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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CONTAINER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2002/026565
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A container (1, 16) for liquids, particularly beverages, comprises a wall (2, 16a) into which the formation of an opening (A) is provided, at least a portion of said wall (2, 16a) being protected by a film (5) with internal surface (6) oriented toward said wall (2, 16a), said film (5) being adherent to said wall (2, 16a) at least in a first section (8) and in a second section (10) that together circumscribe the region designed to the formation of said opening (A), said film (5) being further progressively separable from said wall (2, 16a) by remaining adherent to said wall (2, 16a) at said first section (8) so that said internal surface (6) may function as sliding surface for the liquid existing said container (1, 16) and/or as hygienic supporting surface for the mouth.

Inventors:
Camorani, Carlo Antonio (Via Radici in Monte, 175 Roteglia di Castellarano, I-42014, IT)
Algeri, Maris (Via Radici in Monte, 175 Roteglia di Castellarano, I-42014, IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2001/001776
Publication Date:
April 04, 2002
Filing Date:
September 27, 2001
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Camorani, Carlo Antonio (Via Radici in Monte, 175 Roteglia di Castellarano, I-42014, IT)
Algeri, Maris (Via Radici in Monte, 175 Roteglia di Castellarano, I-42014, IT)
International Classes:
B65D5/06; B65D5/70; B65D5/74; B65D25/46; B65D33/16; B65D75/58; (IPC1-7): B65D/
Domestic Patent References:
WO1997010158A11997-03-20
WO1995028328A11995-10-26
WO1993002939A11993-02-18
WO1986002488A11986-04-24
WO1999037546A11999-07-29
WO1994008852A11994-04-28
WO1995025665A11995-09-28
WO1996001210A11996-01-18
WO1996014254A11996-05-17
WO1997017268A11997-05-15
WO1998010993A11998-03-19
WO1999048768A11999-09-30
WO1996001212A21996-01-18
WO1995005996A11995-03-02
WO1996011850A11996-04-25
WO1999042375A11999-08-26
Foreign References:
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FR2030414A71970-11-13
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EP0115813A21984-08-15
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EP0214791A21987-03-18
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US5833112A1998-11-10
US5960992A1999-10-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Luppi, Luigi (Luppi & Crugnola S.R.L. Viale Corassori, 54 Modena, I-41100, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. Container (1,16) for liquid, in particular beverages, in a wall of which (2,16a) the formation of an opening (A) is provided, at least portion of said wall (2,16a) being protect by a film (5) with internal surface (6) directed toward said wall (2,16a), characterized in that, said film (5) is adherent to said wall (2,16a) at least at a first section (8) and at a second section (10) that together circumscribe a region designed to form said opening (A), said film (5) being progressively separable from said wall (2,16a) by remaining adherent to said wall (2,16a) at said first section (8) so that said internal surface (6) may act as sliding surface for a liquid exiting said container (1,16) and/or as supporting hygienic surface for the mouth.
2. Container (1,16) according to claim 1, characterized in that, said film (5) may be extended according to more radial directions (D1, D2).
3. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) occupies, in the extension position, a surface of width (X2) greater than the width (X1) of the surface occupied before said extension, said width (X1, X2) being measured according to the direction orthogonal to the axis of symmetry (R1, S1, P4) of said film (5).
4. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, when said container (1, 16) lies in the closed state, the extension encumbrance of said film (5) remains inside the extension of the upper wall (2,16a).
5. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, when said container (1, 16) is in its closed state, said film (5) is folded onto itself so that portions of said internal surface (6) coincide and the portions of said film (5) corresponding to said coinciding portions of said internal film (6) form a strip (12) capable of overhanging extending from the plane of said wall (2, 16a).
6. Container (1,16) according to claim 5, characterized in that, said strip (12) is arranged in a central region of said film (5).
7. Container (1,16) according to claim 5, or 6, characterized in that, a central fold (S1) of said strip (12) is arranged along an axis of symmetry of said film (5) folded in plane.
8. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) is capable to adopt in its internal surface (6), a nozzle concave shape (14) suitable for allowing the controlled pouring of liquid without spilling.
9. Container (1, 16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) is capable to adopt in its internal surface (6) a contiguous shape near the side wall of said container (1,16), suitable for enabling the mouth to be leant on.
10. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5), during subsequent steps, is capable to adopt in its internal surface (6), a nozzle concave shape (14) suitable for pouring in controlled manner said liquid without spilling, and a contiguous shape near the side wall of said container (1,16) suitable for enabling the mouth to be leant on.
11. Container (1,16) according to claim 9, or 10, characterized in that, said contiguous shape is a convex surface.
12. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, when said container (1, 16) lies in the closed state, the space placed between said wall (1,16) and said internal surface (6) is hermetically closed.
13. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, it is a can (1) of metallic material with circular cross section of the side wall and is provided with a lever (4) placed on the cover (2) suitable for forming said opening (A) by moving away a portion of said cover (2) along a fracture line (3).
14. Container (1,16) according to claim 13, characterized in that, the region circumscribed by said first section (8) in combination with said second section (10) comprises only a portion of said lever (4).
15. Container (1,16) according to claim 13, or 14, characterized in that, when said container (1,16) lies in its closed state, said film (5) is arranged above said lever (4).
16. Container (1,16) according to any of the claims 13 to 15, characterized in that, at least portion of the interspace (11) placed between said lever (4) and said cover (2) is hermetically sealed.
17. Container (1,16) according to claim 16, characterized in that, said portion of the hermetically sealed interspace (11) is corresponding to said second section (10).
18. Container (1,16) according to claim 13, or 14, characterized in that, when said container (1) lies in its closed state, said film (5) is partially arranged under a portion of said lever (4).
19. Container (1,16) according to claim 18, characterized in that, said film (5) shows a tab purchase (B) suitable for enabling to detach by peeling said film (5) from said cover (2) and to extract said film (5) from under the lever (4).
20. Container (1,16) according to claim 19, characterized in that, when said film (5) is completely unfolded, said tab (B) lies in a side position out axis.
21. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said first section (8) is"Vshaped".
22. Container (1,16) according to claim 21, characterized in that, the internal angle (Z1) of said"Vshaped" first section (8) is placed between 90 and 140 degrees.
23. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) unfolded on a plane has peripheral shape of two equal and specular diamond with a common side.
24. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) unfolded on a plane has peripheral shape of cardioid (5c).
25. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) unfolded on a plane has polygonal shape (5b) with eight sides, with the two sides facing said container (1,16) forming an angle (Z3) greater than 180°, two sides opposing said container (1,16) equal and parallel to said two sides facing said container (1,16), the remaining four sides laterally symmetrically arranged and forming two angles (Z4) smaller than 180°.
26. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) is obtained by cutting a continuous sheet without production of scrap.
27. Container (1, 16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) is of plastically thermoformable material.
28. Container (1,16) according to any of the claims 13 to 23, characterized in that, said film (5) is cooperating with an additional film (15) covering the entire remaining portion of said lever (4) not covered by said film (5).
29. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) has aluminiumbased composition.
30. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film is of thickness comprised between 0,01 and 0,05 mm.
31. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said internal surface (6) of said film (5) is treated with adhesive material suitable for enabling its detachment.
32. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said internal surface (6) of said film (5) is treated with adhesive material suitable for enabling the detachment and the possible reattaching.
33. Container (1,16) according to claim 31, or 32, characterized in that, said adhesive material is arranged only in the peripheral regions (9).
34. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, it comprises marks (W) to be uncovered and/or integrated with said film (5).
35. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) is separable from said wall (2,16a) by sectioning said film (5).
36. Container (1,16) according to any of the claims 5 to 35, characterized in that, said strip (12) is anchored, at least at an its external border (5a), to said wall (2, 16a) by remaining at its middle portion (20) placed at distance from said wall (2,16a).
37. Container (1,16) according to any of the claims 5 to 36, characterized in that, said strip (12) shows a notch (23).
38. Container (1,16) according to claim 37, characterized in that, said notch (23) is arranged near said external border (5a).
39. Container (1,16) according to claim 37, or 38, characterized in that, in a region adjacent said notch (23), the internal surfaces (6) of said film (5) are mutually welded.
40. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) comprises preferred fracture lines (22).
41. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) consists of material with anisotropic properties.
42. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) forms the closing wall of said opening (A).
43. Container (1,16) according to claim 42, characterized in that, said film (5) is anchored to said wall (1,16) also in an annular section (10a) directly circumscribing said opening (A).
44. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) is firmly anchored to the closing barrier (24) of said opening (A) so as to cause the break of said barrier (24) while said film (5) is raised.
45. Container (1,16) according to claim 44, characterized in that, said film (5) is firmly anchored to said barrier (24) at least in a"Vshaped"section (25).
46. Container (1,16) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that, said film (5) is anchored to an underlying tab (26) that forms the closing barrier of said opening (A), so as to produce the automatic opening of said container (1,16) during the raising of said film (5).
47. Can (1), particularly for beverages, comprising hygienic protective means (5) arranged internally to the region of the cover (2) of said can (1), said protective means (5) being suitable for being extended beyond said region of the cover (2) by remaining partially anchored to said cover (2), characterized in that, said protective means (5) may be extended along more radial directions (D1, D2).
48. Can (1), particularly for beverages, comprising hygienic protective means (5) arranged internally to the region of the cover (2) of said can (1), said protective means being suitable for being extended beyond said region of the cover (2) by remaining partially anchored to said cover (2), characterized in that, said protection (5) is at least partially folded on itself so that facing portions of its internal surface (6) form a strip (12) protruding from the plane of said cover (2).
49. Cover (2) for can (1) comprising a region designed for forming an opening (A) of said cover (2), said region being cooperating with hygienic protective means (5) arranged internally to the region of said cover (2), said protective means (5) being suitable for being extended beyond said region of said cover (2) by remaining partially anchored to said cover (2), characterized in that, said protective means (5) may be extended along more radial directions (D1, D2).
50. Cover (2) for can (1) comprising a region designed for forming an opening (A) of said cover (2), characterized in that, said region is protected by a film (5) at least partially folded on itself so that facing portions of its internal surface (6) form a strip (12) protruding from the plane of said cover (2), said film (5) being suitable for being raised in order to free said region by remaining anchored to said cover (2).
51. Can (1) comprising a protective means (5) anchored thereto, being provided that said protective means (5) forms a surface subjected to the potential contact with the distributed liquid and/or with the lips of a user, characterized in that, said protective means (5) is suitable for being broken.
52. Method for hygienically opening a can (1) provided with a protective means (5) anchored thereto and arranged near the region designed to form its opening (A) being provided that said protective means (5) forms a surface subjected to the potential contact with the distributed liquid and/or the lips of a user, characterized in that, it comprises sectioning at least portion of said protective means (5) in order to free said region.
53. Container (1,16), particularly for beverages, comprising hygienic protective means (5) arranged near the opening (A) of the cover (2) of said container (1,16), characterized in that, it comprises marks (W) to be uncovered cooperating and/or integrated with said hygienic protective means (5).
54. Container (41) for fluid products, comprising a first wall (42) and a second wall (42) at least one of which thermoformed and between which a hollow is defined designed to contain said products, said first wall (42) and said second wall (42) being welded along a border (43), between said first wall (42) and said second wall (42) a duct (44) being further designed to lead to an opening (48) of said container (41), said duct (44) being suitable for being closed by mutual contact of said first wall (42) and said second wall (42), characterized in that, said duct (44) is cooperating with a pressing device (49,59,76) that directly operates on a section that substantially passes across said duct (44).
55. Container (41) according to claim 54, characterized in that, said section is substantially rectilinear.
56. Container (41) according to claim 54, or 55, characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59,76) comprises a pair of small bars (50)"Vlike"arranged, hinged at first ends (51), and provided, at the second ends (53) opposing said first ends (51), with coupling means (M5,89) suitable for maintaining mutually adjacent said second ends (53).
57. Container (41) according to claim 56, characterized in that, at least a small bar (50) of said pair of small bars shows, in the internal face (55) oriented toward the other small bar (50), a curved longitudinal conformation with convexity oriented toward said other small bar (50).
58. Container (41) according to claim 57, characterized in that, at least one of said two small bars (50) is elastically deformable, so that, when said opposing ends (53) are adjacent, the internal faces (55) of said two small bars (50) become substantially parallel.
59. Container (41) according to any of the claims 54 to 58, characterized in that, being two internal faces (55) configured in said pressing device (49,59,76) designed for the contact with said duct (44), in a crosssection according to a plane orthogonal to said section, one of said two faces (55) has rectilinear conformation and the other one of said two faces (55) has conformation with at least a relief (56).
60. Container (41) according to any of the claims 54 to 59, characterized in that, said border (43) shows connecting means (N5,52,58,68) suitable for maintaining in position said pressing device (49,59,76).
61. Container (41) according to claim 60, characterized in that, said connecting means (N5,52,78) is designed for cooperating with said pressing device (49,59,76) so that said pressing device (49,59,76) remains anchored to said container (41) also in the open state.
62. Container (41) according to claim 60, or 61, characterized in that, said connecting means (N5,52,58, 68) comprises a further housing means (58) designed to cooperate with said opposing ends (53).
63. Container (41) according to any of the claims 60 to 62, characterized in that, being a rotation axis (X5) configured in said coupling end (51), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable the coupling of said opposing ends (53) by means of forces (A5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) and is such to enable their uncoupling by means of forces (B5) acting along a direction substantially parallel to said axis (X5).
64. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 56 to 62, characterized in that, an axis of rotation (X5) being configured in said coupling end (51), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable to couple said opposing ends (53) by means of forces acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) at a first radial position (C5) and is such to enable to uncouple said opposing ends (53) by means of forces acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) at a second radial position (H5) different from said first radial position (C5).
65. Container (41) according to claim 64, characterized in that, said second radial position (H5) is more adjacent to said axis (X5) than said first radial position (C5).
66. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 56 to 62, characterized in that, an axis of rotation (X5) being configured in said coupling end (51), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable to couple said opposing ends (53) by means of forces (C5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) and is such to enable to uncouple said opposing ends (53) by means of forces (H6) acting in direction substantially orthogonal to said axis (X5).
67. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 54 to 66, characterized in that, said pressing device (49, 59,76) is a monobloc of plastic material.
68. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 54 to 67, characterized in that, said pressing device (49, 76) is provided with housing means (70) suitable for maintaining mutually at distance said opposing ends (53).
69. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 56 to 68, characterized in that, said small bars (50) are upwardly provided with sealing means (T5) suitable for working when said pressing device (59) is at its closed state.
70. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 56 a 69, characterized in that, at least one of said small bars (50) is provided in the upper portion with an elastic lip (T5) designed for the contact with the other small bar (50) or with a respective elastic lip (T5) of the other small bar, when said pressing device (49) is at its closed state.
71. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 54 to 70, characterized in that, at least at said section, the borders (43) being defined in a plane (P5), the wall (42) is connected with said plane (P5) by means of a curvature radius (R) such that said wall (42) may adopt a flat shape corresponding to said plane (P5) by means of simple elastic deformation inside its own elastic limit;.
72. Container (41) according to claim 71, characterized in that, the thickness of the wall (42) being equal to S, such curvature radius R is: R>36S2, R and S being expressed in millimetres.
73. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 54 to 72, characterized in that, at least at said section, said duct (44) has the walls (42) substantially flat and close, the opening (48) of said duct (44) being obtainable by mutually placing away said walls (42) in elastic deformation.
74. Container (41) for fluid products, comprising a first wall (42) and a second wall (42) at least one of which thermoformed and between which a hollow is defined designed to contain said products, said first wall (42) and said second wall (42) being coupled in a first joint (43) and in a second joint (67) that together circumscribe said hollow, at least the coupling in said second joint (67) being removable by peeling so as to define an opening (48) of said container (41), characterized in that, said second joint (67) extends along a substantially rectilinear segment.
75. Container (41) according to claim 74, characterized in that, said opening (48) is determined by a deformation of said first wall (42) and by a symmetric deformation of said second wall (42).
76. Container (41) according to the claims 74, or 75, characterized in that, in a middle region of said second joint (67) respective appendages (68) are present of said first wall (42) and said second wall (42).
77. Container (41) according to claim 76, characterized in that, said appendages (68) are divaricated.
78. Container (41) according to claim 76, or 77, characterized in that, said appendages (68) show enlargements (69) in the end portion.
79. Container (41) according to any of the claims 74 to 78, characterized in that, it comprises a pressing device (49,59,76) acting at said second joint (67) suitable for restoring the closing of said container (41) at said second joint (67).
80. Container (41) according to claim 79, characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59,76) shows purchase regions (W5,64,82,85) suitable for engaging with said appendages (68,69) so that, when said pressing device (49,59,76) is spread out said peeling is made possible.
81. Container (41) according to claim 79, or 80, characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59,76) consists of two small bars (50)"Vlike"arranged, hinged at their coupling ends (51) and free to move at their opposed ends (53), and provided with coupling means (M5, 89) suitable for maintaining mutually close said opposed ends (53).
82. Container (41) according to any of the claims 79 to 81, characterized in that, at least one of said two small bars (50) shows, on the internal face (55) oriented toward the other small bar (50), a curved conformation with convexity oriented toward said other small bar (50).
83. Container (41) according to claim 82, characterized in that, at lest one of said two small bars (50) is elastically deformable, so that, when said opposed ends (53) are moved closer, the internal faces (55) of said two small bars (50) become substantially parallel.
84. Container (41) according to any of the claims 79 to 83, characterized in that, two internal faces (55) being configured in said thickness (49,59,76) designed to the contact with said first wall (42) and said second wall (42), in a section according to an orthogonal plane to said second joint, one of said two faces (55) has rectilinear conformation and the other of said two faces (55) has conformation with at least a relief (56).
85. Container (41) according to any of the claims 79 to 84, characterized in that, said border (43) comprises connecting means (52,58,68,69) suitable for maintaining in position said pressing device (49,59, 76).
86. Container (41) according to claim 85, characterized in that, said connecting means (52,58,68,69) comprises a further housing means (58) designed for cooperating with said opposed ends (53).
87. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 81 to 86, characterized in that, an axis of rotation (X5) being configured in said coupling end (51), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to couple by means of forces (A5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) and is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to uncouple by means of forces (B5) acting according to a direction substantially parallel to said axis (X5).
88. Container (41) according to any of the claims 81 to 86, characterized in that, an axis of rotation (X5) being configured in said coupling end (51), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to couple by means of forces (C5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) at a first radial position (C5) and is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to uncouple by means of forces (H5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) at a second radial position (H5) different from said first radial position (C5).
89. Container (41) according to claim 88, characterized in that, said second radial position (H5) is closer to said axis (X5) than said first radial position (C5).
90. Container (41) according to any of the claims 81 to 86, characterized in that, an axis of rotation (X5) being configured in said coupling end (51), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to couple by means of forces (C5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) and is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to uncouple by means of forces (H6) acting in direction substantially radial with respect to said axis (X5).
91. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 81 to 90, characterized in that, said pressing device (49, 76) is provided with housing means (70) suitable for maintaining mutually away said opposed ends (53).
92. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 81 to 91, characterized in that, said small bars (50) are upwardly provided with sealing means (T5) suitable for working when said pressing device (49) is at the closed state.
93. Container (41) according to one or more of the claims 81 to 92, characterized in that, at least one of said small bars (50) is provided on the upper portion with an elastic lip (T5) designed to the contact with the other small bar (50) or with a respective elastic lip (T5) of the other small bar, when said pressing device (49) is at the closed state.
94. Container (41,75) for fluid products, comprising walls (42) between which a hollow is defined designed for containing said product, said walls being welded in a border (43,78) protruded toward the exterior of said hollow, a duct (44) being further defined between said walls (42) designed for leading in a opening (48) of said container (41,75), characterized in that, said border (43,78) shows means (N5,43a, 52,58,68,69,79) for holding devices (49,59,76) suitable for opening and/or closing said duct (44) by mutually moving away and/or approaching said walls (42).
95. Container (41,75) according to claim 94, characterized in that, said holding means for holding comprises recesses and/or protrusions (N5,43a, 52,58,68,69, 79).
96. Container (41,75) according to claim 94, or 95, characterized in that, said means for holding (N5,43a, 42,58,68,69,79) is undercut recesses (52,58) obtained in the width of said border (43,78).
97. Container (41,75) according to any of the claims 94 to 96, characterized in that, said means for holding (N5, 43a, 42,58,68,69,79) is grooves (N5) parallel to said border (43) and obtained in the thickness of said border (43,78).
98. Container (41,75) according to any of the claims 94 to 97, characterized in that, being said container (41,75) of the type obtained from folded cardboard (75), said means for holding (N5,43a, 42,58,68,69,79) is arranged in the middle region designed to be opened by peeling.
99. Container (41,75) according to claim 98, characterized in that, said means for holding (N5,43a, 42,58,68,69, 79) is tabs (79) divaricated.
100. Container (41,75) according to claim 99, characterized in that, said means for holding (N5,43a, 42,58,68,69, 79) is not welded, external portions (43a) of said border (43, 78).
101. Container (41,75) according to any of the claims 98 to 100, characterized in that, said means for holding (N5, 43a, 42,58,68,69,79) is engaged with said pressing device (49,76) so that when said pressing device (49, 76) is spread out it is possible to open by peeling said container (41,75).
102. Container (41,75) for fluid products comprising walls (42) welded in a border (43,78), said walls (42) being suitable for being uncoupled at said border (43,78) by peeling so as to form an opening (48) of said container (41,75) and being suitable for being coupled for causing closing of said container (41,75) by means of the aid of a pressing device (49,59,76), characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59,76) comprises anchorage means (W5,64,82,85) with said walls (42) suitable for acting in order to cause said peeling.
103. Container (41,75) according to claim 102, characterized in that, said anchorage means (W5,64,82,85) comprises housings (64,82,84,85) for said walls (42) or for elements of said walls (42).
104. Container (41,75) according to claim 103, characterized in that, crests are present (85) inside said housings (64,82,84,85) suitable for penetrating into said walls (42) or into elements of said walls (42).
105. Container (41,75) according to any of the claims 102 to 104, characterized in that, said anchorage means (64,82, 84,85) comprises beaks (82) passing through the thickness of said walls (42) or elements of said walls (42).
106. Container (41,75) according to any of the claims 102 to 105, characterized in that, said anchorage means comprises regions welded to said walls or to elements of said walls.
107. Container (41,75) according to any of the claims 102 to 106, characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59, 76) consists of two small bars (50)"Vlike"arranged, hinged at the coupling ends (51) and free to move at the opposed ends (53), and provided with coupling means (M5, 89) suitable for maintaining mutually adjacent said opposed ends (53).
108. Container (41,75) according to claim 107, characterized in that, at least one of said two small bars (50) shows, at its internal face (55) oriented toward the other small bar (50), a curved conformation with convexity oriented toward said other small bar (50).
109. Container (41,75) according to claim 108, characterized in that, at least one of said two small bars (50) is elastically deformable, so that, when said opposed ends (53) are adjacent, the said internal faces (55) of said two small bars (50) become substantially parallel.
110. Container (41,75) according to any of the claims 107 a 109, characterized in that two internal faces (55) being configured in said pressing device (49,59,76) designed to contact said duct (44), in a crosssection according to an orthogonal plane to said section, one of said two faces (55) has rectilinear conformation and the other one of said two faces (55) has conformation with at least one relief (56).
111. Container (41,75) according to any of the claims 107 to 110, characterized in that, an axis of rotation (X5) being configured at said coupling end (51), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to couple by means of forces (A5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) and is such to enable said opposed ends to uncouple by means of forces (B5) acting along a direction substantially parallel to said axis (X5).
112. Container (41,75) according to any of the claims 107 to 110, characterized in that, being configured at said coupling end (51) an axis of rotation (X5), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to couple by means of forces (C5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) at a first radial position (C5) and is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to uncouple by means of forces (H5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) at a second radial position (H5) different from said first radial position (C5).
113. Container (41,75) according to claim 112, characterized in that, said second radial position (H5) is more adjacent to said axis (X5) than said first radial position (C5).
114. Container (41, 75) according to any of the claims 107 to 110, characterized in that, an axis of rotation (X5) being configured at said coupling end (51), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to couple by means of forces (C5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) and is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to uncouple by means of forces (H6) acting along a direction substantially radial with respect to said axis (X5).
115. Container (41, 75) according to one or more of the claims 107 to 114, characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59,76) is a monobloc of plastic material.
116. Container (41,75) according to one or more of the claims 107 to 115, characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59,76) is provided with housing means (70) suitable for maintaining mutually away said opposed ends (53).
117. Container (41,75) according to one or more of the claims 107 to 116, characterized in that, said small bars (50) are upwardly provided with sealing means (T5) suitable for working when said pressing device (49,59,76) is in the closed state.
118. Container (41,75) according to one or more of the claims 107 to 117, characterized in that, at least one of said small bars (50) is provided on the upper portion with an elastic lip (T5) designed to contact the other small bar (50) or a respective elastic lip (T5) of the other small bar (50), when said pressing device (49,59,76) is in the closed state.
119. Container (41,75) according to one or more of the claims 102 to 118, characterized in that, it is of the cardboard type having parallelepiped shape with strip (80) folded on a side and that said pressing device (49,59,76) is arranged in working position on said container.
120. Container (41,75) according to one or more of the claims 102 to 118, characterized in that, it is of the cardboard type having parallelepiped shape with strip (80) folded on a side and that said pressing device (49,59,76) is enclosed to said container (41,75) in a not operating position.
121. Container (41,75) according to claim 120, characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59,76) is glued to a wall of said container (41,75).
122. Container (41,75) obtained from a cardboard sheet folded and welded in a border (43,78), characterized in that, it has enclosed a pressing device (49,59,76) comprising a pair of small bars"Vlike"arranged, hinged near the coupling ends (51) and free to move at the opposing ends (53), characterized in that, said small bars (50) comprise coupling means (M5,89) suitable for maintaining mutually adjacent said opposed ends (53).
123. Container (41,75) according to claim 122, characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59,76) is anchored to a wall of said container (41,75) in a not working position.
124. Container (41,75) according to claim 123, characterized in that, said container (41,75) being of parallelepiped shape, said pressing device (49,59,76) is anchored to said container (41,75) in an working position.
125. Container (41,75) according to claim 124, characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59,76) is anchored on said border (43,78) of a strip (80) folded on a side wall.
126. Method for opening and/or closing a container (41,75) for liquid products comprising walls (42,75) welded at a border (43,78), said walls (42,75) being suitable for being uncoupled at said border (42,75) by peeling so as to form an opening (48,87) of said container (41,75), said opening (48,87) being cooperating with pressing devices (49,59,76) suitable for closing said opening (48,87), characterized in that, comprises acting with said pressing devices (49,59,76) in order to produce said peeling.
127. Method according to claim 126, characterized in that, said acting comprises divaricating said small bars (50) "Vlike"arranged of a pressing device (49,59,76).
128. Pressing device (49,59,76) suitable for closing a container (41,75) with flexible walls, comprising a pair of small bars (50)"Vlike"arranged, hinged near the coupling ends (51) and free to move at the opposed ends (53), characterized in that, said small bars (50) comprise coupling means (M5,89) suitable for maintaining mutually adjacent said opposed ends (53).
129. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to claim 128, characterized in that, said coupling means (M5, 89) is integral part of said small bars (50).
130. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to claim 128, or 129, characterized in that, at least one of said two small bars (50) shows, on the internal surface (55) oriented toward the other small bar (50), a curved conformation with convexity oriented toward said other small bar (50).
131. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to any of the claims 128 to 130, characterized in that, at least one of said two small bars (50) is elastically deformable, so that, when said opposed ends (53) are adjacent, the internal faces (55) of said two small bars (50) become substantially parallel.
132. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to any of the claims 128 to 131, characterized in that, in a section according to a plane transversal to said small bars (50), the internal face (55) of one of the said small bars (50) has rectilinear conformation and the internal face (55) of the other small bar (50) has conformation with at least a relief (56).
133. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to claim 132, characterized in that, said at least one relief (56) substantially extends along the entire active length of said small bar (50).
134. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to any of the claims 128 to 133, characterized in that, an axis of rotation (X5) being configured at said coupling end (51), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to couple by means of forces (A5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) and is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to uncouple be means of forces (B5) acting along a direction substantially parallel to said axis (X5).
135. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 133, characterized in that, an axis of rotation (X5) being configured at said coupling end (51), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to couple by means of forces (C5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) at a first radial position (C5) and is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to uncouple by means of forces (H5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) at a second radial position (H5) different from said first radial position (C5).
136. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to claim 135, characterized in that, said second radial position (H5) is closer to said axis (X5) than said first radial position (C5).
137. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to any of the claims 128 to 133, characterized in that, an axis of rotation (X5) being configured at said coupling end (51), said coupling means (M5,89) is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to couple by means of forces (C5) acting in rotation with respect to said axis (X5) and is such to enable said opposed ends (53) to uncouple by means of forces (H6) acting along a direction substantially radial with respect to said axis (X5).
138. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 137, characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59,76) is a monobloc of plastic material.
139. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 138, characterized in that, said pressing device (49,59,76) is provided with housing means (70) suitable for maintaining mutually away said opposed ends (53).
140. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 138, characterized in that, said small bars (50), near a middle region of their length, are provided with anchorage means (W5,64,62,64,65) for said flexible walls (42,75).
141. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 140, characterized in that, an axis of symmetry (K5) being configured arranged on the plane formed by the middle planes (D6) of the two small bars (50), the coupling point (51) of said small bars (50) in on said symmetry axis (K5).
142. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 140, characterized in that, an axis of symmetry (K5) being configured arranged on the plane formed by the middle planes (D6) of the two small bars (50), the coupling material of said small bars (50) is not on said symmetry axis (K5).
143. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 142, characterized in that, said small bars (50) are hinged to respective branches of a"U" reversed profiled element (73).
144. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to claim 143, characterized in that, in the internal walls, said"U" reversed profiled element (73) shows"sawtoothshaped" longitudinal relieves (74).
145. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to claim 143, or 144, characterized in that, with reference to the base (D5) of said"U"reversed profiled element (73), conventionally arranged on a horizontal plane, the plane (D6) defined by the middle axis of said small bars (50) is downwardly angulated by an angle (Z5) of at least 15°.
146. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to claim 145, characterized in that, said angle (Z5) is about 30°.
147. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to any of the claims 143 to 146, characterized in that, said"U" reversed profiled element (73) is developed in length for an extension (L5) at least equal to the half of the length of a said small bar (50).
148. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 147, characterized in that, it shows a slit (G5) elastically suitable to be spread up so as to be firmly gripped on the border (43,78) of a container (41,75) with floppy walls.
149. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 148, characterized in that, it shows an axial profile with constant section such as to enable its forming by extrusion.
150. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 149, characterized in that, said small bars (50) are upwardly provided with sealing means (T5) suitable for operating when said pressing device (49,59, 76) is at the closed state on a container (41,75).
151. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 150, characterized in that, at least one of said small bars (50) is provided at the upper portion with a lip (T5) designed to contact the other small bar (50) or a respective elastic lip (T5) of the other small bar (50), when said pressing device (49,59, 76) is at the closed state on a container (41,75).
152. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 151, characterized in that, at the coupling ends (51) said pressing device (49,59,76) is provided with an extension (93) substantially orthogonal to said small bars (50).
153. Pressing device (49,59,76) according to one or more of the claims 128 to 152, characterized in that, near one their own middle region, said small bars (50) are provided with protrusions (94).
154. Method for opening a container of the type comprising a first wall (42) and a second wall (42) at least one of which thermoformed and between which a hollow is defined designed to contain a fluid product, said first wall (42) and said second wall (42) being coupled in a first joint (43) and in a second joint (67) that together circumscribe said hollow, said second joint (67) being developed in a section substantially rectilinear, at least the coupling in said second joint (67) being removable by peeling so as to define an opening (48) of said container, characterized in that, it comprises symmetrically warping said first wall (42) and said second wall (42) at said second joint (67).
155. Method according to claim 154, characterized in that, said warping comprises warping around axes substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of said opening (48).
Description:
CONTAINER The invention relates to a container for liquids, whose opening results by tearing or removing a portion of wall, as well as to respective means and methods for opening and/or closing the same container.

A such container, in the particular cylindrical shape of metallic material is known with the term of can and is widely employed for beverages that are poured into a glass or directly drunk by approaching the lips to the border of the same can.

In both the cases serious hygienic problems exist since in the first case the exiting liquid comes in contact with external regions of the can that are not warranted clean, in the second case the lips selves come in contact with said external regions.

The attempts to solve said problem are innumerable but, at the current state, none has found general commercial application.

A first series of solutions consists of protecting said external portions of the can with covers or self-adhesive protective layers to be removed before opening. Examples of such solutions are described in the documents W097/10158, W095/28328, W093/02939, EP0816248, EP0385954, US6015059, US5139163, US3690509, JP10305856, JP7291283, GB2156772, FR2701008.

A problem of such solutions is generally in the additional cost, furthermore, the body designed to be detached from the can constitutes a potential source of environmental pollution, or, also when said body remains integrated with the can, it constitutes in any way a problem for recycling, since usually it necessarily consists of a material different from that constituting the can. Furthermore, technical difficulties arise when one tries to hermetically isolate with a film having flat development simultaneously either the upper cover of the can either a portion of the cylindrical side surface, the said surfaces being moreover generally connected by a deep groove present around the upper cover.

A second series of solutions consists of having a distributing

mouth extracted from inside the can at the opening moment or manually applied from the exterior. Examples of such applications are described in the documents W086/01488, EP0404734, EP0870685, US5823404, US5819972, US5415313, US5117980, US4561557, US4679702, US4415097, US3951316, US3473705, US3154226, JP10310133, DE3827341, GB2143496, GB2342083, FR2030414.

Obstacles to diffusion of such solutions result from the cost, from the technical difficulty of attainment and from the low practicalness of usage.

In US2086642 a distributing nozzle is provided obtained from a sheet folded and glued to the cover and to the side wall of a can; the fact that such sheet is necessarily glued to the cover and also to the border of the can makes the system complicated and of difficult practical application.

In W099/37546 it is provided that a protective element of elastic material consisting of two hinged laminar portions is upwardly fixed to the cover of the can in hermetically sealed manner; before opening the laminar upper portion is risen in rotation around the hinge and reversed against the side surface of the can forming a hygienic support for the lower lip of the mouth of a user directly drinking from the can.

The advantage of a solution consists in that even though the protection is normally placed internally to the area of the cover, on opening the protection extends also to the side portion of the can.

Such solution however shows different problems: a problem lies in that, in the case the contents of the can is directly poured into a glass, said protection gets in the way and may cause uncontrolled spreading of the liquid flow; a second problem lies in the poor convenience of usage, rising the laminar upper portion being not particularly easy; a further problem lies in the cost, being necessarily the said protection of relatively consistent dimensions and requiring for its production the use of forming mould means;

furthermore, the said protection, the remains integral portion of the can, may constitutes a problem when the empty can is recycled.

Another problem lies in that, when such protection is opened, it extends only in a radial direction, and therefore, since the width of such protection may not exceed the width of the cover, the open protection has a limited width and the mouth may come in contact with unprotected portions of the can.

A further problem lies in the hygienic safety of this protection, since, when this protection is strongly anchored in order to assure the hermetic sealing, the same protection becomes then hardly to be risen; on the contrary, when this protection is anchored in weak manner, the same protection becomes subjected to accidental detachment; in addition the protection could also be tampered with and repositioned without that a subsequent user may notice that.

Containers are further known obtained by folding and welding of cardboard generally coupled with thin plastic surface layers and possibly with a barrier layer of aluminium; such types of containers are particularly suitable for containing still beverages such as: milk, fruit-juice, tea, wine, water etc.

Opening and usage of such containers may take place in one of the following manners: a) by cutting with scissors a corner or the strip of a fold ; in this case it is necessary to have available scissors or other tool and this is not always possible, furthermore, willing to drink directly from the container, it is not possible to do it in hygienic manner. b) By rising a small cover hinged and suitable to be folded (or screwed) under which it is provided to form the opening by breaking the wall of the container or by tearing a seal; such system is practical but quite expensive since such small cover must be generally produced of pre-formed plastic material, and in addition such small cover is not particularly suitable for

hygienically drinking directly from the container. c) By introducing a straw into a proper small region of the cover suitable for being pierced, the straw is generally packaged inside a bag and laterally fixed to the container ; in such system the bag and the straw may constitute source of environmental pollution since not all the users act with conscientiously. On the other hand, the opening operations are quite complicated. d) By extracting a distributing nozzle obtained from a sheet folded as described for example in US2077341, US2757830 and US2444104; these solutions, beyond being enough complicated and of low convenience in their usage, are not suitable for hygienically drinking directly from the container.

In the marketing strategy of consumer goods it is common practice to stimulate the sales by delivering prizes of various nature on the base to the recovery or not of images or particular signs present in a normally hidden region of the packaging.

Such method finds easy application in the packaging where labelling is present, since the image may be printed for example on an internal region of the label normally hidden, or, in the case of bottle packaging, such mark may be present inside the closing top.

In the case of the cans of aluminium of the more diffuse type in "two pieces", such practice is. hardly applicable since no labelling is present and the portion of cover removed on opening is folded inside the container in a not visible position.

Containers are known of the type obtained by thermoforming from plastic sheet material or of the type obtained from plasticised cardboard and/or coated with aluminium, folded and welded along the borders or of floppy type as the so-called"bags"or "polybags", provided with opening and closing system.

Such types of containers are widely used owing to their lightness, hygienic safety, shock resistance, but mainly for their low cost, in packaging liquid or pasty products such as

detergents, cosmetics, lubricants or other products, or food liquids such as milk, fruit-juice, wines, etc.

Against these advantages such containers, however, are not provided with a opening/closing system convenient, efficient and economical to be'used after the container was opened for the first time.

For the thermoformed containers of plastic type solutions are for example known in the patents US3278085, W094/08852, W095/25665, W096/01212, W096/14254, W097/17268, W098/10993, W099/48768, that show however some shortcomings.

US 3278085 does not assure a stable seal and shows poor practicalness of usage.

W094/08852 in the version with screw-on top may not have a good seal since the neck whereon the top is screwed is necessarily of oval section and therefore the threaded regions may separate due to the elastic deformation of the neck self, since furthermore a safety closing must be present, consisting for example of a breakable wall integrated in the container and arranged under the top, this safety closing is quite difficult to accomplish.

W094/08852 in the version with external pressure top may not assure a good seal mainly in the points where the welding fins are present.

Also in W095/25665 the screw-on top arranged internally to the neck may not assure a good seal, mainly near the welded borders, furthermore, the producing process results more complex.

In W096/01212 the pressure top internal to the neck may not have a good seal, mainly in presence of a low pressure as well, if then, in order to facilitate the seal, the top is made so as to require a certain forcing for being inserted, either opening and closing become then arduous.

In W096/14254, the container has near the opening a peelable region that may remain open by aid of an axially sliding ring, and may be closed again with the aid of a fork inserted by pressure at the exterior of the coupled strips: the fork is of

poor practicalness of usage and in addition does not assure the seal since it works only on a small portion of the coupling surfaces. Also the axially sliding ring on the neck is of poor practicalness and may not be of any aid for the seal since does not work directly on the coupling surfaces.

In W097/17268 the insertion of a tubular element is provided with relative screw-on top during the forming phase of the container: the system results quite expensive to be carried on and in addition shows some difficulties in assuring the seal between the element with the screw-on top and the container body.

For W098/10993 the same comments made for US 3278085 and W096/01212 are valid.

In W099/48768 the seal should be warranted by a forced joint between the two surfaces forming the neck of the container and by the presence of adhesion between the same surfaces: also in this case, however, the joint works only on a small portion of the sealing surfaces and the adhesion may not give stable coupling, mainly when the said surfaces are wet.

Between the containers of the type obtained from plasticised and/or coated with aluminium cardboard, folded and welded along the borders, a model is known with rectangular or square base with upper closing with inclined flaps ("gable top"). Such type of container, such as shown in EP331792, EP448882 ed US6024280, has a considerable commercial diffusion, mainly since such type of container may be easily opened without the aid of scissors or other cutting tools. Furthermore, as provided in US3458110, US4619398, US4979668 and US5462222, it is also possible to close again the opening of such container by applying a pliers element on the folded flap. This container"gable top"shows a first disadvantage in that it is not superimposable or that in any way when superimposed with the aid of interposed means it gives place to space losses.

A second disadvantage lies in that when this"gable top" container is used with the said closing elements, many manual

operations to be executed in sequence are required, that in the order are: moving away the pliers, raising the flaps, extracting the nozzle, and vice versa for closing.

Another type of container obtained from plasticised or aluminium coated cardboard folded and welded along the borders, has parallelepiped shape with flat cover (and then superimposable).

Example of such containers are shown in EP115813, EP465834, US4634008 and a first series of means for opening/closing suitable for being applied to such containers are in EP214791, US4915290, US4925034, US4934590 ed US5101999. This means for opening/closing is made so as to do not excessively protrude from the plane of the upper face of the container and to enable then their superimposition, however these opening/closing means can not in practice warrant impermeability due to the impossibility to obtain a perfect and stable coupling between the sealing surfaces, or to the impossibility of maintaining a good adhesion between the surfaces (in the case EP214791) mainly when these surfaces result wet.

A second series of opening/closing means, as shown for example in US4813578, US4948015, US4964562, US5297696, US5833112, US5960992, W095/05996, W096/11850 and W099/42375, effectively enables a good hermetic closing owing to the presence of a screw-on top, in these cases however the possibility is wasted of superimposing the containers, just for the presence of the protruding top.

Other disadvantages are further present, such: -the cost relatively high due to the presence of at least two plastic, moulded elements of complex shape and not marginal dimensions, -the possibility of losing the said screw-on cover that is detached from the container, -the poor practicalness due to the need of screwing and unscrewing the cover.

In EP543766 a closing device is shown to be applied to the nozzle of a cardboard container, such device shows the following

disadvantages: -the need of having to open the container with other means (cutting by scissors), -the need of having to removing and applying again such device at any operation of opening and closing, being that quite uncomfortable and having the possible risk, on the other hand, of losing the device, -the poor seal, mainly in the central portion of the opening since a poor or null closing force is here exerted, -the poor seal in presence of low pressure as well at the interior of the container, since the closing device, being not interlocked with the container, may slide away from there, -the two pieces construction of the device.

It is purpose of the present invention to improve the said Prior Art.

In a first aspect of the present invention a container for liquids is provided, particularly beverages, in a wall of which it is provided forming an opening, at least portion of the said wall being protected by a film with internal surface oriented toward the said wall, characterized in that, said film is adherent to the said wall at least in a first section and in a second section that together circumscribe the region designed to form the said opening, said film being progressively separable from the said wall by remaining adherent to the said wall in said first section so that said internal surface may act as sliding surface for the liquid exiting the said container and/or as hygienic supporting surface for the mouth.

In a second aspect of the present invention a can is provided, particularly for beverages, comprising protective hygienic means arranged internally to the area of the cover of said can, said protective means being extensible beyond the said area of the cover by remaining partially anchored to said cover, characterized in that, said protective means is extensible along

more radial directions.

In a third aspect of the present invention a can is provided, particularly for beverages, comprising hygienic protective means arranged internally to the area of the cover of said can, said protective means being extensible beyond the said area of the cover by remaining partially anchored to said cover, characterized in that, said protection is at least partially folded on itself so that facing portions of its internal surface form a strip protruding from the plane of said cover.

In a fourth aspect of the present invention a cover for can is provided comprising a region designed to form an opening of said cover, said region being cooperating with protective hygienic means arranged internally to the area of the said cover, said protective means being extensible beyond the said area of the said cover by remaining partially anchored to said cover, characterized in that, said protective means is extensible along more radial directions In a fifth aspect of the present invention, a cover for can is provided comprising a region designed to form an opening of said cover, characterized in that said region is protected by a film at least folded on itself so that facing portions of its internal surface form a strip protruding from the plane of said cover, said film being raisable in order to free said region by remaining partially anchored to the said cover.

In a sixth aspect of the present invention a can is provided comprising a protective means anchored thereto, being provided that said protective means forms a surface subjected to the potential contact with the distributed liquid and/or with the lips of a user, characterized in that said protective means is breakable.

In a seventh aspect of the present invention a method is provided for hygienically opening a can provided with a protective means anchored to said can and arranged near the region designed to form the opening of said can, being provided that said protective

means forms a surface subjected to the potential contact with the distributed liquid and/or with the lips of a user, characterized in that, the method comprises breaking at least portion of said protective means in order to free said region.

In a eighth aspect of the present invention a container is provided, particularly for beverages, comprising hygienic protective means arranged near the opening of the cover of the said container, characterized in that it comprises marks to be uncovered cooperating and/or integrated with said hygienic protective means.

In a ninth aspect of the present invention a container is provided for fluid products, comprising a first wall and a second wall at least one of which thermoformed and between which a hollow is defined designed to contain the said products, said first wall and said second wall being welded along a border, between said first wall and said second wall a duct being further defined designed to lead out into an opening of said container, said duct being suitable for being closed by mutual contact of said first wall and said second wall, characterized in that said duct is cooperating with a pressing device that directly operates on a segment that substantially passes across the said duct.

In an advantageous version of this ninth aspect of the invention the duct is conformed so as to allow the closing by simple elastic deformation of the walls, by preventing the risk of breaks or permanent deformations of the walls.

In a tenth aspect of the present invention a container is provided for liquid products, comprising a first wall and a second wall at least one of which thermoformed and between which a hollow is defined designed to contain the said products, said first wall and said second wall being coupled in a first joint and in a second joint that together circumscribe the said hollow, at least the coupling in said second joint being removable by peeling so as to define an opening of said container, characterized in that, said second joint extends in a

substantially rectilinear segment.

In an advantageous version of said tenth aspect said opening is produced by a deformation of said first wall and by a symmetric deformation of said second wall.

In a further advantageous version of said tenth aspect, in a middle region of said second joint, respective appendages are present of said first wall and of said second wall.

In an eleventh aspect of the present invention a container is provided for fluid products, comprising walls between which a hollow is defined designed to contain the said products, said walls being welded along a border projected toward the exterior of said hollow, between said walls being further defined a duct designed to lead up into an opening of said container, characterized in that, said border shows means for holding devices suitable for opening and/or closing the said duct by mutually moving away/approaching said walls.

In an advantageous version of said eleventh aspect said means comprises recesses and/or protrusions.

In a twelfth aspect of the present invention a container is provided for fluid products comprising walls welded along a border, said walls being suitable for being uncoupled at said border by peeling so as to form an opening of said container and being suitable for being coupled in order to cause the closing of the said container by means of the aid of a pressing device, characterized in that, said pressing device comprises anchorage means to said walls suitable for acting so as to cause said peeling.

In a thirteenth aspect of the present invention a container is provided obtained from a cardboard sheet folded and sealed along borders, characterized in that, the container has enclosed a pressing device comprising a pair of small bars arranged like a "V", hinged near the connecting ends and free to move at the opposed ends, characterized in that, said small bars comprise coupling means suitable for maintain mutually adjacent the said

opposed ends.

In a fourteenth aspect of the present invention a method is provided for opening and/or closing a container for fluid products comprising walls welded along a border, said walls being suitable for being uncoupled at said border by peeling so as to form an opening of said container, said opening being cooperating with pressing devices suitable for closing again the said opening, characterized in that, the method comprises operating with said pressing devices in order to cause said peeling.

In a fifteenth aspect of the present invention a pressing device is provided, suitable for closing a container with flexible walls, comprising a pair of small bas arranged like a"V", hinged near the coupling ends and free to move at the opposed ends, characterized in that, said small bars comprise coupling means suitable for maintaining mutually adjacent the said opposed ends.

In a first advantageous version of said fifteenth aspect, said small bars have curved conformation, with the convex walls mutually facing.

In a second version of said fifteenth aspect, said pressing device is of plastic, monobloc material.

In a third advantageous version of said fifteenth aspect, said pressing device comprises anchorage means to said container that operates also while the said device is in open position.

In a fourth version of said fifteenth aspect, said pressing device further comprises second coupling means suitable for maintaining said device firmly positioned in an open position.

In a sixteenth aspect of the present invention, a method is provided for opening a container of the type comprising a first wall and a second wall at least one of which thermoformed and between which a hollow is defined designed to contain a fluid product, said first wall and said second wall being coupled in a first joint and in a second joint that together circumscribe the said hollow, said second joint being developed in a substantially rectilinear segment, at least the coupling in said second joint

being removable by peeling so as to define an opening of said container, characterized in that, the method comprises symmetrically warping said first wall and said second wall near said second joint.

In an advantageous version of this sixteenth aspect, said warping comprises warping around axes substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of said opening.

The invention will be better understood with the aid of the enclosed drawings wherein: Figure 1 is a top view of the can according to the invention illustrating a means of hygienic protection under the form of film at the folded position in the closed cover.

Figure 2 is a view like Figure 1 highlighting the shape of the film unfolded according to a flat development.

Figure 3 is a partial, perspective view of the can of Figure 1.

Figure 4 is a section taken along the plane IV-IV of Figure 1.

Figure 5 is a perspective view like Figure 3 highlighting a detachment stage of the film.

Figure 6 is a perspective view like Figure 3 highlighting the film in the position suitable for functioning as pouring spout.

Figure 7 is a perspective view like Figure 3 highlighting the film in the position suitable for functioning as protection for the lips.

Figure 8 is a view like Figure 1 highlighting an additional protective film extended on the opening lever of the can.

Figure 9 is a view like Figure 1 highlighting a different manner for attaching and folding the film.

Figure 10 is a view like Figure 9 highlighting the shape of the unfolded film.

Figure 11 is a top view of a further shape of film according to the invention, unfolded in flat development.

Figure 12 is a top view of the film of Figure 11 in the folded state.

Figure 13 is a view like Figure 1 highlighting a further shape of

the folded film, partially arranged under the lever of opening.

Figure 14 is a view like Figure 13 highlighting the shape of the film unfolded in a flat development.

Figure 15 is a view like Figure 1 highlighting a different shape and folding of the hygienic protection.

Figure 16 is a view like Figure 15 highlighting the shape and the folding lines of the hygienic protection unfolded in flat development.

Figure 17 is a perspective view of the hygienic protection of Figure 15.

Figure 18 is a top view highlighting the cutting lines of a sheet in order to obtain the hygienic protections of Figures 15.

Figure 19 is a view like Figure 3 in a different version of the invention.

Figure 20 is a detail of Figure 19 highlighting a first development phase of the hygienic protection.

Figure 21 is a view like Figure 1, however from a different point of view, highlighting a second development phase of the hygienic protection.

Figure 22 is a perspective view of a container in the closed state, obtained by folding and welding of an impermeable sheet, and produced according to the invention.

Figure 23 is a perspective and partial view of the container of Figure 22 in the open state.

Figure 24 is a perspective view like Figure 22 of a container provided with a hygienic protection of different shape, in the closed state.

Figure 25 is a perspective view of the container of Figure 24, in the open state.

Figure 26 is a perspective view like Figure 24, in a variance of the opening system, in the closed state.

Figure 27 is a perspective view of the container of Figure 26 in the open state.

Figure 28 is a perspective, partial view of container like Figure

24, in a further variance of the opening system, in the closed state.

Figure 29 is a perspective view of the container of Figure 28 in- the open state.

Figure 30 shows a container, of the type obtained by thermo- forming and welding from two sheets of plastic material, made according to the invention, in the closed state and still sealed.

Figure 31 shows the container of Figure 30 in a perspective partial view highlighting the open state.

Figure 32 is a view like Figure 30, when the container has been opened and closed again.

Figure 33 shows the container of Figure 30 in a perspective, partial view of container still sealed according to a variance of the invention.

Figure 34 is a top view of the pressing device of Figure 33 in the open state.

Figure 35 is a top view of the pressing device of Figure 34, in the closed state.

Figure 36 is a side view partial and strongly enlarged of the container of the Figures 30,31,32 and 33, highlighting a housing obtained on one of the welding borders near the opening.

Figure 37 is a view like Figure 36 highlighting in section the pressing device of the Figures 31,32 mounted in the housing.

Figure 38 is a top view, partial and strongly enlarged of the end portion of the pressing device of the Figures 31,32, in the closed state.

Figure 39 is a section taken along the plane XXXIX-XXXIX of Figure 38.

Figure 40 is a section taken along the plane XL-XL of Figure 38.

Figure 41 is a section taken along the plane XLI-XLI of Figure 38.

Figure 42 is a top view of the pressing device of the Figures 31, 32, shown in the configuration where it is formed.

Figure 43 is a perspective view highlighting a variance of the

pressing device according to the invention, in the open state.

Figure 44 is a perspective view like Figure 43, highlighting the pressing device in the closed state.

Figure 45 is a perspective view of a further variance of pressing device according to the invention.

Figure 46 is a section taken along the plane XLVI-XLVI of Figure 31, highlighting the open container.

Figure 47 is a section like Figure 46, highlighting the closed container.

Figure 48 is a section like Figure 46 highlighting a container according to the Prior Art.

Figure 49 is a section like Figure 48 highlighting an incorrect behaviour at closing.

Figure 50 is a perspective and broken view of a container like Figure 30 highlighting housing and protrusions for the coupling of a pressing device.

Figure 51 is a perspective view like Figure 50 highlighting a container whereon a pressing device is mounted.

Figure 52 is a sketched top view of Figure 51 highlighting an open container.

Figure 53 is a perspective view of a further variance of pressing means, as an alternative to the pressing means of Figures 51,52.

Figure 54 is a side view, partially broken of a further pressing device according to the invention, mounted at a corner of a container with thermoformed walls.

Figure 55 is a section taken along the plane LV-LV of Figure 54.

Figure 56 is a perspective view of Figure 54.

Figure 57 is a perspective broken view of a container of parallelepiped type obtained from folded cardboard, still sealed and whereon a pressing device according to the invention is mounted.

Figure 58 is a broken and strongly enlarged perspective view of the container of Figure 57 highlighting the opening phase by peeling.

Figure 59 is a broken and strongly enlarged perspective view of the container of Figure 57 highlighting a different conformation of the purchases for the peeling.

Figures 60,61 and 62 are sections, at the purchases for peeling, of pressing devices according to the invention highlighting three different variances of the anchorage of the purchases of the container.

Figure 63 is a partial section taken along the plane LXIII-LXIII of Figure 62.

Figure 64 is a perspective broken view of a pressing device like Figures 54,55,56, with hygienic protections, mounted on a container like Figure 57, wherein the opening was obtained by stripping a corner of the container self.

Figure 65 is a section taken along the plane LXV-LXV of Figure 64.

Figure 66 is a section like Figure 65 highlighting a closed container.

Figure 67 is a broken side view of a container of folded cardboard according to the invention, near the region designed to the opening.

Figure 68 is a perspective broken view on a container of folded cardboard, of the type known as"gable top".

Figure 69 is a perspective view of the container of Figure 68 at the open state, according to the Prior Art.

Figure 70 is a perspective view of the container of the Figures 68,69, with inserted a pressing device according to the invention, at the open state.

Figure 71 is a view like Figure 70, at the closed state.

Figure 72 is a view like Figure 34 highlighting a pressing device provided with a different coupling system.

Figure 73 is a partial and broken view like Figure 72, highlighting the anchorage phase to the container.

Figure 74 is a view of the pressing device of Figure 72, at the closed state.

Figure 75 is a perspective and broken view highlighting a producing phase by extrusion of the pressing device of Figure 72.

Figure 76 and 77 are partial views of pressing devices with different coupling systems.

Figure 78 is a broken side view of a container like Figure 30 provided with a further version of pressing device according to the invention.

With reference to the Figures 1 to 7, a can 1 comprises a cover 2 provided with an incision 3 defining a fracture line of the said cover 2 in order to form there an opening A suitable for enabling the liquid therein contained to outflow.

The formation of said opening A is caused by raising a lever 4 hinged to the cover 2 according to known systems.

A film 5, provided with internal surface 6 and external surface 7 is firmly anchored to the cover 2 at a first,"V-shaped"section 8 with vertex near the border of the cover 2. The internal angle of the said first,"V-shaped"section 8 is comprised between 90 and 140 degrees, advantageously about 120 degrees. In the case of the Figures 1 to 7 the film 5 is anchored to the cover 2 in the section 8 with the external surface 7.

The peripheral border 9 of the internal surface 6 is treated so as it results adhesive and sealing, such adhesion must in any way enable the state of adhesive coupling to be easily detached and possibly restored. Such adhesive will be of non-toxic properties and not removable by the liquid flowing thereon.

The folded film is leant on the cover 2 by forming along a second section 10 a hermetic sealing on the cover 2.

Said second section 10 together with the first section 8 localises the region designed to form the opening A by also crossing upwardly the lever 4; in order to have a reliable hermetic sealing and assure the sterility of the protected region, in said section 10 the region 11 comprised between the lever 4 and the cover 2 will be filled with suitable sealing, as well as, on the other hand, the sealing will be assured of the

section of the peripheral border 9 not attached to the cover 2 but attached to itself at the strip 12.

As highlighted in the Figures 1 and 2 the strip 12 is formed by folding the film 5 along a base line R1 (or two symmetric base lines R1) and along a central line of symmetry S1. In order to restrict the height encumbrance of the film 5 even though an easy purchase is maintained, it is advantageous to hold the strip 12 near the cover 2 and to have the said strip 12 protruding from the cover only at its terminal portion by means of the folding T.

Said strip 12 is freely raisable, by maintaining on the other hand the hermetic sealing of the protected region and, as already said, it represent an easy purchase for the fingers 13 for the detachment by peeling of the film 5, as shown in Figure 5.

As the strip 12 is raised, the film 5 extends in two radial directions D1 and D2.

As highlighted in Figure 6, a functional nozzle 14 may be formed suitable for pouring the liquid, whose hygiene is assured by that the liquid flows on the internal surface 6 while the fingers 13 came in contact only with the external surface 7.

Willing directly to drink from the can 1, the film 5 may be lowered against the side wall of the can 1 as highlighted in Figure 7, the internal surface 6 forming a hygienic rest for the lips; lowering of film 5 may take place by pursuing the opening movement with the fingers 13 as shown in Figure 5, or simply by leaning the lips starting from a position of the film 5 as arranged in Figure 6.

In order to facilitate an easy and secure positioning, the film 5 will be advantageously formed by material plastically deformable and/or malleable as for example this may be the case of an aluminium film of thickness between 0,01 and 0,05 mm. The employment of such material is also advantageous with regard to the recycling of the empty container, since it is the same material that generally form the body of the can 1.

The small thickness and the deformability of such film 5 are

important features for the economic character and the easy detachment of its internal surface 6, in effect such detachment results by peeling on a front line progressively moving, without that a great acting force is required, even if the adhesion is considerable. Vice versa, as in the Prior Art, the opening of a more thick and rigid protection is much less easy, since a force must be applied such as to initially overcome the resistance of the almost all adhering surface.

In order to prevent a possible unpleasant, metallic contact on the lips and/or in order to improve its tear strength, the film 5 may consist of coupled layers of different materials.

The film 5 may be advantageously applied to the cover 2 directly during the production phase of the cover 2 self, that, therefore, arrives now ready to the plant where the can 1 is filled and sealed, such filling and sealing operations being as well possible without the need that modifications or other additional operations are made to the plants.

As noticeable in Figure 2 the film 5 has cardioid peripheral form 5c.

In the Figures 15 to 18 a different shape of film 5 is represented and a different manner of folding said film 5. In this case the folding is obtained along the symmetric lines P1, P2, P3, and the strip 12, protruding from the cover 2, is obtained by the folding along the lines P3, P4, all the said lines P1, P2, P3 and P4 converge in only one point B1. In this case the purchase 12 results so lying in a central, easily accessible position.

The particular peripheral shape 5b of the film 5 of the Figures 15 to 18 enables an optimal protection of the cover 2 and a likewise optimal and wide protection on the border of the can 1 in the portion involved in the contact with the mouth, without disadvantageous waste of redundant material (film 5).

In effect, in accordance with the purpose of the present invention, the film 5 results highly wrapping on the border of

the can 1 by protecting a wide portion thereof, whereas it extends in limited manner towards the lower portion of the can, where its presence would be superfluous and only obstructing.

As represented in Figure 18 such polygonal shape 5b (with angles of size Z2, Z3 and Z4) is obtained by cutting without scrap from a continuous sheet. That is possible by having the angle Z1 (complementary of Z3) equal to Z2, so as to enable to approach the shapes 5 along rows F1 and F2, any single row F1 being rotated by 180° with respect to the adjacent row F2.

The sides of such polygonal shape 5b may be on the other hand not rectilinear, even though they respect the cutting property of sheet without scrap.

It is highlighted that the width extension X2 of the film 5 once unfolded is remarkably greater than the width Xl of the film 5 folded inside the cover 2.

As it appears evident in Figure 2 and Figure 7, a mark W is printed on the internal surface 6 of the film, indicating to the user the occurred windfall or less of a prize. Said mark W is not absolutely visible when said film is folded in the closed state.

In Figure 16 the mark W is printed on the cover of the can 1 and also in this case it is not visible when the film 5 is in its closed state.

The combination of marks W to be uncovered in cooperation and/or integrated with hygienic protecting means is not restricted to the disclosed examples but may be applied for example also to cans with different opening systems.

On the other hand, in the combination with the prize promoting means W, such hygienic protection will not consist necessarily of a film 5 as described, but may be of any other known type, such as a plastic covering to be integrally detached and extended to the all surface of the cover 2.

The combination of the hygienic protection 5 with the prize promoting means W give rise to an obvious synergy such as to widely counterbalance the greater costs for applying the

protection 5.

The marks 5 arranged for indicating the wins may consist of symbols, they may be also of number grater than two for indicating more wins of different value.

The protection of the film 5 on the opening A may also be extended only partially, or may be extended also beyond the encumbrance of the lever 4 in order to integrally protect said lever 4, in this last case the sealing of the region 11 being inessential.

In Figure 8 an additional film 15 is highlighted, that surrounds the lever 4 by adherence with the cover 2 ; such configuration may be useful in order to avoiding sealing the lever 4 against the cover 2 in the region 11. Alternatively a film 5, not shown, may be in any way provided, that integrally covers also the lever 4.

In the Figures 9 and 10 a film 5 is shown that is attached to the cover 2 at the first anchoring section by means of the internal surface 6.

In the Figures 11 and 12 a film 5 is shown of shape such as of being suitable for being cut from a flat sheet without producing scrap; that is obtained by having the angles Z1 and Z2 equal and the sides V1 and V2 parallel.

In the Figures 13 and 14 a film 5 is shown that is arranged, in the portion corresponding to the lever 4, between the cover 2 and the lever 4; such conformation enables to integrally protect all the opening A without resorting to the additional protection 14 or to the sealing of the of the region 11. In order to facilitate peeling of the film 5 it is provided a tab B enabling the progressive rolling detachment of the film 5 from the cover 2 and the subsequent extraction from under the lever 4.

In order to better understand the shape of the folding, in the drawings the external sides of the film 5 are highlighted with the letters C, D, E, F and N and the folds with the letters G, H, L, M and P. said tab B, that may be contaminated, results then advantageously lying in a lateral position, not subjected to the

contact with the liquid or the lips.

The film 5, as configured in the Figures 13 and 14 may be mounted on the cover 2 before the lever 4 is riveted on the cover 2; since the encumbrance of the film 5 remains confined inside the perimeter of the cover 2, that does not constitute impediments for the fixing operations of the cover 2 during the closing of the can 1.

In the other shown cases, said film 5 may be applied on the cover 2 before the closing phase or after the closing phase.

After the can 1 has been opened and the contents partially used, the film 5 may be easily folded back at its original position in order to constitute a protection against the outflow of the liquid or the contamination by external elements.

In the Figure 19 the film 5 is firmly anchored to the cover 2 also along the section 10 and also the strip 12 is overlapped on the section 10 and firmly anchored to said section 10.

The shape of the film 5 is such that the strip 12 may remain slightly arcuated and set apart from the cover 2 in the middle region 20, so that a chink is formed suitable for an easy hold for the raising.

As highlighted in Figure 20, by raising the strip 12 according to the direction of the arrow 21, the breakage by sectioning of the film 5 is produced along a line 22 adjacent the segment 10.

As highlighted in Figure 21, pursuing the raising movement enables to totally unfold the film 5 not anchored on the cover, while instead all the film 5a corresponding to the segment 10 remains anchored on the cover 2.

This version of the invention allows some advantages either with respect to the Prior Art, either with respect to the versions of the invention with film 5 unfoldable by peeling: a first advantage consists in the greater hygienic assurance since the region protected by the film 5 is fully circumscribed by sections firmly anchored, that are not therefore subjected to accidental detachments and/or penetration, that makes on the

other hand more easy possible sterilising operations also at high temperature; a second advantage lies in that the user has more assurances of hygienic reliability since this protection may not be violated, unless the film 5 self is broken, that is however easy to be discovered by the user self; a third advantage lies in that, even though, as already said, the film 5 has a firm anchorage on the sections 10, said film 5 may be easily unfolded also because its internal surface 6 at the strip 12, once this is raised, already lies free from adhesive materials ; a fourth advantage lies in that the internal surface 6 designed for the contact with the liquid and/or the lips does not show traces of residual adhesive material.

In order to facilitate the initial operation of sectioning the film 5, a small notch 23 will be advantageously present in the strip 12.

In order to do not compromise the hermetic seal, the internal surfaces 6 will be mutually welded in a small region surrounding said notch 23.

In order to facilitate the sectioning of the film 5 along the optimal position, preferred fracture lines may be advantageously provided on the surface of the film 5 ; for the same purpose films 5 with anisotropic properties may be also provided, for example: with a lower tensile strength along an established direction, due to the presence for example of molecular chains or oriented fibres along said direction or for the presence of surface parallel micro-grooves.

In a not shown version, the film 5 circumscribes with the welded segment 10 all the lever 4, but shows the sectioning line 22 arranged in a more central region, above the said lever 4; such conformation has the advantage of not requiring the sealing of the region 11 and maintaining a distributing nozzle 14 of dimensions not too much voluminous.

The Figures 22 and 23 show the invention applied to a container 16 of the type obtained from folding a coated cardboard with aluminium and/or plastic. On the upper wall 16a an opening A is provided to be formed, sealed by a tab 17 suitable for being removed at the first opening. A film 5 properly folded protects, as in the previous case, the region designed to the opening A and the surrounding upper wall region 16a.

In the Figures 24 and 25 the protective film 5 is arranged without folding and it is provided that after opening said protective film 5 remains anchored to the container 16 in a rectilinear segment 8.

In this case the film 5 seals directly the opening A and is advantageously anchored to the wall 16a of the container 16 in a region directly circumscribing the opening A in order to obtain its closing and in the sections 8,10 in order to obtain the hygienic protection of the region surrounding the opening A.

In a further variance, shown in Figure 26 and Figure 27, in the region designed for the opening A, the only internal layer 24 of the wall 16a is present, that is the thin internal layer generally consisting of aluminium and plastic film functioning as a barrier for the gases. The film 5 is attached, by hermetic seal, to the wall of the container 16 in the sections 8 and 10 circumscribing the region to be hygienically protected and is strongly anchored in structural manner to the said internal layer 24 at a"V-shaped"section 25. Raising of the film 5 automatically produces the opening of the container 16 by breaking the layer 24 that remains anchored to the internal face 6 of the film 5, as shown in Figure 27.

With reference to the version of Figures 28 and 29, the opening A is sealed by a tab 26 external to the wall 16a of the container 16 and pasted so as to result peelable in the region 27 circumscribing the opening A. the tab 26 shows a region 28 at its end portion opposing the section 8 wherein said tab 26 is not pasted to the wall 16a.

The tab 26 is covered and circumscribed by a film 5 firmly anchored in a section 8 near the edge of the container 16 and pasted in peelable manner to the wall 16a in a section 10. The film 5 shows a corner 29 free from glue and easy to be caught for raising, such purchase may be in any way otherwise arranged, such as in the central region 28 or along all this side of the film 5.

The film 5, at its internal surface 6, is also anchored to the tab 26 in the region 28. As shown in Figure 29 raising the film 5 automatically produces also the opening of the container 16; it is highlighted that the adhesion between the film 5 and the region 28 of the tab 26 is very firm since this coupling is never stretched to be peeled also in the case it was necessary to overcome a strong adhesion of the tab 26 on the wall 16a.

After opening, the container 16 appears to the user with a wide surface, either on the cover 16a either on the side wall, hygienically suitable for the contact with the mouth.

It is highlighted that such solution is economical, simple, hygienic and ecological.

Repositioning of the film 5 may protect the opening A and the contents from the contamination by external agents. It is not to be excluded that, by making the section 10 self-adhesive with particular glues, a hermetic seal may be also obtained for a sufficient number of opening/closing operations.

It is highlighted that the solutions proposed from Figure 24 to Figure 29 are particularly suitable for small, single-dose container (100,200 ml) from which directly to draw with the mouth, for still drinks such as fruit-juices, tea, vitamin supplements, etc. In these cases, in effect, it is not important the possibility of closing back the packaging while, instead, the economic character, the ease of opening and the hygienic reliability are important factors.

The opening A on the other hand may be also obtained with any other means or known system.

The solutions shown and described with reference to the

containers of folded and pasted cardboard 16 are valid also for the containers of the can 1 type or for any other known container.

The solutions shown and described with reference to the containers of the can 1 type are valid also for the containers of the folded and pasted cardboard 16 type or for any other known container.

In this manner, for example, the film 5 shown in Figure 28 may be raised by breaking of the region facing the section 10 as in the example of Figures 19,20,21.

With reference to the Figure 30, a container 41, of the type obtained from two sheets 42 of plastic material thermoformed and peripherally sealed along a protruding border 43, shows in the upper portion a duct 44 that ends with an appendage 45 circumscribed by said thermo-sealed border 43 that assures the original sealing of the container 41.

Such appendage 45 may be detached on the first opening by tearing it along pre-lanced fracture lines 46, by pulling the ring 47.

As highlighted in Figure 31, where the container is shown open without the appendage 45, immediately under the opening 48 there is placed a pressing device 49 formed by two small bars 50 arranged like a"V", hinged on an axis X5 near the connecting vertex 51.

As shown in the Figures 36 and 37, such pressing device 49 at the vertex 51 is firmly anchored to the container 41, by snap insertion into a proper housing 52 obtained in the border 43 ; it is highlighted that such insertion may be executed into the production plant, but for exemplifying may be also easily performed by the user, being the said pressing device 49 attached to the packaging in other manner.

Such pressing device 49 may be advantageously and economically produced of plastic material built-in moulded.

As highlighted in Figure 32, at the ends 53 opposing the hinged region 51, such small bars 50 are suitable for mutually and

firmly interlocking, when are approached by the force exerted by two fingers according to the direction of the arrows A5. Such interlocking device is shown in detail in the Figures 38,39,40 and 41.

The interlocking mechanism M5 is cooperating with appendages 54 that, when vertically approached according to the direction of the arrows B5, produce the release and the opening of the pressing device 49.

Such mechanism results highly functional and effective since, by the simple pressing action exerted by first finger index and thumb in vertical or horizontal direction, the opening or closing is obtained of the container 41.

As shown in the Figures 34,35 and 42, in order to advantageously better spread the sealing action along the section transversal to the duct 44, the internal faces 55 of the small bars 50 are provided with a slight curvature with convexity directed inwards.

Furthermore, always in order to improve the sealing action, the said internal faces 55 are provided with one or more longitudinal relieves 56: as highlighted in the Figure 39 a form that enables the optimal coupling and the maximal pressure in said coupling region shows one of the internal faces 55 flat and the other one with a longitudinal relief 56.

The container of Figure 33 differs from the Figures 30,31 and 32 in that the two thermoformed sheets 42, near the fracture line 46 and the pressing device 49, are flat and substantially drawn up: such a conformation may facilitate the opening operation since it may be obtained by repeatedly rotating according to the direction of the arrow 57 the appendage 45, in this case in order to cause the liquid to flow out a slight increase of pressure will be necessary produced by pressing the container 41 so as to mutually move away the sheets 42 in the duct 44.

In order to make more stable the positioning of the pressing device 49 once closed, also in presence of pressure of the fluid, a further housing 58 is provided on the border 43 opposing that

where the housing 52 is present. Such housing 58 on the other hand may be present also in the container of the type previously described in the Figures 30,31 and 32.

The Figures 33 to 35 show a pressing device 9 with different coupling system.

The Figures 43 and 44 highlight a further variance of pressing device 59 that enables to open and close the container by transversal sliding according to the direction of the arrows 60.

In Figure 45 a pressing device is shown wherein the approaching and the separation of the ends 53 is obtained for the most part by elastic deformation of the small bars 50, being the small bars 50 joined in the vertex 51 in substantially rigid manner. In this case the slit G5 between the small bars 50 near the vertex 51 may be exploited in order to obtain the stable anchorage of the pressing device 49 to the border 43 of the container 41 by simple pressure insertion, without on the other hand having the need of the housing 52 on the border 43. In order to improve said anchorage, the internal faces 55 at the slit G5 may be advantageously provided with relieves, developing in direction orthogonal to the relieves 56 and with"sawtooth-shaped" transversal cross section.

Advantageously, the section of border 43 wherein this type of pressing device is provided to be inserted will be provided with grooves N5 (Figure 54), parallel to the border 43 and easy to be obtained at the welding phase, wherein said"sawtooth-shaped" relieves may firmly engage.

The Figure 46 shows the optimal conformation of the duct 44 in the section corresponding to the pressing device 49,59: the borders 43 being defined in a plane P5, the wall 42 is matched to said plane P5 with a curvature radius R such that said wall 42 may assume a flat shape corresponding to said plane P5 by simple elastic deformation inside its own elastic limit; in this way with small force F5 an optimal coupling of the walls 42 is obtained, without risk of breaks or permanent deformation of the

walls 42.

Advantageously, the thickness in millimetres of the wall 42 being equal to S, such curvature radius R (expressed in mm.) will be: R>36S.

As highlighted in the Figures 48 and 49, the same force F5 applied on a duct 44 of traditional shape does not allow its closing, by producing on the other hand remarkable stresses on the walls 42 near the borders 43, such as to produce even failures.

The Figures 50,51,52 show the application of a pressing device 49 to a container of thermoformed type whose duct 44 ends with a section 67 where the walls 42 are welded in a manner suitable for being uncoupled by peeling. Such section 67, substantially rectilinear, extends itself between two borders 43 where the welding is on the contrary stable. The walls 42 stretch themselves at the middle portion of said section 67 under form of two appendages 68 divaricated outwards; advantageously the end portions of the appendages 68 show enlargements 69, easy to be obtained by fusion and/or folding, suitable for blocking into the housing 64 of the pressing device 49. As in the previous case, the pressing device 49 may be already positioned at a factory, or the user self may easily insert said pressing device by transversal sliding according to the direction of the arrow F7.

It is specified that the container 41 may be also of the type with joint suitable for being uncoupled (peelable) extended either in the section 67 either in all the remaining border 43, even though the only region interested by the peeling is that of the section 67.

The particular curved shape of the small bars 50, beyond the already indicated advantage, in this case offers a first further advantage by enabling the insertion of the strips 68 into the housing 64 without interference of the end 53 that already lies divaricated, and a second further advantage in that such divaricated condition of the end 53 enables the fingers a better

grasp for applying the peeling action.

As shown in the Figures 51 and 52, the pressing device 49, in order to be held steady open, may be further provided with further housing means 70 arranged beyond the axis X5, the open position may be in any way automatically and steady reached at on uncoupling the ends 53, as an effect of an elastic return in the hinging point 51.

The pressing device of Figure 53 is similar to the Figures 51,52 but shows the housings 64 laterally arranged: the advantage of a such shape consists in that the pressing device 49 may be obtained with simple, two element moulds.

In the Figures 54,55 and 56 a container 41 is shown of the type with the walls 42 thermo-formed and welded along a border 43 whose opening is obtained by cutting or detaching a corner 72; in this case the pressing device 49 shows, near the hinge 51, a protrusion 73 with base extended in a direction D5 and conformed with"U-like"section suitable for being interlocked on the border 43 of the container 41.

In order to make stable the coupling, as shown in Figure 55, the branches of said protrusion 73 show at their internal part "sawtooth-shaped"relieves 74 and the respective border 43 is provided with longitudinal grooves N5, easy to be obtained at welding phase, where the said relieves 74 may firmly interlock.

Furthermore, the plane D6 defined by the small bars 50 forms with respect to the said direction D5 a disalignment angle Z5 of at least 15°, advantageously about 30°.

The pressing device 76 of the Figures 57 and 58 is employed in a parallelepiped container obtained by folding and welding along the borders of a waterproofed sheet of cardboard. The said pressing device 76 shows a recess 77 suitable for inserting itself in the welding border 78 and two housing 64 suitable for receiving and block corresponding protruding tabs 79 of said border 78; the said recess 77 lies therefore on the symmetry axis K5 placed on the plane defined by the middle axes of the two

small bars 50.

The welding border 78 is not firmly welded at the pressing device 76 as in the other portions but is welded so that it may be detached by peeling by separation of the tabs 79.

Therefore the pressing device 76 may be used either for carrying out the first opening by peeling, either for carrying out the following hermetic closing.

As it results wide evident in the Figures, the tabs 79 also enable the firmly anchorage of the pressing device 76 to the container 75 even in the open state, by preventing so risks of loosing the said pressing device 76 and the trouble of needing to be always repositioned.

Ad highlighted in Figure 57 the pressing device 76 may be already mounted in right position, on the flap 80 folded downwardly, directly in the production plant, by maintaining on the other hand the possibility of superimposing and approaching the container 75.

This detail is important since currently such containers arrive at the supermarkets of great turnover directly stacked on pallets, and so are also exposed to the customer base, therefore these containers are not (and can not be) provided with any means for a stable hermetic closure to be used after the first opening.

In order to do not penalise the rate of the packaging producing process, the pressing device 76 may be attached to the packaging in different manner, for example by gluing said pressing device 76 with a point of thermo-fusible glue to one of the walls of the container 75, in which case it will be the user that easily insert said pressing device 76 on the flap 80 after said flap 80 has been raised ; the tabs 79 will not welded, so that they will show themselves already divaricated to the user.

The tabs 79 of Figure 58 are obtained in protrusion with respect to the normal welding border 78, therefore, in order to prevent unusable waste, it is convenient to have in the border of the bottom welding of the container, a recess at the said tab 79. In

Figure 59 tabs 79 are instead shown obtained inside the normal protrusion of the border 78; in order to prevent risks of tears, the border 78 will be conformed with recesses 81 of well matched profile to the tab 79.

In Figure 60 a system is show for anchoring the small bars 50 of the pressing device to the tabs 79: such anchoring is obtained by rotating beaks 82, integrated with the said pressing device and penetrating in the thickness of the tabs 79 at the points 83 (Figure 59).

In Figure 61 the tabs 79 are welded, for example with system with ultrasonic vibration, on an upper segment of surface W5 of the small bars.

The tabs 79, as in the shown examples, integrally consist of the same material of the walls 42 but may be constituted on the other hand by distinct elements, connected to the walls 42 for example by ultrasonic welding.

In the Figures 62 and 63 the tabs 79 are slidingly inserted inside a slot 84 of the pressing device where a longitudinal crest is present 85 with a"sawtooth-shaped"section, gradually protruding into the slot 84 so as to do not offer any obstacle to the insertion of the tab 79 in the inserting direction F7 and to instead allow the maximal resistance to sliding in the orthogonal direction.

In the Figures 62,63,65 and 66 an elastic lip T5 arranged on the upper portion of one of the small bars 50 that at the closing phase comes to lean on a corresponding wall of the other small bar 50, in this manner a hygienic protection is obtained preventing the borders of the opening from being contaminated subjected to the contact with the distributed liquid.

In Figure 64 a pressing device is represented of the type shown in the Figures 54,55,56 applied to a container of the type shown in Figure 57, in this case however the opening is obtained by cutting or tearing an end of the flap 80 according to known procedures.

Also this pressing device shows a hygienic protection formed in this case by an elastic lip T5 on each small bar, whose working at opening and closing phase is shown in the Figures 76 and 77.

As described in Figure 67, instead of the tabs 79, the container 75 shows in the border 78 a first section 43a oriented toward the not welded exterior, a second section 43b welded in peelable manner and arranged between said first section 43a and the hollow, and all the remaining portion 43c welded in stable manner. The first section 43a may correspond to only one middle region of the section 43b, may correspond to all the region of the section 43b but, as shown, may also extends beyond. The anchorage to the pressing/divaricating device 76 will be made at said first section 43a of not welded border 43.

In the Figures 68 and 69 is represented a cardboard container of the"gable top"type 86 respectively at the closed state and at the open state. The opening 87 that normally results in this types of containers shows an absurdly high extension L6 that is not justified by practical requirements of use but is so by intrinsic reasons.

As highlighted in the Figures 70 and 71, the opening 87 is made cooperating with a pressing device 49 of the type represented in the Figures 54,55,56,64, provided with a"U-profiled"reversed protrusion 73 with length L5 highly greater, advantageously greater than half the length of a small bar 50. Therefore in this manner, the opening 87 is made steadily closed at the section L5 by the"U-profiled"protrusion, and may be closed on request at the section L7 by application of a force with first finger and thumb along the direction of the arrows A5. In order to obtain the opening, a force will be instead applied, with first finger and thumb, along the direction of the arrows B5.

In Figure 72 a pressing device is highlighted with a different system coupling system at the ends 53 and with a different hinging of the small bars 50, in this case the closing and the coupling of the ends 53 is obtained, in very easy manner, by

pushing between thumb and first finger in the position of the arrows C5 whereas the opening is obtained, likewise easily, by pushing in the position indicated by the arrows H5 (Figure 74).

That occurs since by pushing on the lever 88, the tooth 89 moves away from the relative hook by rotation around the hinge 90.

As shown in Figure 73, by forcing the opening of the pressing device 49 according to the direction of the arrows L5, an easy insertion is enabled of the border 43 into the slit G5.

The Figure 75 shows that this type of pressing device 49 may be obtained by cutting along the line 91 of a profiled beam obtained by extrusion, that makes still more inexpensive the said pressing device 49.

The cut along the lines 91 may also be only partial, leaving some connecting points between each element and the relative next one, therefore the pressing devices 49 would remain assembled under form of bars or rollers in order to be able to better serve a possible machine suitable for positioning said pressing devices on the containers, being the single pressing elements automatically detached by the said machine.

In Figure 76 the hooking tooth 89 is operating at the interior of a bore 92 of the small bar 50, that enables, with respect to the model of Figure 74, a smaller transversal encumbrance of the pressing device 49.

In Figure 77 the pressing device 49 may be opened by directly acting on the end of the hook 89 with a force H6 acting parallel to the small bas 50 along a direction substantially radial with respect to the axis X5.

In Figure 78 a pressing device 49 is represented showing at the connecting end 51 a height dimension Y5 very higher than the normal height of the small bars 50, determined by an extension 93; this end 51 is constraint by a housing 52 obtained in the border 43 of dimensions suitable for the height Y5. This solution makes more accurate and stable the positioning of the pressing device 49 mainly when it is positioned near the opening 48; if

really the size Y5 were insufficient, the pressing device 49 during the closing phase would tend at the end portion 53 to rotate upwardly in an uncorrected position. On the other hand such better axial positioning of the pressing device 49 near the opening 48 enables the usage of lips of hygienic protection T5 of more reduced height dimension.

In order to make the flattening of the duct 44 more regular and gradual along the axial direction of the same duct 44, the height dimension Y5 may be extended to the entire pressing device 49 up to the end 53, or may be also restricted to a middle region of the small bars 50 by means of protrusions 94.

Also in this case the further housing 58 is present, that makes the closing stable also in presence of pressure inside the container, since the pressing device 49 can not in any way axially slide when it lies closed.

It is highlighted that a container of such type, while is supported in a hand, may be easily opened and closed by the same hand, without the risk of loosing caps or other accessories.

Furthermore, when the pressing device 49 is unlocked by pressing on the point H5 or H6, the small bars 50 and the relative lips T5 automatically arrange themselves, as an effect of elastic forces, in a position not interfering with the output liquid flow, that makes the container very efficient also from a hygienic point of view.

The pressing devices according to the invention, particularly the models represented in the Figures 45,54,55,56,70,71,72 and 76 may be adopted in containers of the floppy bag type.

Since the walls and the welding borders of said bag containers have limited stiffness, the pressing devices represented in the Figures 45 and 72 are suitable for being easily anchored to a border of said container by acting sequentially in the following manner: -divaricating the pressing device at the ends 53, with respect to its normal rest position, so that the slit G5

arrives to open out, -inserting the border 43,78 of the container inside the so opened slit G5, -releasing the pressing device 49 into its normal position so that said pressing device 49 lock itself on the border 43,78.

Also in this case the positioning of the pressing device 49 may be made by the user but may be also made directly in the packaging plant.

It is highlighted that, all the containers of the present invention being of the collapsible wall type, a particularly wide opening is not necessary in order to allow the entrance of the air, since the flow may take place following a slight flattening of the walls of the container, in this way the air must not enter the container while the liquid is flowing out.

Such reduced opening from which the liquid flows out without gurgle is instead advantageous since enables to better control the flow direction and to prevent possible spillage.

On the other hand this property of the collapsibility of the container may be advantageously exploited in order to facilitate the conservation of the residual liquid contents, by sealing the same container without the presence of air at its interior.

It is further highlighted that the invention, particularly with reference to the aspect relating the containers with thermoformed walls or of the floppy bag type, may facilitate a development of the usage field of these later, in effect such containers are currently mainly designed for a usage wherein the contents is used at any one time, such as: small containers with disposable doses of detergents or other, or recharging doses for other types of more expansive containers.

For example, a container of thermoformed type with outlet opening of dimension limited to some millimetre and provided with a pressing device of the type of Figure 72, is highly suitable for being used for all the liquid detergent of domestic usage,

shampoo, etc., since the opening, and the closing results very easy and rapid also with gloves or slippery hands.

As already said, for these containers 1 also a food usage is not excluded since they are already at the origin provided with a hygienic safety sealing 45,46, advantageously by providing them of the pressing device 49,76 with lips T5 for hygienic protection.

The different shown pressing devices may also be combined in any different manner: so, for example, the device of Figure 58 or that of Figure 70 may have the end 53 with coupling of the type represented in the Figures 34,72,76 and 77 or also any other coupling of known type; or the pressing device of Figure 72 may have the hinge 51 like that of the Figures 31,32 or 52,53 etc.

Also the hygienic protection with elastic lips T5 or with any other sealing system on the upper portion of the small bars 50, may be applied to all the shown pressing devices 49,59,76.

The pressing devices 49,59,76 may be produced by injection, or any other forming system, possibly mutually connected by row, under the form of tapes wound in coil or in the form of bars in order to allow the maximal automation in the forming process and in the matching process with the container.