears as substantially polyhedral, lying within a polyhedral imaginary volume.

Said device thus ensures, through its ability to be compressed position-wise and through its spring action, that the conditioned products are held in position. The cross-section of the strips is sufficiently thin, whether circular or polygonal, for said strips to be able to deform reversibly, under the action of the pressure exerted on said strips during closure of the filled container.

The spring action remains intact over time provided that the deformations remain within the range of reversible elastic deformations and that there is no creep of the constituent materials of the compensation device. The pressure exerted on the conditioned product by the compensation device remains unchanged.

Said compensation device is assembled by its large base, on the lower part of the housing containing the desiccant and preferentially on the internal lower part of said housing, by an assembly means.

Said assembly means is preferentially chosen from amongst the techniques of clipping, riveting, crimping, press-fitting, gluing and welding.

Said compensation device can also be connected, by its large base, to a cylindrical skirt whereof the other end terminates with a collar thus extending the device in order to allow it to be assembled by clipping, riveting, crimping, press-fitting, gluing or welding, not on the lower part of the housing containing the desiccant but on the bottom of the plug-lid, the collar being for example press-fitted into a suitable circular housing, which can be a groove, positioned in the bottom of said plug-lid.

Said compensation device, with its conical or polyhedral apparent shape that is deformable but with initial shape memory, still retains its function of compensator with spring action.

According to the invention, the device constitutes a separate component, injected separately from the plug-lid, and then assembled with said plug-lid. The mounting of the compensation device is performed after the housing containing the desiccant has been filled and then closed by its moisture-porous membrane, which simplifies this filling and closure operation and enables it to be automated easily. The compensation device is also assembled with the plug-lid filled with its desiccant in an automated mounting operation.

The compensation device according to the invention can also be manufactured in a material different from that used for manufacturing the plug-lid in order to give it specific “spring” properties.

It is consequently possible to equip a container with the aforementioned means, that is to say a dehydrating and reclosable hinged plug-lid with tamper indicator with a compensation device, without this device hitting the edge of the container, through its minimum height necessary for its mechanical compensation action.

The Polymer Materials:

The polymer materials desirable for producing the plug-lid are generally and non-exclusively chosen from the group of materials consisting of thermoplastic polymers, comprising in particular polyolefin homopolymers and/or copolymers such as polyethylenes, polypropylenes and copolymers of ethylene/propylene used alone or in a mixture, formulated or not.

Other thermoplastic materials can also be used such as polyamides (PA), polystyrenes (PS), copolymers of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), copolymers of styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN), polymethyl methacrylates (PMMA), polyethylene terephthalates (PET), polybutylene terephthalates (PBT), polyacetals (POM), polyvinyl chlorides (PVC) and polycarbonates (PC).

Mono-olefin elastomers such as, for example, polymers of isobutylene/isoprene, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), ethylene propylene (EPR), ethylene propylene diene (EPDM), acrylic ethylene esters (EMA/EEA), fluorinated polymers, diolefin rubbers, such as, for example, polybutadiene, copolymers of butadiene-styrene (SBR), rubbers based on condensation products such as, for example, polyester and polyurethane thermoplastic rubbers, silicones, styrenic rubbers, such as styrene butadiene styrene (SBS), styrene isoprene styrenes (SIS), styrene ethylene butadiene styrenes (SEBS) and other block copolymers, used alone or in a mixture, formulated or not, can also be used.

The polymer materials desirable for producing the compensation device can be chosen from amongst those aforementioned with however a concern for a modulus of rigidity higher than for those adopted for the plug-lid which has to provide a function of sealing with the container.

The method of producing the plug-lid and the compensation device is preferentially that of thermoplastic injection moulding.

The container equipped with its plug-lid according to the invention is intended for conditioning solid products such as those of lozenge or tablet type that are moisture-sensitive and have to be held in position in order to avoid the risk of damage by mechanical action.

The invention will be better understood by means of the description, with reference numbers, of the figures mentioned below, these figures having only an illustrative and non-limiting nature, of a particular plug-lid of the invention.

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of a plug-lid mounted on a container, equipped with its compensation device of pyramidal apparent shape, in the open position;

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of a plug-lid mounted on a container, equipped with its compensation device of pyramidal apparent shape, in the closed position, said compensation device resting on the conditioned product;

FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view from underneath of the plug-lid separated from its compensation device of pyramidal apparent shape;

FIG. 4 depicts a perspective view of a plug-lid mounted on a container, equipped with its compensation device of conical apparent shape, in the open position;

FIG. 5 depicts a perspective view of a plug-lid mounted on a container, equipped with its compensation device of conical apparent shape, in the closed position, said compensation device resting on the conditioned product;

FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view from underneath of the plug-lid separated from its compensation device of conical apparent shape;

FIG. 7 depicts a perspective view of a compensation device of conical apparent shape, having a skirt enabling it to be mounted by clipping onto the bottom of the plug-lid;

FIG. 8 depicts a perspective view of a plug-lid mounted on a container, in the open position, but separated from its compensation device of conical apparent shape, having a skirt as depicted in FIG. 7.

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of a plug-lid (1) according to the invention, mounted on a container (2), equipped with its compensation device (3) of pyramidal apparent shape, in the open position.

The plug-lid (1) according to the invention comprises:

    • a means (4) of sealed occlusion of the open end of a tubular container (2), constituting the conditioning area for stacked products (20), said occlusion means also comprising a gripping tab (16) intended to facilitate the opening of the plug-lid,
    • a dehydrating means (5) placed on the part of the occlusion means (4) internal to the container, which is a housing (6) in which a desiccant (7) is placed, said housing being closed by a moisture-porous membrane (8);
    • a fixing means (9) placed between the occlusion means (4) and the open end of the tubular container (2), mechanically engaging irreversibly on said container (2), at the time of its final closure after it has been filled;
    • a hinge (10) making it possible to connect the occlusion means (4) to the fixing means (9);
    • a tamper indicator (11) having the ability to visually indicate the first opening of said container equipped with its plug-lid (1), said tamper indicator being constituted by divisible bridges (12) positioned between the fixing ring type fixing means (9) and the occlusion means (4);
    • a compensation means (3), that is to say the compensation device making it possible to keep the conditioned products (20) under a mechanical pressure with a view to avoiding the risk of having said stacked products, before use, move unintendedly inside the container during transport.

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of a plug-lid (1) mounted on a container (2), equipped with its compensation device (3) of pyramidal apparent shape, in the closed position, said compensation device (3) resting on the conditioned product (20).

FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view from underneath of the plug-lid (1) separated from its compensation device (3) of pyramidal apparent shape. Said compensation device (3) comprises four opposing strips (13) distributed regularly in space, connected at their lower ends to a large circular base (14) connected to the lower part of the plug-lid and at their upper end to a small circular base of very small size (15) in physical contact with the conditioned product.

FIG. 4 depicts a perspective view of a plug-lid (1) mounted on a container (2), equipped with its compensation device (3) of conical apparent shape, in the open position. The difference compared with FIG. 1 lies in the conical and not polyhedral apparent shape of the compensation device.

FIG. 5 depicts a perspective view of a plug-lid (1) mounted on a container (2), equipped with its compensation device (3) of conical apparent shape, in the closed position, said compensation device resting on the conditioned product (20). The difference compared to FIG. 2 lies in the shape of the compensation device, of conical configuration.

FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view from underneath of the plug-lid (1) separated from its compensation device (3) of conical apparent shape. Said compensation device (3) comprises three spirals (13) regularly distributed in space, connected at their lower ends to a large circular base (14) connected to the lower part of the plug-lid (1) and at their upper end to a small circular base of very small size (15) in physical contact with the conditioned product.

FIG. 7 depicts a perspective view of a compensation device of conical apparent shape, having a skirt allowing it to be mounted by clipping at the bottom of the plug-lid. Said compensation device (3) comprises three spirals (13) regularly distributed in space, connected at their lower ends to a large circular base (14), itself connected to the lower part of the plug-lid (1) by means of a cylindrical skirt (16) and a circular collar (17) and at their upper end to a small circular base of very small size (15) in physical contact with the conditioned product. The circular collar (17) clips into a suitable circular housing positioned at the bottom of the plug-lid.

FIG. 8 depicts a perspective view of a plug-lid (1) mounted on a container (2), in the open position but separated from its compensation device (3) of conical apparent shape, having a skirt (16), with a collar (17).