Title:
UPGRADED SINGLE-DOSE CONTAINER PARTICULARLY FOR FLUID PRODUCTS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The upgraded single-dose container (1) particularly for fluid products comprises a hollow containment body (2) for a fluid product, a neck (3) that extends from the body having a dispensing mouth (4) for the product and closing means (8) that comprise a grip (9) supporting integral at least one shutter element of the dispensing mouth, a first threaded portion suitable for being associated with a second threaded portion (24) of the neck and a ring-shaped collar (11) arranged on the neck by interposing coupling means associable removable to the grip along pre-established breaking areas.



Inventors:
Fontana, Antonio (Carpi (MO), IT)
Application Number:
12/452501
Publication Date:
05/27/2010
Filing Date:
10/22/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/201, 215/252, 215/329, 215/44
International Classes:
B65D21/02; B65B7/28; B65D41/04; B65D50/00; B65D51/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
KIRSCH, ANDREW THOMAS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COLLARD & ROE, P.C. (ROSLYN, NY, US)
Claims:
1. Upgraded single-dose container particularly for fluid products, comprising a hollow containment body for a fluid product, a neck that extends from said body having at least one dispensing mouth for said product and closing means that comprise a grip supporting integral at least one shutter element of said dispensing mouth, a ring-shaped collar arranged on said neck by interposing coupling means and associable removable to said grip along pre-established breaking areas, wherein said closing means comprise at least one first threaded portion suitable for being associated with at least a second threaded portion of said neck.

2. Container according to claim 1, wherein said neck comprises at least one first substantially cylindrical section arranged close to said body coaxial with said mouth and at least one second substantially cylindrical section smaller in size than said first section, arranged close to said mouth and substantially coaxial with said first section.

3. Container according to claim 1, wherein said neck comprises a third substantially cylindrical section placed in between said first section and said second section.

4. Container according to claim 1, wherein said second threaded portion is placed on the outer surface of said third section.

5. Container according to claim 1, wherein said first threaded portion is arranged on said grip.

6. Container according to claim 1, wherein said coupling means are of the interlocking type.

7. Container according to claim 1, wherein said interlocking means comprise blocking means of said ring-shaped collar in a direction substantially parallel to said neck.

8. Container according to claim 1, wherein said blocking means comprise at least one first circular protrusion located externally on said first section and which can be coupled to at least one second circular protrusion substantially coaxial with said mouth obtained on the inner surface of said ring-shaped collar.

9. Container according to claim 1, wherein said first circular protrusion can be coupled with at least one circular housing obtained on the inner surface of said ring-shaped collar.

10. Container according to claim 1, wherein said second circular protrusion can be coupled with at least one circular housing obtained close to said first area.

11. Container according to claim 1, wherein said blocking means comprise at least one stop element with at least one side recess and arranged externally and transversally to said first section, below said ring-shaped collar and substantially coaxial with said mouth.

12. Container according to claim 1, wherein said stop element is made in a single body piece with said neck.

13. Container according to claim 1, wherein said interlocking means comprise anti-rotation means of said ring-shaped collar on said neck.

14. Container according to claim 1, wherein said anti-rotation means comprise at least one tooth that extends below from said ring-shaped collar and that is associable with said recess obtained on said stop element.

15. Container according to claim 1, wherein said anti-rotation means comprise at least one cavity obtained parallel on said neck and associable with at least one respective projection arranged on said ring-shaped collar.

16. Container according to claim 1, wherein said anti-rotation means comprise at least one projection arranged parallel on said neck and associable with at least one respective cavity obtained on said ring-shaped collar.

17. Container according to claim 1, wherein said grip is substantially plate-shaped.

18. Container according to claim 1, wherein said grip comprises at least one substantially flat outer face.

19. Container according to claim 1, wherein said grip comprises at least one substantially curvilinear outer face.

20. Container according to claim 1, wherein said grip comprises two substantially curvilinear outer faces associated integral to a cap that comprises said shutter element and said first threaded portion.

21. Container according to claim 1, wherein said grip comprises at least one substantially horizontal gripping element.

22. Container according to claim 1, wherein said shutter element comprises at least one substantially cylindrical pin fitted sealed inside said mouth close to said second section.

23. Container according to claim 1, wherein said ring-shaped collar comprises a frame obtained around at least one sector of its top face.

24. Container according to claim 1, wherein said pre-established breaking areas comprise at least one tearable bridge placed in between said grip and said ring-shaped collar.

25. Container according to claim 1, wherein said bridge is arranged on said frame.

26. Container according to claim 1, wherein said bridges are four in number.

27. Container according to claim 1, wherein at least one between said body and said grip comprises at least one area of support to information, data or logos.

28. Container according to claim 1, wherein said coupling means are of the gluing type.

29. Container according to claim 1, wherein said coupling means are of the sealing type.

30. Strip of single-dose containers particularly for fluid products, which comprise a hollow containment body for a fluid product, a neck that extends from said body having at least one dispensing mouth for said product and closing means that comprise a grip supporting integral at least one shutter element of said dispensing mouth, a ring-shaped collar arranged on said neck by interposing coupling means and associable removable to said grip along pre-established breaking areas, wherein said closing means comprise at least one first threaded portion suitable for being associated with at least a second threaded portion of said neck.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to a single-dose container particularly for fluid products.

BACKGROUND ART

With particular reference to the field of packaging pharmaceutical or cosmetic products, the manufacture is known of containers made of polymeric material for packaging liquid, viscous or powdered products.

In particular, the manufacture is known of containers suitable for packaging a single dose of product.

In fact, a fast growing number of users needs to maintain a pharmaceutical substance sealed in its packaging in order to ensure its integrity and effectiveness, preferring the practicality of the single dose to the multi-dose container.

The known containers usually comprise a hollow elongated body that acts as a tank for the product.

At one end of the body, a neck is obtained having an opening out of which the product comes.

The other end, in the first stages of packaging left open, is used to introduce the desired product into the container; after filling, the end lips of the body are brought and joined together using techniques known in the field, for example sealing.

The opening through which the product comes out is sealed with closing means associable removable with the container at the neck.

In particular, the closing means must be able to be repositioned on the opening even after repeated use of the container.

The containment body also has a pair of fins that are suitable for making it easier for the user to hold the bottle, and which extend, in a totally opposite direction, from the outer side surface of the containment body.

The known bottles can be produced in single units or associated in series (strips); in this latter case, the fins of the containment bodies of two subsequent bottles are temporarily associated with each other along predefined pre-breaking lines.

With special reference to the closing means and to their shape according to the different use and production procedures, different types of bottles are known.

A first type of known bottle implies, for example, the use of a cap having a portion fixed to the neck, in the moulding phase and along pre-established breaking areas, for closing the dispensing mouth.

The cap also comprises a cavity suitable for housing the bottle neck, which has a shutter element of the dispensing mouth, and initially turned outwards, on the opposite side with respect to the portion initially fixed to the neck.

The bottle is opened for the first time by detaching the cap from the dispensing mouth at the breaking areas and, after using the product, the bottle is closed again by overturning the cap and fitting the neck in the cavity, positioning the shutter element inside the dispensing mouth.

The particular shape of the cap results however in the possible exposure of the cavity and the shutter element to outside polluting agents before the first use of the bottle, not therefore guaranteeing the integrity of the product during subsequent uses.

To limit the possibilities of product contamination, a second type of re-closeable bottle is known, made in a single body piece, which comprises closing means with a shutter element, of the plug type or the like, fitted sealed inside the dispensing mouth, and deformable or breakable elements that connect, without interruption, the closing means to the body of the bottle.

These deformable or breakable elements are suitable for indicating to the user the possible presence of product contaminations due to possible tampering with and/or to the accidental opening of the product and thereby have a safety seal function.

A third type of bottle is furthermore known in which the closing means and the containment body are made in separate pieces, subsequently assembled together.

The closing means of such bottles generally comprise a grip with a shutter element, of the plug type or the like that can be fitted sealed inside the dispensing mouth, and a ring-shaped collar that can be fixed coaxially and interlocked at the neck of the containment body.

The grip is associated in a removable way at the outer surface of the collar by means of a suitable weakened area, made, e.g., of pre-breaking lines, of tearable bridges, of reduced cross sections, etc.

The grip, the collar and the plug are therefore made in a single body piece, separately from the containment body, and the collar is subsequently fixed to the neck by interlocking, with closing of the dispensing mouth by means of the plug.

These known bottles are however susceptible to further improvements.

The small size of the dispensing mouths, the caps and the shutter elements is in fact a problem for some categories of users.

Visually impaired or elderly people for example, who find it hard to keep their hands still and safe can find it hard to replace the cap correctly on the containment body to re-seal the dispensing opening.

Furthermore, difficulties can also arise in the event of the container being used for the self-application of an eyewash; the visual difficulties caused by using the pharmaceutical product complicate the correct execution of the closing of the dispensing mouth.

Usually in fact, a small sealing pin has to be fitted in the dispensing mouth, an operation that is often not easy for some categories of users.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

The main aim of the present invention is to provide a single-dose container particularly for fluid products that can be opened and re-closed easily, while always maintaining high hygienic and quality standards.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a single-dose container particularly for fluid products that permits overcoming the above-mentioned drawbacks of prior art as part of a simple, rational, easy and effective-use solution that is inexpensive.

The above objects are all achieved by the present upgraded single-dose container particularly for fluid products, comprising a hollow containment body for a fluid product, a neck that extends from said body having at least one dispensing mouth for said product and closing means that comprise a grip supporting integral at least one shutter element of said dispensing mouth, a ring-shaped collar arranged on said neck by interposing coupling means and associable removable to said grip along pre-established breaking areas, characterized in that said closing means comprise at least one first threaded portion suitable for being associated with at least a second threaded portion of said neck.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further characteristics and advantages of the present invention will appear more evident from the description of a preferred, but not exclusive, embodiment of a single-dose container particularly for fluid products, illustrated indicatively by way of non limiting example, in the attached drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded front view of a container according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded side view of a container according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is a section front view of a container according to the invention;

FIG. 4 is a section side view of a container according to the invention;

FIG. 5 is a front view of a plurality of containers according to the invention;

FIG. 6 is an assonometrica view of a plurality of containers according to the invention.

WAYS OF CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

With special reference to such figures, a single-dose container particularly for fluid products and usable for packaging pharmaceutical, cosmetic products or the like, has been globally designated by reference number 1.

The container 1 is composed of one or more polymer materials such as polyethylene or polypropylene, for example, workable and formable using known techniques such as moulding or injection.

The container 1 comprises a hollow containment body 2 for containing a fluid product and a neck 3 that extends from the hollow body 2 having a dispensing mouth 4 at its end.

The hollow body 2, in the particular embodiment shown in the figures, has an elongated shape to allow housing the desired quantity of fluid product and to make the subsequent closing of the bottom of the container 1 easier (e.g., by hot sealing the lower lips).

The neck 3 is located at the non-recloseable end of the hollow body 2, and is composed of a first section 5 arranged in contact with the hollow body 2, a second section 6 of smaller dimensions than those of the first section 5, and a third section 7 placed in between the first section 5 and the second section 6.

The sections 5, 6 and 7 are, in the particular embodiment shown in the figures, cylindrical and coaxial with the mouth 4.

On the upper end of the second section 6 the dispensing mouth 4 is obtained through which the fluid is made to exit from the container 1; usefully, the reduced diameter of the second section 6 is suitable for favouring the controlled dosing of the fluid product for example when the application in drops is necessary.

The container 1 comprises closing means 8 for closing the dispensing mouth 4 which are associable removable with the hollow body 2 at the neck 3, and which comprise a grip 9, a shutter element 10, and a ring-shaped collar 11.

The grip 9 is shaped so as to favour gripping with the hands of the user and to make it easier to open the container 1; in the preferred embodiment shown in the figures, the grip 9 is composed of two curvilinear faces that define an elongated shape suitable for ensuring easier use including on the part of visually impaired or elderly people.

That the grip 9 be made in a plate shape, in a rounded shape, or with both flat or rounded portions cannot be ruled out.

Nor can it be ruled out that the grip comprise gripping elements, such as, for example, horizontal fins to make application of the force required for its removal easier.

The shutter element 10 consists of a vertical cylindrical pin or of a cylindrical body that is supported integral by the grip 9 in a coaxial position compared to the dispensing mouth 4, in which it is suitable for being fitted hermetically when the closing means 8 are in the tightening configuration of the container 1.

In particular, the shutter element 10 seals the dispensing mouth 4 inserting itself into the second section 6 of the neck 3.

The ring-shaped collar 11 is associated with the neck 3 by interposing coupling means which, in the embodiment shown in the figures, consist of interlocking means 12.

Advantageously, the interlocking means 12 are made of blocking means 13 and of anti-rotation means 14, the combination of which blocks the ring-shaped collar 11 fixing it to the neck 3.

The blocking means 13 block the ring-shaped collar 11 in a vertical direction parallel to the neck 3, and consist of a first circular protrusion 15 located on the neck 3 which can be coupled in undercut to a second circular protrusion 16 obtained on the inner surface of the ring-shaped collar 11, and of a stop element 17.

The first circular protrusion 15 and the second circular protrusion 16 are coaxial with the dispensing mouth 4.

The stop element 17 is located externally and transversally to the neck 3 close to the first section 5, below the ring-shaped collar 11 and coaxial with the dispensing mouth 4.

In particular, the stop element 17 is made in a single body piece with the hollow body 2 and has two recesses 18 of its side edge; the ring-shaped collar 11, furthermore, has a smaller diameter compared to the dimensions of the stop element 17.

Advantageously, the stop element 17 blocks the ring-shaped collar 11 in the direction not already prevented by the coupling between the first and the second circular protrusion 15 and 16.

Other embodiments cannot however be ruled out in which the blocking means 13 consist of one or more protrusions of the type of the circular protrusions 15 and 16, placed on the neck 3 and in addition or alternatively on the ring-shaped collar 11, and which are suitable for being associated with a respective circular housing obtained on the ring-shaped collar 11 when the protrusion is on the neck 3 or vice versa.

The coupling means also comprise anti-rotation means 14 which are suitable for preventing the rotation of the ring-shaped collar 11 around the neck 3, and consist of two teeth 19 which protrude downwards from the lower surface of the ring-shaped collar 11 and are associated with the two recesses 18 obtained on the stop element 17.

Alternatively, the anti-rotation means 14 can also consist of one or more projections, located on the neck 3 and on the ring-shaped collar 11 parallel to the neck 3 which engage reciprocally, or which fit in respective protrusions obtained on the ring-shaped collar 11 when the projection is on the neck 3 or vice versa.

With the blocking means 13 and the anti-rotation means 14, the ring-shaped collar 11 can be neither removed nor turned, and is therefore blocked on the neck 3; to remove, or correctly fit, the ring-shaped collar 11 enough force must be applied to overcome the undercut of the blocking means 13.

It cannot however be ruled out that the coupling means can be of the gluing type, of the sealing type or that the ring-shaped collar 11 be made in a single body piece with the neck 3.

Advantageously, the grip 9 comprises a first threaded portion 20 which is suitable for being associated with a second threaded portion 21 arranged on the neck 3.

The first threaded portion 20 is obtained inside a cap 22 contained in the grip 9; the second threaded portion 21 is placed externally on the third section 7, in a position suitable for receiving the corresponding first threaded portion 20 when the grip 9 is associated with the body 2, so as to produce the correct seal between the two parts.

The particular shape of the grip 9 ensures easier closing of the dispensing mouth 4, because it is no longer necessary to position the shutter element 10 exactly on the dispensing mouth 4, but it is enough to couple the second section 6 with the cap 22 obtaining the closing of the dispensing mouth 4 by means of the shutter element 10 by simply screwing up the grip 9 on the neck 3.

Furthermore, the closing of the container 1 thus obtained is safer than traditional closings without thread, because the screwing up of the grip 9 on the neck 3 creates a hermetic seal of the dispensing mouth 4 able to resist any accidental stresses that often cause the removal of the seal and therefore the accidental opening of the traditional containers.

Advantageously, the ring-shaped collar 11 is associated removable to the grip 9 along pre-established breaking areas which consist of four tearable bridges 23.

The tearable bridges 23 are arranged on the upper surface of the ring-shaped collar 11 and join the lower surface of the grip 9.

In particular, the tearable bridges 23 can be placed on a frame 24 obtained around the ring-shaped collar 11, represented in the figures as two tips protruding from the ring-shaped collar 11 and arranged parallel to the grip 9.

Usefully, the container 1 can be equipped with an area 25 of support to information, data or logos in the form of labels, engravings or reliefs, so that the user can easily be informed on the contents of the container 1, on the origin or on the date of expiry; the area 25 can for example be obtained on the body 2 or on the grip 9.

When the container 1 is first opened, or in the event of its being tampered with, the tearable bridges 23 are irreversibly lacerated, permitting the user to determine that the fluid product contained inside could perhaps not have maintained the quality standards guaranteed by the manufacturer.

The container 1 can be associated in series with other similar or identical containers 1 as shown in the FIGS. 5 and 6, so as to produce strips of desired length that are easy to store, transport and use.

For this purpose, each container 1 has a pair of side protrusions 26 which are suitable for being associated with the respective side protrusions of the adjacent container 1 and breakable at the time of separation.

The containers 1 can also be associated by means of special pre-breaking lines obtained along the outer edge of the grip 9.

It has in fact be ascertained how the described invention achieves the proposed objects.

In particular, the fact is underlined that the container according to the invention solves the problems tied to the difficulty of closing small-size containers again, in particular when they are used by particular types of users such as elderly people or the visually impaired.

The presence of the thread does in fact make grip positioning operations easier and ensures the perfect closing and sealing of the dispensing mouth in order to best protect the product characteristics.

Furthermore, the presence of various solutions such as a ring-shaped collar fixed on the neck of the bottle and control means for controlling the integrity of the product make the container suitable for catering for the requirements of all users and for surpassing the stringent quality standards with which the containers of fluid products such as pharmaceuticals or cosmetics must comply.

The invention thus conceived is susceptible of numerous modifications and variations, all of which are within the scope of the appended claims.

All the details may further be replaced with other technically equivalent ones.

In practice, the material used, as well as the shapes and the dimensions, may be any according to requirements without thereby abandoning the scope of the appended claims.