(19)
(11)EP 3 476 758 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
10.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/24

(21)Application number: 18201773.1

(22)Date of filing:  22.10.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B65D 35/44(2006.01)
B65D 51/18(2006.01)
B65D 47/08(2006.01)

(54)

FLIP-TOP TUBE WITH TAMPER-EVIDENT SEAL

TUBE MIT SCHWENKVERSCHLUSS UND ORIGINALITÄTS-FOLIENVERSIEGELUNG

TUBE À CAPUCHON BASCULANT COMPORTANT UN FILM D'ÉTANCHÉITÉ INVIOLABLE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 27.10.2017 IT 201700122710

(43)Date of publication of application:
01.05.2019 Bulletin 2019/18

(73)Proprietor: GFL S.A.
6900 Lugano (CH)

(72)Inventor:
  • ROSSI, Luigi
    6900 LUGANO (CH)

(74)Representative: Pulieri, Gianluca Antonio 
Jacobacci & Partners S.p.A. Piazza della Vittoria, 11
25122 Brescia
25122 Brescia (IT)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A- 5 967 384
US-A1- 2016 023 818
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention is in the field of plastic tubes for the containment of products such as creams, pastes, thick liquids and the like.

    [0002] Such tubes have a very low production cost and an enormous practicality of use; in effect, for dispensing the product, it is sufficient to squeeze the tube until the desired amount of substance has been dispensed.

    [0003] Such tubes have countless uses and are particularly appreciated for containing cosmetic products, such as creams for skin or make-up, or for hygiene, such as shampoos, bath foams, and the like.

    [0004] Such tubes typically have two types of closure: by means of a cap applicable to the head of the tube by screwing and by means of a cap integral with the head, which may be rotated and snap-locked thereon. The latter type is usually called "flip-top" and is for example illustrated in the document FR 2731983. A flip-top tube as defined in the preamble of claim 1 is disclosed in document US 5967384 A1.

    [0005] In particular, the present invention refers to the sector of plastic tubes with flip-top closure, equipped with a tamper-evident seal that reveals the first opening of the tube.

    [0006] In particular, the present invention aims to create a plastic tube with flip-top closure that is equipped with a particularly efficient tamper-evident seal, i.e., such as to clearly reveal that the tube has been opened, and is particularly economical to make.

    [0007] This and other purposes are achieved by a plastic tube according to claim 1; the dependent claims describe variant embodiments.

    [0008] The features and advantages of the tube according to the present invention will be apparent from the description given below, provided by way of non-limiting example, in accordance with the accompanying figures, wherein:
    • figure 1 shows a finished tube, according to an embodiment of the present invention, in a closed configuration, with an intact tamper-evident seal;
    • figure 2 represents the tube of figure 1 without label film;
    • figure 3 shows a semi-finished tube from which the finished tube in figure 1 is derived;
    • figure 4 shows a tube head of figure 1 in a closed configuration;
    • figure 5 shows the tube head of figure 4, in an open configuration;
    • figure 6 represents a further view of the tube head of figure 1, in the closed configuration;
    • figure 7 shows a label film with a weakened portion;
    • figure 8 shows the tube head in an open configuration;
    • figure 9 shows the tube head in a closed configuration with the tamper-evident seal broken.


    [0009] With reference to the accompanying figures, a finished tube, intended for the containment and dispensing of a product, typically a cream, a paste product or a thick liquid, is wholly indicated at 1.

    [0010] The finished tube 1 comprises a tubular body 2 and a label film 4, applied to the outer side surface of the tubular body, for example, wrapped around it.

    [0011] The tubular body 2 is preferably made of a single piece of plastic material, starting with a semi-finished tube 10.

    [0012] The semi-finished tube 10 is preferably obtained by means of injection molding and has a cylindrical shape along a main axis X, between an open end 12, which has an opening 14, and an opposite end 16, closed by a cap 18, which will be discussed below.

    [0013] Typically, the label film 4 is first applied to the semi-finished tube 10, and then filled with a product through the opening 14. Finally, the open end 12 is closed, usually by welding the peripheral edge of the opening 14, squeezed to form two straight lines, and sometimes folded.

    [0014] At the end 16, the tubular body 2 has a head 20 that closes said end 16 except for a mouth 22, usually in a central position.

    [0015] Preferably, the mouth 22 is delimited annularly by a mouth wall 24, provided with an inner annular undercut 26.

    [0016] Preferably, moreover, the mouth 22 has a septum 28, for example cross-shaped, to limit the passage section of the product when it is dispensed.

    [0017] Moreover, preferably, the head 20 has an annular support 30 for the cap 18, arranged peripherally, having a crown-shaped support surface 30a, substantially lying on an imaginary plane perpendicular to the main axis X.

    [0018] The cap 18 is equipped with a bottom wall 40, preferably flat, with an inner surface 40i and an outer surface 40e which, in a closed configuration, is exposed to the outside.

    [0019] Preferably, moreover, the cap 18 comprises an annular tang wall 42, protruding from the inner surface 40i, suitable to sealingly engage with the mouth wall 24; for example, in the closed configuration, the tang wall 42 fits into the mouth wall 24, creating a seal for the product that will be contained in the tube, snap-engaging with the undercut 26.

    [0020] The cap 18 further comprises an annular side wall 44, which protrudes from the bottom 40 and surrounds it.

    [0021] The cap 18 is joined to the tubular body 2 by means of a hinge 50, consisting of a thin membrane, which allows said cap to be folded over around a hinge axis Y tangent to the tubular body 2.

    [0022] The head 20 preferably further provides for a longitudinal slot 60, for example rectangular in shape, arranged on the outer surface of the tubular body 2 and having a predefined axial extension. In particular, the slot 60 is positioned along the annular support 30 of the head 20.

    [0023] Preferably, the slot 60 is arranged in a predefined angular position, diametrically opposed to the hinge 50.

    [0024] Likewise, the cap 18 comprises a tab 70, preferably of the same shape as the slot 60, protruding from the peripheral edge of the side wall 44.

    [0025] For the tab 70, sides 71a, 71b are defined, which delimit it circumferentially, and a base 71c which forms the free axial edge.

    [0026] When the cap 18 is in the closed configuration wherein it closes the mouth 22, the tab 70 is lodged, at least partially and preferably with play, in the slot 60 of the head 20.

    [0027] According to a preferred embodiment, moreover, the cap 18 comprises a step 80, made in undercut with respect to the outer surface 40e of the bottom wall 40, preferably at the tab 70.

    [0028] For example, said step 80 has a predefined circumferential extension equal to that of the tab 70.

    [0029] Preferably, moreover, at said step 80, the side wall 44 of the cap 18 has a connection surface 90, in the form of a recessed groove, which connects the step 80 with the tab 70.

    [0030] The label film 4 is applied to the tubular body 2 in such a way as to overlap, at least partially, the tab 70, possibly accommodated in the slot 60.

    [0031] For example, said label film consists of a typically rectangular polyethylene film (figure 7), preferably provided with a weakened region 100, for example, weakened by notches.

    [0032] When the label film 4 is applied to the tubular body 2, the weakened region 100 has a predefined circumferential extension; according to a variant embodiment, however, the weakened region extends over the entire circumference of the tubular body (and therefore for the entire width of the film that constitutes the label film).

    [0033] In addition, according to an illustrated embodiment, the label film 4 has an axial extension such as to end near the end of the tubular body 2 closed by welding. According to a variant embodiment, the label film extends axially only for a limited length, so that it has the shape of a ribbon.

    [0034] Moreover, according to the illustrated embodiment, the weakened region 100 is unique. According to a variant embodiment, on the other hand, the label film comprises a plurality of weakened regions, for example, juxtaposed, for example, positioned at the sides 71a, 71b of the tab 80 or at the base 71c thereof, externally or internally to the same tab.

    [0035] In addition, according to the illustrated embodiment, the label film completely wraps the lateral surface of the tubular body. According to a variant embodiment, however, the label film is applied only to a defined region of the side surface of the tubular body.

    [0036] When the label film 4 is applied to the tubular body 2, the weakened region 100 is positioned at the tab 70.

    [0037] For example, according to a preferred embodiment, the weakened region 100 extends above the tab 70 and on the side surface of the tubular body surrounding the tab 70, adjacent to the sides 71a, 71b and/or the base 71c thereof.

    [0038] According to one variant embodiment, the weakened region extends only to the tab; according to another variant, the weakened region extends only to the side surface of the tubular body around the tab, at the sides 71a, 71b and/or the base 71c thereof.

    [0039] In any case, according to the illustrated embodiment, starting with the intact tube 1, lifting the cap 18, for example, by pressing with a finger against the step 80, the weakened region 100 is ripped or torn (figure 8), so that, when the cap is closed, the first opening of the tube is evident (figure 9).

    [0040] In other words, the tab 70 of the cap 18 and the weakened region 100 of the label film 4 constitutes a tamper-evident seal for the tube 1.

    [0041] Innovatively, the tube according to the present invention is equipped with a "flip-top" cap with a tamper-evident seal, particularly reliable in keeping track of the first opening of the tube and particularly easy to make.

    [0042] In effect, the cap does not present any particular production difficulties and the label film would still be applied to the tube as is already done to provide the name of the product, brands and other important information.

    [0043] It is clear that one skilled in the art, in order to meet contingent needs, may make changes to the tube described above, all contained within the scope of protection defined by the following claims.


    Claims

    1. Flip-top tube (1) comprising a tubular body (2) having a mouth (22), a cap (18) having a bottom wall (40), an annular side wall (44), which protrudes from the bottom 40 and surrounds it, a tab (70) protruding from a peripheral edge of the side wall (44), characterized in that the flip-top tube comprises a label film (4) which at least partially wraps the tubular body and covers the tab (70) of the cap (18) to form a tamper-evident seal suitable for indicating the first opening of the tube, wherein said label film (4) comprises at least one structurally weakened region (100) that, when the cap (18) is opened, encounters at least one local rip or tear.
     
    2. Tube according to claim 1, wherein the region (100) is structurally weakened by means of scoring.
     
    3. Tube according to claim 2, wherein said weakened region (100) is applied only on the tab (70).
     
    4. Tube according to claim 2, wherein said weakened region (100) is applied only on regions of the lateral surface of the tubular body surrounding the tab (70).
     
    5. Tube according to claim 2, wherein said weakened region (100) is applied on the tab (70) and on regions of the side surface of the tubular body surrounding the tab (70).
     
    6. Tube according to any one of claims 2 to 5, wherein the weakened region (100) has circumferentially a limited extension.
     
    7. Tube according to any one of claims 2 to 5, wherein the weakened region (100) extends circumferentially over the whole label film (4).
     
    8. Tube according to any one of claims 2 to 7, wherein a plurality of circumferentially juxtaposed weakened regions is provided.
     
    9. Tube according to claim 8, wherein weakened regions are arranged adjacent to the sides (71a, 71b) of the tab (70) and/or a base (71c) thereof.
     
    10. Tube according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the tubular body has a longitudinal slot (60) which, when the cap is closed, houses said tab (70).
     
    11. Tube according to claim 10, wherein the cap (18) has a step (80), undercut with respect to an outer surface (40e) of the bottom wall (40) of the cap (18) near said tab (70).
     
    12. Tube according to claim 11, wherein the cap (18) has a connection surface (90) between the tab (70) and said step (80), embedded and in the form of a groove, to facilitate the engagement with the step (80).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Klappdeckel-Tube (1), umfassend einen röhrenförmigen Körper (2), welcher eine Mündung (22) aufweist, eine Kappe (18) mit einer unteren Wand (40), eine ringförmige Seitenwand (44), welche von dem Boden 40 vorsteht und ihn umgibt, eine Lasche (70), welche von einem Umfangsrand der Seitenwand (44) vorsteht, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Klappdeckel-Tube eine Label-Folie (4) umfasst, welche den röhrenförmigen Körper wenigstens teilweise umgibt und die Lasche (70) der Kappe (18) bedeckt, um eine sicherheitsverpackte Dichtung zu bilden, welche dazu geeignet ist, das erste Öffnen der Tube anzuzeigen, wobei die Label-Folie (4) wenigstens einen strukturell geschwächten Bereich (100) umfasst, welcher, wenn die Kappe (18) geöffnet wird, wenigstens einem lokalen Einriss oder Abriss ausgesetzt ist.
     
    2. Tube nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Bereich (100) mittels Ritzen strukturell geschwächt ist.
     
    3. Tube nach Anspruch 2, wobei der geschwächte Bereich (100) nur auf die Lasche (70) angewendet ist.
     
    4. Tube nach Anspruch 2, wobei der geschwächte Bereich (100) nur auf Bereiche der lateralen Fläche des röhrenförmigen Körpers angewendet ist, welche die Lasche (70) umgeben.
     
    5. Tube nach Anspruch 2, wobei der geschwächte Bereich (100) an der Lasche (70) und an Bereichen der Seitenfläche des röhrenförmigen Körpers angewendet ist, welche die Lasche (70) umgeben.
     
    6. Tube nach einem der Ansprüche 2 bis 5, wobei der geschwächte Bereich (100) umfänglich eine begrenzte Erstreckung aufweist.
     
    7. Tube nach einem der Ansprüche 2 bis 5, wobei sich der geschwächte Bereich (100) umfänglich über die gesamte Label-Folie (4) erstreckt.
     
    8. Tube nach einem der Ansprüche 2 bis 7, wobei eine Mehrzahl von umfänglich nebeneinander angeordneten geschwächten Bereichen bereitgestellt ist.
     
    9. Tube nach Anspruch 8, wobei geschwächte Bereiche den Seiten (71a, 71b) der Lasche (70) und/oder einer Basis (71c) davon benachbart angeordnet sind.
     
    10. Tube nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der röhrenförmige Körper eine longitudinale Ausnehmung (60) aufweist, welche, wenn die Kappe geschlossen ist, die Lasche (70) aufnimmt.
     
    11. Tube nach Anspruch 10, wobei die Kappe (18) eine Stufe (80) aufweist, welche in Bezug auf eine äußere Fläche (40e) der unteren Wand (40) der Kappe (18) nahe der Lasche (70) hinterschnitten ist.
     
    12. Tube nach Anspruch 11, wobei die Kappe (18) eine Verbindungsfläche (90) zwischen der Lasche (70) und der Stufe (80) aufweist, welche eingebettet und in der Form einer Nut ist, um den Eingriff mit der Stufe (80) zu vereinfachen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Tube à capuchon basculant (1) comprenant un corps tubulaire (2) présentant une embouchure (22), un capuchon (18) présentant une paroi inférieure (40), une paroi latérale annulaire (44), qui fait saillie de la paroi inférieure (40) et l'entoure, une languette (70) faisant saillie d'un bord périphérique de la paroi latérale (44), caractérisé en ce que le tube à capuchon basculant comprend un film-étiquette (4) qui enveloppe au moins partiellement le corps tubulaire et recouvre la languette (70) du capuchon (18) pour former un joint d'étanchéité inviolable servant à indiquer la première ouverture du tube, dans lequel ledit film-étiquette (4) comprend au moins une région structurellement fragilisée (100) qui, lorsque le capuchon (18) est ouvert, subit au moins une déchirure ou un arrachement local(e).
     
    2. Tube selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la région (100) est structurellement fragilisée au moyen d'un rainage.
     
    3. Tube selon la revendication 2, dans lequel ladite région fragilisée (100) n'est appliquée que sur la languette (70).
     
    4. Tube selon la revendication 2, dans lequel ladite région fragilisée (100) n'est appliquée que sur des régions de la surface latérale du corps tubulaire entourant la languette (70).
     
    5. Tube selon la revendication 2, dans lequel ladite région fragilisée (100) est appliquée sur la languette (70) et sur des régions de la surface latérale du corps tubulaire entourant la languette (70).
     
    6. Tube selon l'une quelconque des revendications 2 à 5, dans lequel la région fragilisée (100) présente de manière circonférentielle une extension limitée.
     
    7. Tube selon l'une quelconque des revendications 2 à 5, dans lequel la région fragilisée (100) s'étend de manière circonférentielle sur l'ensemble du film-étiquette (4).
     
    8. Tube selon l'une quelconque des revendications 2 à 7, dans lequel une pluralité de régions fragilisées juxtaposées de manière circonférentielle est prévue.
     
    9. Tube selon la revendication 8, dans lequel les régions fragilisées sont agencées de manière adjacente aux côtés (71a, 71b) de la languette (70) et/ou à une base (71c) de celle-ci.
     
    10. Tube selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le corps tubulaire comporte une fente longitudinale (60) qui, lorsque le capuchon est fermé, abrite ladite languette (70).
     
    11. Tube selon la revendication 10, dans lequel le capuchon (18) présente un gradin (80), découpé par rapport à une surface externe (40e) de la paroi inférieure (40) du capuchon (18) près de ladite languette (70).
     
    12. Tube selon la revendication 11, dans lequel le capuchon (18) présente une surface de liaison (90) entre la languette (70) et ledit gradin (80), encastrée et sous la forme d'une rainure, pour faciliter la mise en prise avec le gradin (80).
     




    Drawing




















    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description