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Title:
CLOSING MEANS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/148764
Kind Code:
A3
Abstract:
Closing means comprises a neck (6) with which a cap (7) is associable, said neck (6) having an end closed by a wall (14), in said end there being provided a weakening line (15) that surrounds said neck (6), said cap (7) being provided with opening promoting means (28) arranged for engaging with further opening promoting means (29) of said wall (14) to separate at least a part of said wall (14) of said neck (6) along said weakening line (15).

Inventors:
PARRINELLO, Fiorenzo (Via Zanardi 122/A, Medicina, I-40059, IT)
PUCCI, Fabrizio (Via Marconi 27, Castel Guelfo di Bologna, I-40023, IT)
LARSSON, Bo (Mäster Olofs väg 9, Lund, S-224 66, SE)
Application Number:
EP2008/056856
Publication Date:
February 12, 2009
Filing Date:
June 03, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SACMI COOPERATIVA MECCANICI IMOLA SOCIETA' COOPERATIVA (Via Selice Provinciale 17/A, Imola, I-40026, IT)
PARRINELLO, Fiorenzo (Via Zanardi 122/A, Medicina, I-40059, IT)
PUCCI, Fabrizio (Via Marconi 27, Castel Guelfo di Bologna, I-40023, IT)
LARSSON, Bo (Mäster Olofs väg 9, Lund, S-224 66, SE)
International Classes:
B65D51/22; B26D9/00
Foreign References:
EP1129956A12001-09-05
EP0194068A21986-09-10
US4181232A1980-01-01
US2317420A1943-04-27
FR2150226A11973-04-06
US5660289A1997-08-26
US20050005757A12005-01-13
GB2080775A1982-02-10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CRUGNOLA, Pietro (Via Camperio 11, Milano, I-20123, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. Closing means, comprising a neck (6) with which a cap

(7) is associable, said neck (6) having an end closed by a wall (14), in said end there being provided a weakening line (15) that surrounds said neck (6), said cap (7) being provided with opening promoting means

(28) arranged for engaging further opening promoting means (29) of said wall (14) to separate at least a part of said wall (14) from said neck (6) along said weakening line (15) .

2. Closing means according to claim 1, wherein said opening promoting means (28) and said further opening promoting means (29) cooperate with a base wall (34) of said cap (7) for defining a containing zone (35) that retains said at least a part of said wall (14), after said at least a part of said wall (14) has been separated from said neck (6) .

3. Closing means according to claim 1, or 2, wherein, before said cap (7) is removed from said neck (6) for the first time, said opening promoting means (28) and said further opening promoting means (29) are separated by a preset distance.

4. Closing means according to any preceding claim, wherein said opening promoting means (28) comprises a plurality of opening elements staggered along a longitudinal axis (A) of said closing means.

5. Closing means according to any preceding claim, wherein said opening promoting means (28) comprises hook means projecting inside said cap (7) from a side wall (37) of said cap (7) .

6. Closing means according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein said opening promoting means (28) comprises tab means (30) having an end (31) hinged on a side wall

(37) of said cap (7) and projecting inside said cap (7) .

7. Closing means according to any preceding claim, wherein said weakening line (15) is defined by at least a weakened portion (16; 20, 21; 22, 23; 24, 25, 26) extending transversely to a longitudinal axis (A) of said closing means.

8. Closing means according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein said weakening line (15) is defined by at least a weakened portion (18) extending substantially parallel to a longitudinal axis (A) of said closing means .

9. Closing means according to claim 8, or 9, wherein said at least a weakened portion comprises at least a first weakened portion (20; 22; 24) and at least a second weakened portion (21; 23; 25, 26), said at least a first weakened portion (20; 22; 24) and said at least a second weakened portion (21; 23; 25, 26) extending from opposite sides (17, 19) of a wall of said container portion (2) through a part of the thickness of said wall . 10. Closing means according to claim 9, wherein said at least a first weakened portion (20) and said at least a second weakened portion (21) are mutually aligned.

11. Closing means according to claim 9, wherein said at least a first weakened portion (22; 24) and said at least a second weakened portion (23; 25, 26) are mutually staggered.

12. Closing means according to any preceding claim, and further comprising seal means (38) arranged for making a seal between said cap (7) and said neck (6) after said at least a portion of said wall (14) has been separated from said neck (6) .

13. Closing means according to any preceding claim, wherein said container part (2) comprises a barrier material that is a barrier to gas and/or to light.

14. Closing means according to any preceding claim, and further comprising a container part (2) provided with an end zone and with a container body (3) .

15. Closing means according to claim 14, wherein said container part (2) comprises a dome (41) .

16. Closing means according to claim 15, wherein said dome

(41) comprises a material that is a barrier to the gases and/or to the light.

17. Closing means according to claim 15 or 16, wherein said neck (6) comprises a threaded portion distinct from said dome (41) and applied to said dome (41), said threaded portion being arranged for engaging a further threaded portion of said cap (7) .

18. Closing means, comprising a first element (2; 62) and a second element (14; 65) between which a weakening line

(15) is provided, characterised in that said weakening line (15) comprises at least a first weakened portion

(20; 22; 24) and at least a second weakened portion

(21, 23, 25; 26), said at least a first weakened portion (20; 22; 24) and said at least a second weakened portion (21, 23, 25; 26) extending from opposite sides (17, 19) of a wall (61) of said closing means through a part of the thickness of said wall

(61) . 19. Closing means according to claim 18, wherein said at least a first weakened portion (20) and said at least a second weakened portion (21) are mutually aligned.

20. Closing means according to claim 18, wherein said at least a first weakened portion (22; 24) and said at least a second weakened portion (23; 25, 26) are mutually staggered.

21. Closing means according to any one of claims 18 to 20, wherein said at least a first weakened portion (20; 22; 24) and said at least a second weakened portion (21, 23, 25; 26) extend transversely to a longitudinal axis (A; B) of said closing means.

22. Closing means according to any one of claims 18 to 20, wherein said at least a first weakened portion and said at least a second weakened portion extend substantially parallel to a longitudinal axis (A; B) of said closing means .

23. Closing means according to any one of claims 18 to 22, wherein said first element comprises a container neck

(6), and said second element comprises a wall (14) that closes an end of said neck (6) . 24. Closing means according to claim 23, and further comprising a container part (2), said container part

(2) being provided with an end zone of a container body

(3) .

25. Closing means according to any one of claims 18 to 22, wherein said first element comprises a cap (62) and said second element comprises a tamperproof ring (65).

26. Closing means according to any preceding claim, wherein said further opening promoting means (29) is associated to a further tab means (100) having an end (101) hinged on the neck (6) and a further end (102) opposite the end (101), arranged for interacting with said opening promoting means (28) .

27. Closing means according to claim 26, wherein said further tab means (100) comprises a continuous tab extending through at least a portion of the circumference of the neck (6) .

28. Closing means according to claim 26 wherein said further tab means (100) comprises a plurality of distinct tabs. 29. Closing means according to any of claims 26 to 28, wherein said further tab means (100) has a variable height . 30. Closing means according to one of claims 1 to 25 wherein said opening promoting means (28) is associated to a further tab means (100') having an end (101') hinged on the cap (7) and a further end (102') opposite

the end (101' ), arranged for interacting with said further opening promoting means (29) .

31. Closing means according to claim 30, wherein said further tab means (100') comprises a continuous tab extending through at least a portion of the circumference of the cap (7) .

32. Closing means according to claim 30, wherein said further tab means (100') comprises a plurality of distinct tabs. 33. Closing means according to any of claims 30 to 32, wherein said further tab means (100') has a variable height .

34. Closing means according to any of claims 1 to 25, wherein said opening promoting means (28) comprises tab means (103) having an end (104) hinged on the cap (7) and a further end (105), opposite the end (104), arranged for interacting with said further opening promoting means (29) .

35. Closing means according to claim 34, wherein said further tab means (103) comprises a continuous tab extending through at least a portion of the circumference of the cap (7) .

36. Closing means according to claim 34, wherein said tab means (103) comprises a plurality of distinct tabs. 37. Closing means according to any of claims 34 to 36, wherein said tab means (103) has a variable height.

38. Closing means according to any of claims 1 to 25, wherein said opening promoting means (28) are provided with an elastically deformable end portion (106), suitable to interact with said further opening promoting means (29), a non-through incision (108) facing downward is provided between said end portion (106) and said opening promoting means (28).

39. Closing means according to any of claims 1 to 25, wherein said opening promoting means (28) are provided with an elastically deformable end portion (107),

suitable to interact with said further opening promoting means (29), a non-through incision (109) facing upward is provided between said end portion

(107) and said opening promoting means (28) . 40. Closing means according to any of claims 1 to 25, wherein said opening promoting means (28) comprises first tab means (110) having an end (111) hinged on the cap (7) and a further end (112) opposite said end

(111), said further opening promoting means (29) comprising second tab means (113) having an end (114) hinged on the neck (6) and a further end (115) opposite said end (114), arranged for interacting with said first tab means (110) .

41. Closing means according to claim 40, wherein said first tab means (110) and said second tab means (113) comprises a respective continuous tab extending through at least a portion of the circumference of the cap (7) and the neck (6), respectively.

42. Closing means according to claim 40, wherein said first tab means (110) and said second tab means (113) comprises a plurality of respective distinct tabs.

43. Closing means according to any of claims 40 to 42 wherein said first tab means (110) has a variable length . 44. Closing means according to any of claims 1 to 25, wherein said opening promoting means (28) comprises at least one radial protrusion (116) provided on the cap

(7) and facing toward the neck (6) and said further opening promoting means (29) comprises at least one further radial protrusion (117) provided on the end potion (14) of the neck (6) and facing toward the cap

(7), said at least one radial protrusions (116) having an inclined surface (118) facing downward, said at least one further radial protrusions (117) having an inclined surface (119) facing upward.

45. Closing means according to any of claims 1 to 25, wherein said opening promoting means (28) comprises at least one radial projection (120), provided in the cap

(7) and facing toward the neck (6) and said further opening promoting means (29) comprises at least one further radial projection (121) provided in the end portion (14) of the neck (6) and facing toward the cap

(7), said at least one radial projection (120) being capable of engaging said at least one further radial projection (121) when the cap (7) is being removed from the neck ( 6) .

46. Closing means according to any of claims 1 to 45, wherein said neck (6) is provided with an end portion

(14') having a convex shape. 47. Closing means according to any of claims 1 to 45, wherein an end portion (14") of said neck (6) is provided with a peripheral portion (122), inclined toward the neck (6) .

48. Closing means according to claim 47, wherein said peripheral portion is divided into sections (122A) separated from each other by respective ribs (123B) .

49. Closing means according to any of claims 1 to 48, wherein said neck (6) is provided with an annular inner protrusion (123) arranged immediately below said weakening line (15) .

50. A scoring device for scoring a weakening line in closing means according to any of claims 1 to 49, characterized in that it comprises mandrel means (125) insertable into a neck (6) of said closing means to guide the neck (6) during scoring operations and a support element (126) on which said neck (6) rests during scoring operations.

51. Scoring device according to claim 50, wherein said mandrel means (125) are provided with indentations (128) capable of engaging with corresponding indentations of said neck (6) .

52. Scoring device according to claim 50, or 51, wherein said support element (126) is rotatable around an axis coinciding with an axis of said mandrel means (125) .

Description:

Closing means

The invention relates to closing means for a container, comprising a neck with which a cap is associable. In particular, the closing means can be provided with a container part comprising, in addition to the aforesaid neck, an end zone of a container body.

The invention further relates to closing means provided with a weakening line. Closing devices are known that are associable with containers, in particular with containers obtained from a sheet of multilayered material, comprising a dispensing nozzle and a cap associable with the dispensing nozzle. The dispensing nozzle comprises a base that is fixable to a container body and a neck that is provided with a thread arranged for cooperating with a corresponding further thread provided inside the cap. The neck comprises a side wall, in which the aforesaid thread is obtained, and an end wall. The end wall defines, together with an upper portion of the side wall, a closing element arranged for being removed from the neck when the closing element is opened for the first time. The cap is provided with a plurality of penetrating elements, that extend from a side shell of the cap to the inside of the cap, which penetrating elements are arranged for removing the aforesaid closing element from the neck when the cap is unscrewed from the neck.

The penetrating elements comprise an edge arranged for cutting a portion of the material that forms the neck in such a way as to separate the closing element from the neck. The dispensing nozzle is obtained from a disc made of plastics that is vacuum thermoformed directly inside the cap. In other words, the cap acts as a mould cavity for forming the dispensing nozzle.

In order to manufacture the closing devices disclosed above very complex and costly moulds are necessary.

In particular, in order to obtain caps comprising penetrating elements that have great stiffness and a sharp edge special moulds are necessary.

Further, the aforesaid moulds have to operate with rather slow work cycles, which noticeably limit the efficiency of forming apparatuses that are equipped with such moulds. The manufacturing process for manufacturing the closing devices disclosed above is further complicated by the fact that the dispensing nozzle has to be formed directly inside the cap.

Caps are known - for example of the screw cap type, or of the snap cap type - that are associable with containers for closing a dispensing opening thereof. These caps comprise a side shell from which a tamperproof ring leads away that acts as an indicating element indicating that the cap has been opened. Between the side shell and the tamperproof ring there is provided a weakening line defined by a plurality of breakable bridge elements that are intended to be fractured when the cap is removed from the container for the first time. The breakable bridge elements can be obtained by providing ribs projecting inside the cap from a wall of the cap that defines the cylindrical shell and the tamperproof ring and making a cut that completely passes through the thickness of said wall, but which does not completely pass through the thickness of said ribs .

Alternatively, ribs are not provided and, through a suitably shaped blade, through cuts are made in the aforesaid wall between which non-cut portions are interposed that define the breakable bridge elements.

A drawback of the caps disclosed above is that when the cap is removed from the container for the first time, the breakable bridge elements are deformed axially in a significant manner, before breaking. The seal between the cap and the container therefore is lacking before the breakage of the breakable bridge elements.

Further, after the breakable bridge elements have been broken, in the breaking zones there are flashes and residue of plastics - with which the caps are made - that detract from the appearance of the caps and, being pointed and/or sharp, may accidentally injure a user.

An object of the invention is to improve known closing means .

Another object of the invention is to obtain closing means comprising a closing portion that initially defines a part of a neck of the closing means and that is subsequently removed by a cap of the closing means when the cap is removed from the neck, which closing means is very simple to manufacture . A further object is to obtain closing means comprising a weakening line that is simple to be made and enables the cap means to be opened effectively.

In a first aspect of the invention, there is provided closing means, comprising a container part provided with an end zone of a container body and with a neck with which a cap is associable, said neck having an end closed by a wall, in said end there being provided a weakening line that surrounds said neck, said cap being provided with opening promoting means arranged for engaging further opening promoting means of said wall to separate at least a part of said wall from said neck along said weakening line.

Owing to this aspect of the invention it is possible to obtain closing means that is simpler to manufacture than the known closing devices. As the weakening line significantly facilitates the removal from the neck of at least a part of the aforesaid wall, the opening promoting means and the further opening promoting means may have rather a simple shape. Consequently, the container part and the cap can be formed using conventional moulds. In particular, owing to the weakening line - which promotes a first opening of the closing means - the opening promoting means, unlike what occurs in known closing

devices, does not have to be provided with stiff and sharp penetrating elements that cut the material, for example plastics, that form a wall of the closing devices. In the cap means according to the invention, in fact, the opening promoting means, by cooperating with the further opening promoting means, fractures the plastics along the weakening line without having to penetrate the aforesaid plastics to cut the plastics. In addition, as the opening promoting means has a much simpler conformation than the penetrating elements of the known closing devices, the container part can be formed into a dedicated mould - and not directly inside the cap - and be associated with the cap subsequently, which significantly simplifies the manufacturing process for manufacturing the container part and enables the precision of coupling between the cap and the neck to be improved.

In an embodiment, the closing means comprises a container part provided with an end zone of a container body and of the aforesaid neck. In a second aspect of the invention, there is provided closing means, comprising a first element and a second element between which a weakening line is provided, characterised in that said weakening line comprises at least a first weakened portion and at least a second weakened portion, said at least a first weakened portion and said at least a second weakened portion extending from opposite sides of a wall of said closing means through a part of the thickness of said wall. Owing to this aspect of the invention, it is possible to obtain closing means in which a wall zone of the cap means in which there is the weakening line does not stretch significantly when the first element and the second element are moved away from one another. Further, after the first element and the second element have been separated from one another along the weakening line, in the aforesaid wall zone there are much fewer flashes and/or

residues than in the case of known breakable bridge elements .

In addition, the weakening line can be obtained with a degree of repeatability that is greater than is the case with known bridge elements.

In the cap means according to the invention, the at least a first weakened portion and the at least a second weakened portion can be made, for example, by a blade, by means of an ultrasound device, by a laser device, by reducing the wall zone thickness obtained directly in a forming mould in which the closing means is formed, etc.

In all the aforesaid cases, the width of the weakened portion - and, consequently, the force that a user has to apply to the closing means to separate the first element from the second element - can be controlled precisely and be maintained substantially constant.

On the other hand, in the case of known bridge elements, the interaction of a continuous blade with a wall provided with ribs, or the interaction of a shaped blade with a continuous wall, are very difficult to control, for example due to blade wear and/or deformability of the plastics which form the objects in which incisions are to be made. Consequently, the breakable bridge elements may have cross sections having an extent that differs significantly from a theoretically provided extent, which involves significant variations of the force that has to be applied by a user to break the breakable bridge elements.

The invention can be better understood and implemented with reference to the attached drawings, which show some embodiments thereof by way of non-limiting example, in which :

Figure 1 is a partially fragmentary section, taken along a longitudinal plane, of closing means; Figure 2 is a section like the one in Figure 1 showing an embodiment of the closing means in a closed configuration;

Figure 3 is a section like the one in Figure 1 showing the closing means in Figure 2 in an open configuration;

Figure 4 is a section like the one in Figure 1 showing another embodiment of the closing means in a closed configuration;

Figure 5 is a section like the one in Figure 1 showing the closing means in Figure 4 in an open configuration;

Figure 6 is a section like the one in Figure 1 showing a further embodiment of the closing means; Figure 7 is a section like the one in Figure 1 showing a still further embodiment of the closing means;

Figure 8 is a section like the one in Figure 1 showing a container part of the closing means in Figure 7;

Figure 9 is a section like the one in Figure 1 showing a still further embodiment of the closing means;

Figure 10 is a section like the one in Figure 1 showing a container part of the closing means in Figure 9;

Figure 11 is a schematic section taken along a longitudinal plane showing a weakening line of the closing means; Figure 12 is a section like the one in Figure 11 showing an embodiment of the weakening line;

Figure 13 is a section like the one in Figure 11 showing another embodiment of the weakening line;

Figure 14 is a section like the one in Figure 11 showing a further embodiment of the weakening line;

Figure 15 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of a further embodiment of the closing means;

Figure 16 is a detail of Figure 15;

Figure 17 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of a cap having a body and a tamperproof ring between which a weakening line is interposed;

Figure 18 is a schematic section taken along a longitudinal plane of a device for scoring closing means for obtaining a weakening line of the type shown in Figure 12;

Figure 19 is a schematic section taken along a longitudinal plane of a device for scoring closing means for obtaining a weakening line of the type shown in Figure 14;

Figure 20 is a schematic section taken along a longitudinal plane of a device for scoring closing means for obtaining a weakening line of the type shown in Figure 13;

Figure 21 is a side view of a blade of a device for scoring closing means;

Figure 22 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of a still further embodiment of the closing means, in a closed configuration;

Figure 23 is a section like the section of Figure 22 showing the closing means in an assembly configuration;

Figure 24 is a section like the section of Figure 22 showing the closing means in an open configuration;

Figure 25 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of another embodiment of the closing means, in a closed configuration;

Figure 26 is a section like the section of Figure 25 showing the closing means in an assembly configuration;

Figure 27 is a section like the section of Figure 25 showing the closing means in an open configuration;

Figure 28 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of still another embodiment of the closing means, in a closed configuration;

Figure 29 is a section like the section of Figure 28 showing the closing means in an assembly configuration;

Figure 30 is a section like the section of Figure 28 showing the closing means in an open configuration; Figure 31 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of a further embodiment of the closing means, in a closed configuration;

Figure 32 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of a still further embodiment of the closing means, in a closed configuration;

Figure 33 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of another embodiment of the closing means, in a closed configuration;

Figure 34 is a section like the section of Figure 33 showing the closing means in an assembly configuration;

Figure 35 is a section like the section of Figure 33 showing the closing means in an open configuration;

Figure 36 is an elevational view of still another embodiment of the closing means; Figure 37 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of the closing means of Figure 36, in a closed configuration;

Figure 38 shows the closing means of Figure 36 in an assembly configuration;

Figure 39 shows the closing means of Figure 36 in an open configuration;

Figure 40 is a cross section of further embodiment of the closing means, in a closed configuration;

Figure 41 is a cross section of the closing means of Figure

40, in an assembly configuration; Figure 42 is a cross section of the closing means of Figure

40, in an open configuration;

Figure 43 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of two still further embodiments of the closing means, a first still further embodiment being shown at the left half of the Figure and a second still further embodiment being shown at the right half of the Figure;

Figure 43A is a view from above of the second still further embodiment of the closing means shown in Figure 43;

Figure 43B is a view form above of a variation of the second still further embodiment shown in Figures 43 and 43A;

Figure 44 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of another embodiment of the closing means, in a closed configuration;

Figure 45 is a section like the section of Figure 44, with the closing means in an open configuration;

Figure 46 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of a further device for scoring closing means for obtaining a weakening line;

Figure 47 is a section taken along a longitudinal plane of a still further device for scoring closing means for obtaining a weakening line.

With reference to Figures 1 to 10, 15 and 16, there is shown closing means 1 comprising a container part 2 provided with an end zone of a container 3 that defines a base element 4 of the container part 2 having an open end 5. The container part 2 further comprises a neck 6 with which a cap 7 is associable .

The container part 2 is associable with a container body, for example a container made of cardboard, or made of a multilayered laminar element obtained by associating one or more sheets of cardboard with one or more sheets of plastics and/or metal material.

The container part 2 may comprise a layer made of a barrier material that is a barrier to gas and/or to light. As shown in Figures 1 to 8, 15 and 16, the neck 6 can be provided with a thread 8 arranged for cooperating with a further thread 9 provided inside the cap 7. In this case the cap 7 is of the screw cap type. Alternatively, as shown in Figures 9 and 10, the neck 6 can be provided with a ridge 10 arranged for cooperating with hooking means 11 with which the cap 7 is provided. In this case, the cap 7 is of the snap cap type. The hooking means 11 is provided with an opening indicator device 53 that indicates that the closing means 1 has been opened. The opening indicator device 53 comprises a tamperproof ring 54. Between the tamperproof ring 54 and a body 55 of the cap 7 an intended opening line 56 is provided.

The neck 6 comprises a side wall 12 - which defines a dispensing opening 13 - and an end portion 14 made as a monobloc.

Between the side wall 12 and the end portion 14 a weakening line 15 is interposed.

The weakening line 15 may extend along the entire peripheral region of the neck 6, or only along one or more zones thereof. In other words, the weakening line 15 may be substantially continuous, or fragmentary in such a way that the peripheral region of the neck comprises zones in which the weakening line 15 extends, between the aforesaid zones there being interposed further zones in which the weakening line 15 does not extend.

As shown in Figures 1 to 5 and 7 to 16, the weakening line 15 may be obtained by making one, or several, non-through incisions through the thickness of the neck 6. The aforesaid non-through incisions may be made mechanically, for example by cutting tools, or by ultrasound devices, or laser devices.

In Figures 2, 3 and 7 to 11 there is provided only one non- through incision 16 extending from an external face 17 of a wall of the neck 6 transversely with respect to a longitudinal axis A of the closing means 1. In particular, the non-through incision 16 extends substantially perpendicularly with respect to the longitudinal axis A. In an embodiment that is not shown, the non-through incision extends from an internal face 19 of a wall of the neck 6. In Figures 4 and 5 there is provided only one non-through incision 18 extending from an internal face 19 of a wall of the neck 6 substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis A. In an embodiment that is not shown, the non-through incision extends from an external face 17 of a wall of the neck 6.

In Figures 1, 13, 15 and 16 there are provided two non- through incisions, a first non-through incision 20 extending from an external face 17 of a wall of the neck 6 and a second non-through incision 21 extending from an internal face 19 of a wall of the neck 6.

The first non-through incision 20 and the second non-through incision 21 extend transversely to the longitudinal axis A.

In particular, the first non-through incision 20 and the second non-through incision 21 extend substantially perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis A.

The first non-through incision 20 and the second non-through incision 21 are aligned.

The first non-through incision 20 and the second non-through incision 21 define a plane. In an embodiment that is not shown, the first non-through incision 20 and the second non-through incision 21 extend substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis A, similarly to what is shown in Figures 4 and 5.

In Figure 12 there are provided two non-through incisions, a first non-through incision 22 extending from an external face 17 of a wall of the neck 6 and a second non-through incision 23 extending from an internal face 19 of a wall of the neck 6.

The first non-through incision 22 and the second non-through incision 23 extend transversely to the longitudinal axis A.

In particular, the first non-through incision 22 and the second non-through incision 23 extend substantially perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis A.

The first non-through incision 22 and the second non-through incision 23 are staggered along the longitudinal axis A.

The first non-through incision 20 and the second non-through incision 21 define two planes that are substantially parallel to one another.

The first non-through incision 22 can be more distant from (as shown in Figure 12), or nearer to, the end portion 14 than the second non-through incision 23.

In an embodiment that is not shown, the first non-through incision 22 and the second non-through incision 23 extend substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis A, similarly to what is shown in Figures 4 and 5.

The first non-through incision 22 and the second non-through incision 23 are staggered being arranged at different distances from the longitudinal axis A. The first non- through incision 22 can be more distant from, or nearer to, the longitudinal axis A.

In Figure 14 there are provided three non-through incisions, a first non-through incision 24 extending from an external face 17 of a wall of the neck 6, a second non-through incision 25 and a third non-through incision 26 extending from an internal face 19 of a wall of the neck 6.

The first non-through incision 24, the second non-through incision 25 and the third non-through incision 26 extend transversely to the longitudinal axis A. In particular, the first non-through incision 24, the second non-through incision 25 and the third non-through incision 26 extend substantially perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis A. The first non-through incision 24, the second non-through incision 25 and the third non-through incision 26 are staggered along the longitudinal axis A in such a way that the first non-through incision 24 is interposed between the second non-through incision 25 and the third non-through incision 26.

In an embodiment that is not shown, the first non-through incision 24, the second non-through incision 25 and the third non-through incision 26 extend substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis A, similarly to what is shown in Figures 4 and 5.

The first non-through incision 24, the second non-through incision 25 and the third non-through incision 26 are staggered, being arranged at different distances from the longitudinal axis A.

In an embodiment that is not shown, there are provided three non-through incisions, a first non-through incision extending from an internal face 19 of a wall of the neck 6, a second non-through incision and a third non-through

incision extending from an external face 17 of a wall of the neck 6.

Alternatively, as shown in Figure 6, the weakening line 15 can be obtained - for example directly during the step of forming the neck 6 - making a neck 6 provided with a wall having a zone 27 with a thinner thickness than a remaining part of wall.

The zone with a thinner thickness can be arranged transversely - and in particular substantially perpendicularly - with respect to the longitudinal axis A, or substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis A. The neck 6 can be provided, instead of with a single zone with a thinner thickness, with a plurality of zones with a thinner thickness arranged similarly to the non-through incisions that have been disclosed above.

The cap 7 is provided with opening promoting means 28 arranged for engaging further opening promoting means 29 of the end portion 14 for separating the end portion 14 from the neck 6 along the weakening line 15. The opening promoting means 28 may entirely, or only partially, occupy a perimeter zone of the cap 7. The opening promoting means 28 can be shaped as a continuous element, or as a plurality of distinct elements that are adjacent to one another. If the opening promoting means comprises a plurality of distinct elements, these distinct elements can be staggered along the longitudinal axis.

In this way, in a first instant of the opening operations of the closing means 1, the contact between the opening promoting means 28 and the further opening promoting means 29 occurs in a localised manner - in a zone of reduced extent - and not along the entire perimeter of the neck 6. The end portion 14 is separated from the neck 6 in a progressive manner, which requires a user to exert less force than if the aforesaid distinct elements are arranged on the same plane substantially perpendicularly to the

longitudinal axis A. In particular, in the case of a cap 7 of the screw-cap type, less unscrewing torque is required to remove the cap 7 - and the end portion 14 - from the neck 6. As shown in Figures 1 to 7 and 9, the opening promoting means 28 may comprise hook means that project inside the cap 7. As shown in Figures 15 and 16, the opening promoting means

28 may comprise tab means 30 having an end 31 hinged on the cap 7 and a further end 32, opposite the end 31, arranged for interacting with the further opening promoting means 29. The tab means 30 may comprise a plurality of distinct tabs, or a continuous tab. The tab means 30 - in addition to acting as hooking elements cooperating with the further opening means 29 - exert an inward thrust inside the closing means 1 that effectively stresses the weakening line 15 so as to facilitate breaking thereof. In other words, the tab means 30 not only engages with the further opening promoting means 29, but also inserts itself as a wedge between the neck 6 and the end portion 14, promoting mutual detachment thereof.

The opening promoting means 28 is shaped in such a way that the end portion 14 is retained by the cap 7 after being removed from the neck 6. In particular, the end portion 14 is retained in a containing zone 35 of the cap 7 defined by the opening promoting means 28 and by an internal surface 33 of a base wall 34 of the cap 7. During fitting of the cap 7 onto the neck 6 to obtain the closing means 1, the opening promoting means 28 and the further opening promoting means

29 are elastically deformed in such a way that the end portion 14 is received inside the containing zone 35 so as not to be able to exit the containing zone 35 in a non- intentional manner, i.e. without a user deliberately extracting the end portion 14 from the containing zone 35, for example to access promotional indications and/or messages associated with the internal surface 33.

The closing means 1 may comprise positioning devices, that are not shown, arranged for positioning the end portion 14 with respect to the cap 7 - and consequently with respect to the neck 6 - when the cap 7, after the closing means 1 has been opened for the first time, is again applied to the neck 6. The end portion 14, by occupying an undesired position, could make repositioning of the cap 7 on the neck 6 more difficult or even prevent it. The positioning devices may comprise projecting bodies that project from the end portion 14 and are received in cavities obtained in the base wall 34.

Alternatively, the positioning devices may comprise projecting bodies that project from the base wall 34 and are received in cavities obtained in the end portion 14. Still alternatively, the positioning devices may comprise tab elements extending radially from the end portion 14 and interacting with an internal surface of a cylindrical shell 37 of the cap 7. As shown in Figures 1 and 16, the closing means 1 comprises seal means 38 arranged for preventing a product contained inside the container exiting the latter once the cap 7 - after the closing means 1 has been opened for the first time - has again been applied to the neck 6. The seal means 38 comprises a ridge 39 of the cap 7 and a further ridge 40 of the neck 6 that cooperate together.

Owing to the seal means 38, the position of the end portion 14 with respect to the cap 7 - i.e. the position of the end portion 14 inside the containing zone 35 - does not affect the seal of the closing means 1, when the cap 7 is again applied to the neck 6. The seal means 38 is in fact shaped in such a way that the seal is provided by the ridge 39 and by the further ridge 40 regardless of the position of the end portion 14 with respect to the neck 6. As shown in Figure 15, the container part 2 may comprise a dome 41 made of plastics.

The container part 2 - and in particular the dome 41 - can be made by thermoforming a sheet material.

Alternatively, the container part 2 - and in particular the dome 41 - can be made by injection moulding of plastics, or by compression moulding of plastics.

Thermoforming may comprise drawing and/or blow moulding. The sheet material may comprise one or more layers made of a material having properties of barrier to light and/or to gases . The sheet material can be obtained by coextrusion.

The dome 41 comprises a first end in which there is defined a connecting zone intended to be fixed to a container and a second end, opposite the first end, in which there is defined a dispensing body 45. The dispensing body 45 comprises a side zone 46 and a base zone 47.

The container part 2 further comprises a neck portion 48 - having a threaded portion 49 - and a closing portion 50. The neck portion 48 further comprises an annular bead 51, arranged for interacting with an opening indicator device 53 of the cap 7, and an annular ridge 52.

The neck portion 48 may be obtained by forming plastics on the side zone 46. The closing portion 50 may be obtained by forming plastics on the base zone 47.

The closing portion 50 and the base zone 47 are firmly fixed together and, together, define the end portion 14. The neck portion 48 and the closing portion 50 can be obtained through compression moulding of plastics or through injection moulding of plastics.

As shown in Figure 15, the opening indicator device may comprise a tamperproof ring 54 from which abutting elements 55 lead away, for example shaped as tabs or hooks. Between the tamperproof ring 54 and a body 55 of the cap 7 there is defined an intended opening line 56, defined, for example, by a plurality of breakable bridge elements.

When the cap 7 is removed from the neck 6 for the first time, the abutting elements interact with the annular bead 51, causing the tamperproof ring 54 to separate from the body 55 along the intended opening line 56. It is preferable for the tamperproof ring 54 to separate from the body 55 along the intended opening line 56 before the end portion 14 separates from the neck 6 along the weakening line 15. This is obtained by shaping the opening promoting means 28 and the further opening promoting means 29 in such a way that, before the closing means has opened for the first time, the opening promoting means 28 and the further opening promoting means 29 are separated by a preset distance. The opening promoting means 28 and the further opening promoting means 29 are shaped in such a way as to allow the cap 7 to rotate with respect to the end portion 14, in an initial step of the opening operations of the closing means 1. The end portion 14 does not separate from the neck 6 until the cap 7 has been rotated with respect to the neck 6 by an angle having a size that is greater than a preset value, this preset value depending on the peculiar shape of the opening promoting means 28 and on the further opening promoting means 29, and in particular on the distance between the opening promoting means 28 and the further opening promoting means 29.

In the closing means according to the invention it is possible to modulate the value of the distance of the cap 7 from the neck 6 at which there is the breakage along the weakening line 15 and the value of the distance of the cap 7 from the neck 6 at which the end portion 14 is removed, i.e. the seal is lost.

If the closing means 1 comprises a cap 7 of the screw cap type (which is removed from the neck 6 by unscrewing) the distance of the cap 7 from the neck 6 at which there is the breakage along the weakening line 15 corresponds to a preset breakage angle, whilst the distance of the cap 7 from the

neck 6 at which there is the removal of the end portion 14 corresponds to a certain seal loss angle.

Owing to the peculiar shape of the end portion 14, of the opening promoting means 28 and of the further opening means 29, and owing to the weakening line 15, it is possible to modulate the aforesaid distances, whilst maintaining great constructional simplicity of the closing means 1. The closing means 1, in fact comprises only two pieces, i.e. the container part 2 and the cap 7. Known closing devices that enable the aforesaid distances to be modulated are, on the other hand, much more complex, inasmuch as they comprise at least three pieces.

With reference to Figure 17, there is shown closing means 1 comprising a cap 60 associable with a neck of a container, for example a bottle.

The cap 60 is of the screw cap type and comprises a thread 67 arranged for engaging a further thread of the aforesaid neck . In an embodiment that is not shown, the cap 60 is of the snap cap type.

The cap 60 comprises a side wall 61 in which a weakening line 15 is provided. The weakening line 15 is interposed between a cap body 62, comprising a shell 63 and an end wall 64, and a tamperproof ring 65, comprising a tab 66 arranged for interacting with an abutting element of the aforesaid neck .

In operation, a user, by unscrewing the cap 60 from the aforesaid neck, separates the cap body 62 from the tamperproof ring 65 along the weakening line 15. The weakening line 15 can be obtained by making one or more non-through incisions through the thickness of the neck 6. Similarly to what is disclosed with reference to Figure 12, the weakening line 15 comprises two non-through incisions, a first non-through incision 22 extending from the external face 17 of the wall 61 and a second non-through incision 23 extending from the internal face 19 of the wall 61.

The first non-through incision 22 and the second non-through incision 23 extend transversely to a longitudinal axis B of the cap 60. In particular, the first non-through incision 22 and the second non-through incision 23 extend substantially perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis B.

The first non-through incision 22 and the second non-through incision 23 are staggered along the longitudinal axis B. Alternatively, the weakening line may comprise non-through incisions made as disclosed above, in particular with reference to Figures 13 and 14.

Alternatively, as shown in Figure 6, the weakening line 15 can be obtained by making a wall 61 provided with at least a first zone and at least a second zone having a thinner thickness than a remaining part of the wall 61, the first zone and the second zone extending from opposite faces of the wall 61.

With reference to Figure 18 there is shown an incision device 70, comprising cutting means 71 arranged for making non-through cuts in the thickness of a wall 72 of closing means 1, said non-through cuts defining a weakening line 15. The cutting means 70 comprises a first cutting element 73 that makes a first non-through incision 22 in the wall 72 and a second cutting element 74 that makes a second non- through incision 23 in the wall 72, the first non-through incision 22 and the second non-through incision 23 being of the type disclosed with reference to Figure 12. With reference to Figure 19, the cutting means 70 comprises a first cutting element 75 that makes a first non-through incision 24 in the wall 72 and a second cutting element 76 provided with a first cutting body 77 that makes a second non-through incision 25 in the wall 72 and with a second cutting body 78 that makes a third non-through incision 26 in the wall 72, the first non-through incision 24, the second non-through incision 25 and the third non-through incision 26 being of the type disclosed with reference to Figure 14.

With reference to Figure 20, the cutting means 70 comprises a first cutting element 79 that makes a first non-through incision 20 in the wall 72 and a second cutting element 80 that makes a second non-through incision 21 in the wall 72, the first non-through incision 20 and the second non-through incision 21 being of the type disclosed with reference to Figure 13.

With reference to Figure 21, the cutting means 70 may comprise a blade 79 having a shaped profile 80. The blade 79 makes in the closing means 1 a weakening line 15 having a width - measured along the thickness of the wall 72 - that is not constant. The weakening line 15 in fact comprises zones of lesser width interposed between zones of greater width . The zones of lesser size define a plurality of primer points from which the breakage of the closing means 1 along the weakening line 15 spreads.

Figures 22 to 24 illustrate a still further embodiment of the closing means 1 according to the invention, in which the further opening promoting means 29 is associated to a further tab means 100 having an end 101 hinged on the neck 6 and a further end 102 opposite the end 101, arranged for interacting with the opening promoting means 28. The further tab means 100 may comprise a plurality of distinct tabs, or a continuous tab extending through the whole circumference of the neck 6 or only through a portion thereof .

The further tab means 100 may have a variable height in order to promote a progressive breaking of the weakening line 15 and reduce the force required to cause the breaking of the weakening line 15.

When the cap 7 is assembled with the neck 6, the further tab means 100 is deformed elastically by the opening promoting means 28 making easier the assembly of the cap 7 with the neck 6 (Figure 23) .

When the cap 7 is removed, the further tab means 100 are deformed by the opening promoting means 28 until it comes in contact with the further opening promoting means 29 so as to act, in conjunction with the further opening promoting means 29, as a rigid element which makes easier the breaking of the weakening line 15.

Figures 25 to 27 show a variation of the embodiment shown in Figures 22 to 24, in which further tab means 100' is associated to the opening promoting means 28. The further tab means 100' has an end 101' hinged on the cap 7 and a further end 102' opposite the end 101', arranged for interacting with the further opening promoting means 29. The further tab means 100' may comprise a plurality of distinct tabs, or a continuous tab extending through the whole circumference of the cap 7 or only through a portion thereof .

The further tab means 100' may have a variable height in order to promote a progressive breaking of the weakening line 15 and reduce the force required to cause the breaking of the weakening line 15.

When the cap 7 is assembled with the neck 6, the further tab means 100' is deformed elastically by the further opening promoting means 29 making easier the assembly of the cap 7 with the neck 6 (Figure 26) . When the cap 7 is removed, the further tab means 100' are deformed by the further opening promoting means 29 until it comes in contact with the opening promoting means 28 so as to act, in conjunction with the opening promoting means 28, as a rigid element which makes easier the breaking of the weakening line 15.

Figures 28 to 30 illustrate another embodiment of the closing means 1 according to the invention, in which the opening promoting means 28 comprises tab means 103 having an end 104 hinged on the cap 7 and a further end 105, opposite the end 104, arranged for interacting with the further opening promoting means 29. The tab means 103 may comprise a

plurality of distinct tabs, or a continuous tab extending through the whole circumference of the cap 7 or only through a portion thereof.

The tab means 103 may have a variable height in order to promote a progressive breaking of the weakening line 15 and reduce the force required to cause the breaking of the weakening line 15.

When the cap 7 is assembled with the neck 6, the tab means 103 is deformed elastically by the further opening promoting means 29 making easier the assembly of the cap 7 with the neck 6 (Figure 29) .

When the cap 7 is removed, the tab means 103 exerts a thrust against the further opening promoting means 29 causing the breaking of the weakening line 15 and the detachment of the end portion 14 from the neck 6 (Figure 30) .

Figures 31 and 32 illustrate, respectively, a first and second variation of the embodiment of the closing means 1 illustrated in Figures 28 to 30. In both the first and second variation the opening promoting means 28 are provided with an elastically deformable end portion 106 and 107, respectively, suitable to interact with the further opening promoting means 29 to cause the breaking of the weakening line 15 when the cap 7 is removed. In the first variation (Figure 31) a non-through incision 108 facing downward is provided between the end portion 106 and the opening promoting means 28 to allow the end portion 106 to rotate with respect to the opening promoting means 28. In the second variation (Figure 32) a non-through incision 109 facing upward is provided between the end portion 107 and the opening promoting means 28 to allow the end portion 107 to rotate with respect to the opening promoting means Z O QO .

Figures 33 to 35 illustrate a further embodiment of the closing means 1 according to the invention. In this embodiment, the opening promoting means 28 comprises first tab means 110 having an end 111 hinged on the cap 7

and a further end 112 opposite the end 111, arranged for interacting with the further opening promoting means 29. The further opening promoting means 29 comprises second tab means 113 having an end 114 hinged on the neck 6 and a further end 115 opposite the end 114, arranged for interacting with the first tab means 110 of the opening promoting means 28.

The first tab means 110 and the second tab means 113 may comprise a plurality of distinct tabs, or a continuous tab extending through the whole circumference of the cap 7 and the neck 6, respectively, or only through a portion thereof. The first tab means 110 may have a variable length in order to promote a progressive breaking of the weakening line 15 and reduce the force required to cause the breaking of the weakening line 15.

When the cap 7 is assembled with the neck 6, the first tab means 110 and the second tab means 113 are deformed elastically making easier the assembly of the cap 7 with the neck 6 (Figure 34) . When the cap 7 is removed, the first tab means 110 and the second tab means 113 interlock with each other causing the breaking of the weakening line 15 and the detachment of the end portion 14 from the neck 6 (Figure 35) . Figures 36 to 39 illustrate a still further embodiment of the closing means 1 according to the invention. In this embodiment, the opening promoting means 28 comprises at least one radial protrusion 116 provided on the cap 7 and facing toward the neck 6 and the further opening promoting means 29 comprises at least one further radial protrusion 117 provided on the end portion 14 of the neck 6 and facing toward the cap 7. The at least one radial protrusions 116 of the cap 7 has an inclined surface 118 facing downward whereas the at least one further radial protrusions 117 of the end portion 14 has an inclined surface 119 facing upward.

Preferably a plurality of radial protrusions 116 are provided on the cap 7 and a plurality of further radial protrusion are provided on the end portion 14 of the neck 6. When the cap 7 is assembled with the neck 6 by being rotated in a first direction with respect to the neck 6, the inclined surfaces 118 of the radial protrusions 116 slide on the inclined surfaces 119 of the further radial protrusions 117 making easier the assembly of the cap 7 with the neck 6 (Figure 38) . When the cap 7 is removed by being rotated with respect to the neck 6 in a second direction opposite to said first direction, the radial protrusions 116 insert themselves under the further radial protrusions 118 and push them upward causing the breaking of the weakening line 15 and the detachment of the end portion 14 from the neck 6 (Figure 39) .

Figure 40 to 42 illustrate another embodiment of the closing means 1 according to the invention. In this embodiment the opening promoting means 28 comprises at least one radial projection 120, preferably a plurality of radial projections, provided in the cap 7 and facing toward the neck 6 and the further opening promoting means 29 comprises at least one further radial projection 121, preferably a plurality of radial projections, provided in the end portion 14 of the neck 6 and facing toward the cap 7.

When the cap 7 is assembled with the neck 6 by being rotated in a first direction with respect to the neck 6, the radial projections 120 slide on the further radial projections 121 making easier the assembly of the cap 7 with the neck 6 (Figure 41) .

When the cap 7 is removed by being rotated with respect to the neck 6 in a second direction opposite to said first direction, the radial projections 120 engage the further radial projections 121 causing a torsional breaking of the

weakening line 15 and the detachment of the end portion 14 from the neck 6 (Figure 42) .

Figure 43 illustrates two still further embodiments of the closing means 1 according to the invention. A first still further embodiment is illustrated in the left half of Figure 43, whilst a second still further embodiment is illustrated in the right half and in Figures 43 and 43A.

In the first still further embodiment the neck 6 is provided with an end portion 14' having a convex shape. The convex shape of the end portion 14' is aimed to compensate the deformation to which the end portion 14' is subject when the cap 7 is opened breaking the weakening line 15, in order to avoid that said deformation may cause a disengagement of the opening promoting means 28 from the further opening promoting means 29, thus making impossible to break the weakening line 15. In addition, the convex shape of the end portion 14' makes easier the assembly of the cap 7 on the neck 6. In the second still further embodiment, the end portion 14" of the neck 6 is provided with a peripheral portion 122, inclined toward the neck 6. The peripheral portion 122 is aimed to compensate the above mentioned deformation of the end portion 14". The peripheral portion 122 may be divided into a plurality of sections 122A separated from each other by respective ribs 122B which give the peripheral portion 122 a greater stiffness, to improve the compensation of the above- mentioned deformation. In addition the peripheral portion 122 makes easier the assembly of the cap 7 on the neck 6.

Figures 44 and 45 illustrate another embodiment of the closing means 1 according to the invention in which the neck 6 is provided with an annular inner protrusion 123 arranged immediately below the weakening line 15. This inner annular protrusion constitutes a guide for a flow of liquid to be poured from a container through the neck 6, to avoid that

burrs caused by the breaking of the weakening line 15 may deviate the flow of liquid.

Figure 46 illustrates an embodiment of a scoring device 124 to score a weakening line 15 in the neck 6. The scoring device 124 comprises a mandrel 125 that may be inserted into the neck 6 to guide the neck 6 during scoring operations and a support element 126 on which the neck 6 rests during scoring operations. In order to score the weakening line 15 the neck 6 is brought in contact with a cutting element 127 and moved so as to roll on the cutting element 127 guided by the mandrel 125.

The mandrel 125 may be rotated in order to cause the neck 6 to roll and slide on the cutting element 127, in order to facilitate the scoring of the weakening line 15.

Figure 47 illustrate another embodiment of the scoring device 124, in which the mandrel 125 is provided with indentations 128 that engage with corresponding indentations provided in the neck 6 (not shown) to obtain a stable coupling of the neck 6 with the mandrel 125 and prevent any rotation of the neck 6 with respect to the mandrel 125. In addition, the support element 126 may be made rotatable around an axis coinciding with an axis of the mandrel 125 in order to eliminate friction between the neck 6 and the support element 126 when the neck is guided on the cutting element 127. Eliminating said friction has the advantage of preventing any possible damage to the neck caused by said friction .




 
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