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Title:
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING COSMETICS WITH MINIMAL AIR BUBBLES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2003/090577
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method and apparatus for producing cosmetics with minimal air content. The method comprises the steps of advancing a mold (2) to a position for receiving liquefied cosmetic product from a dispensing element (1) through a inlet (4) on the mold (2), the long axis of the mold (2) subtending with a vertical line an angle between 5 and approximately 80 degrees; and filling liquefied cosmetic product into the mold (2) using the dispensing element (1).

Inventors:
Eng, Mark (20 Overlea Boulevard, East York, Ontario M4H 1A4, CA)
Application Number:
PCT/CA2002/000581
Publication Date:
November 06, 2003
Filing Date:
April 26, 2002
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Eng, Mark (20 Overlea Boulevard, East York, Ontario M4H 1A4, CA)
International Classes:
A45D40/16; B29C41/36; B29C31/04; B29C37/00; B29C41/04; (IPC1-7): A45D40/16; B29C39/34
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEETH WILLIAMS WALL LLP (150 York Street, Suite 400 Toronto, Ontario M5H 3S5, CA)
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Claims:
CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A method for molding a cosmetic product using a source of liquefied cosmetic product, a dispensing element, and a mold, the mold defining a cavity, the cavity having a wall defining a long axis and having a closed end and an inlet, comprising: advancing the mold to a position for receiving liquefied cosmetic product from the dispensing element through the inlet, the long axis subtending with a vertical line an angle in the range of between approximately 5 and approximately 80 degrees; flowing liquefied cosmetic product from the source of liquefied cosmetic product to the dispensing element; and dispensing liquefied cosmetic product to the mold using the dispensing element.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of dispensing the liquefied cosmetic product to the mold comprises rotating the mold about an axis transverse to the long axis whereby the long axis becomes approximately vertical when the mold is filled.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein: the rate at which the liquefied cosmetic product is dispensed into the mold is constant; and the points of time for the end of rotating the mold, the filling of the mold, and the vertical axis becoming vertical are about coincidental.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein the angle subtended by the long axis and the vertical line is about 30 degrees.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the liquefied cosmetic product is at a temperature at least about 50 degrees centigrade.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the liquefied cosmetic product is selected from the group consisting of lipstick and pencil.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein the liquefied cosmetic product is lipstick and the cavity has a radius of about 1.27 centimeters.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein the liquefied cosmetic product is pencil and the cavity has a radius selected from the group consisting of about 4. millimeters and about 8.8 millimeters.
9. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of: cooling the liquefied cosmetic product in the mold ; and flaming the cooled cosmetic product.
10. A device for molding cosmetic products using a source of liquefied cosmetic product and a mold, the mold defining a cavity, the cavity having a wall defining a long axis and having a closed end and an inlet, comprising: a dispensing element in fluid communication with the source of liquefied cosmetic product for dispensing liquefied cosmetic product from the source and filling the mold ; and a station for receiving the mold, the mold received in a position for the dispensing element to dispense liquefied cosmetic product into the inlet, the long axis subtending with a vertical line an angle in the range of between approximately 5 and approximately 80 degrees.
11. The device of claim 10, further comprising a rotating element for rotating the mold about an axis transverse to the long axis at a point of time after filling commences whereby the long axis becomes approximately vertical when the mold is filled.
12. The device of claim 11, wherein: the rate at which the liquefied cosmetic product is dispensed into the mold is approximately constant; and 'the points of time for the end of rotating the mold, the filling of the mold, and the vertical axis becoming vertical are about coincidental.
13. The device of claim 10, wherein the angle subtended by the long axis and the vertical line is about 30 degrees.
14. The device of claim 10, wherein the liquefied cosmetic product is at a temperature at least about 50 degrees centigrade.
15. The device of claim 10, wherein the liquefied cosmetic product is selected from the group consisting of lipstick and pencil.
16. The device of claim 10, wherein the liquefied cosmetic product is lipstick and the cavity has a radius of about 1.27 centimeters.
17. The device of claim 10, wherein the liquefied cosmetic product is pencil and the cavity has a radius selected from the group consisting of about 4. millimeters and about 8.8 millimeters.
18. The device of claim 10, further comprising an element for flaming the cooled cosmetic product.
19. The device of claim 10, wherein the liquefied cosmetic product is dispensed from the dispensing element in an upward direction.
20. A device for molding cosmetic products using a mold, the mold defining a cavity, the cavity having a wall defining a long axis and having a closed end and an inlet, comprising: a source of liquefied cosmetic product; a dispensing element fluidically connected to the source of liquefied cosmetic product for dispensing liquefied cosmetic product from the source and filling the mold ; and a station for receiving the mold, the mold received in a position for the dispensing element to dispense liquefied cosmetic product into the inlet, the long axis subtending with a vertical line an angle in the range of between approximately 5 and approximately 80 degrees, wherein the mold is rotated about an axis transverse to the long axis whereby the long axis becomes approximately vertical when the mold is filled.
21. The device of claim 20, wherein the rate at which the mold is filled by liquefied cosmetic product is approximately constant; and the points of time for the end of rotating the mold, the filling of the mold, and the vertical axis becoming vertical are about coincidental.
22. The device of claim 20, wherein the angle subtended by the long axis and the vertical line is about 30 degrees.
Description:
TITLE OF THE INVENTION Method and Apparatus for Producing Cosmetics with Minimal Air Bubbles TECHNICAL FIELD This invention relates to a method and device for producing cosmetics with minimal air content, specifically concerning filling a mold or shell with liquefied cosmetic.

BACKGROUND ART In the manufacture of most molded cosmetic products, one of the objects is to minimize air bubbles in the molded product. In this document, the term"bubble"is taken to also mean holes resulting from bursted air bubbles on the surface of a cosmetic product. The presence of air bubbles reduces the aesthetic appeal of the final product (possibly lessening its commercial value) and may decrease the structural strength of the final product (as for example a pencil). One attempt towards this end is to evacuate the container holding the bulk prior to introducing the liquefied cosmetic into the mold, while stirring the bulk during pouring into the mold. This has met with partial success in minimizing air bubbles in the final product.

For removal of the bubbles, manual patching of the product may be used after removal from the mold and inserted into a casing. However, this often necessitates "flaming"of the cosmetic to produce a more uniform appearance. While flaming has been found to improve the finish of the cosmetic, the higher temperature expands the air trapped in the product resulting in further bubbling on the surface of the product.

As a result, the product may require further effort to smooth these bubbles in order to produce the final product. This additional processing increases the time and expense for producing the product.

Thus, there is a real need for an alternate production method and device which eliminates or significantly reduces the presence of air bubbles in the molded cosmetic while reducing additional steps in the production process beyond molding.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to a first aspect of the invention, a method is provided for molding a cosmetic product, a dispensing element, and a mold, the mold defining a cavity, the cavity having a wall defining a long axis and having a closed end and an inlet, the method comprising: advancing the mold to a position for receiving liquefied cosmetic product from the dispensing element through the inlet, the long axis subtending with a vertical line an angle in the range of between approximately 5 and approximately 80 degrees; flowing liquefied cosmetic product from the source of liquefied cosmetic product to the dispensing element; and dispensing liquefied cosmetic product to the mold using the dispensing element.

A second aspect of this invention is a device for molding cosmetic products using liquefied cosmetic product and a mold, the mold defining a cavity, the cavity having a wall defining a long axis and having a closed end and an inlet, comprising: a dispensing element in fluid communication with a source of liquefied cosmetic product for dispensing liquefied cosmetic product and filling the mold ; and a station for receiving the mold, the mold received in a position for the dispensing element to dispense liquefied cosmetic product into the inlet, the long axis subtending with a vertical line an angle in the range of between approximately 5 and approximately 80 degrees.

It is an object of this invention that the cosmetic molded product as dislodged from the mold will have minimal or practically no air bubbles forming on the surface of the product. If this molded product is flamed to increase the sheen, very minimal air bubbles will appear.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating a mold in cross-sectional view in a preferred angular position relative to a nozzle dispensing the cosmetic product.

Similar references are used to denote similar components in the above drawing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to methods and devices for producing moldable hot-poured cosmetic products with minimal air bubbles.

The cosmetic products include lipsticks and pencils which are formed by filling a mold (a shell in the case of a pencil) when the cosmetic product is in a molten state. For the purpose of this description, the word mold (or a derivative thereof) will be used to denote either a mold for lipstick or a shell for pencils. The temperature at which the products are molded may vary but typically at least about 50 degrees centigrade. It will be understood that the upper limit of the temperature is dependent on the ingredients of the cosmetic product: the lowest temperature at which any one of the ingredients becomes unstable in the bulk state.

Figure 1 illustrates one possible device embodiment of the present invention. The product is directed to flow from a source of the product (such as a tank) into the mold by a dispensing element 1, typically including a flow regulator and a nozzle (not shown in figure). The mold 2 preferably comprises an elongated cavity 3 typically circular, ellipsoid, or polygonal in cross-section with a wall (or walls), the cavity 3 defining a long axis, with a conical, hemispherical or frustoconical closed end 5 and an inlet 4 for the in-flow of cosmetic product. The inlet 4 is typically an open end of the mold 2 with the same shape as the cross-sectional area of the cavity 3.

There may be a bridging element (not shown in any figure) for carrying the flow between the dispensing element 1 and the cavity 3. There is no restriction in this invention on the length of the cavity 3 or any bridging element (s). In this document, the dispensing element 1 is defined to include any part, including a bridging element, from which liquid flows directly into the mold 2.

There is similarly no restriction on the cross-sectional area of the cavity 3. However, since air content is usually introduced into a cooled product during filling of the mold 2, (if the inlet 4 is sufficiently large as is typically the case with the inlet 4 merely extending the cavity 4 with little, if any, restriction) a large cross-sectional cavity 3 area allows gases to escape through the inlet 4 and reduces the quantity of air trapped. Typically, a standard lipstick mold 2 has a cross sectional radius of about one-half inch or 1.27 cm, and a pencil shell/mold 2 about 4.1 or 8.8 mm.

The mold may be made of any material accepted in the cosmetics-producing industry for the particular cosmetic such as steel, aluminum, or a synthetic polymer.

For the cosmetic product to be received in the mold 2 during dispensing of the liquid product, the mold 2 is obviously directed such that its closed terminal end 5 is in a downward position relative to the horizon. The flow from the dispensing element 1 may be directed at any angle relative to the long axis of the mold 2 provided that the long axis of the mold 2 is preferably in the range of about five (5) to about eighty (80) degrees downward relative to any vertical line. The angling of the mold 2 permits a larger upper surface area of the pooled cosmetic area as the cosmetic product is introduced into the mold 2, than if the mold 2 is held at a more vertical position. This larger surface area permits air to escape more readily through the upper surface during pouring. The other constraint is that the angling must not be so large as to reduce the rate of flow of the cosmetic such that the cosmetic product solidifies (either in the filled region or during flow) before the mold 2 is filled. About thirty (30) degrees in the above mentioned range is a preferred angle.

The liquefied cosmetic product may fill or nearly fill the entire mold 2. For the purpose of this description, a mold 2 is defined to be filled when the liquefied product poured into the mold 2 reaches a desired volume and not necessarily when the full volume of the mold 2 is occupied by liquefied cosmetic product.

Therefore, once the mold 2 has been filled to the desired amount (not full volume of the mold), it may be rotated to an essentially upright position for further cooling. After cooling, the solidified product (the lipstick or pencil) is dislodged from the mold 2.

In a variation, the mold 2 is rotated from its tilted position about an axis transverse to the long axis of the mold 2 during actual filling by liquefied cosmetic product or part thereof, such that when the filling concludes the mold 2 is in an essentially upright position. The speed of rotation may differ at different stages of the rotation; however, at all times during filling, rotation occurs at a sufficiently slow speed such as not to spill the liquefied product. There is no restriction as to the point of time at which rotation begins. Given that typically (but not necessarily) the rate at which the liquefied cosmetic product is dispensed into the mold 2 from the dispensing element 1 is constant, a preferred embodiment requires that the points of time for the end of rotating the mold 2, the filling of the mold 2, and the vertical axis becoming vertical be about coincidental. However, this invention includes variations where rotation begins

at an earlier or later point than, when the mold 2 reaches an essentially upright position: if at an earlier point, a small quantity of the liquefied product is added to the mold 2 after rotation ends when it is in an essentially vertical position; if at a later point, filling concludes when the mold 2 remains in an off-vertical tilted position (the rotation may then continue until the mold 2 is in the vertical position).

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the device comprises a dispensing element 1 and a station such that a mold 2 is received and positioned in accordance with the description above. In a variation, the mold 2 is part of the device.

In another embodiment, a source of the liquefied cosmetic product is part of the device and in fluid communication with the dispensing element 1. Elements for rotating the mold 2 during filling may be part of the device, including possible electro- optical elements for automatically detecting when rotation should begin and/or end.

The device may further contain one or more elements for mechanically transporting molds 2, e. g. to stations for filling, cooling, and dislodging the solidified products. The cooling and extracting may be performed by elements of the device. The extracted product may then be further processed and packaged either by elements of the device or by manual means. Such processing may include flaming to produce a higher gloss finish. Since very little, if any air or gases remains in the product as a result of the steps set out earlier, there would be virtually no bubbles forming at the surface of the product necessitating further finishing. Another type of processing may involve impressing one or more visible indicium on a still-soft product as a mark.

Software and electronic elements (incl. interlinking processing, memory, and storage elements) may also be part of the device such as to allow the device to operate either on a stand-alone basis (such as a Programmable Logic Controller) or under the control of an external device such as a computer.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention.

Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and applications shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention and the appended claims and their equivalents.