Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
TUBE FOR STORING AND DISPENSING A PRODUCT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/171672
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A tube or other container for storing and dispensing a product such as toothpaste, a lotion, a cream, etc., includes one or more creases. Initially, each crease can be in a contracted position, where the tube has a first volume when the crease is in the contracted position. Due to outgassing of the product and/or other factors, pressure may increase within the sealed tube. In response to the pressure increase, the one or more creases can deflect from the contracted position to an expanded position, where the tube has a second, increased volume when the crease is in the expanded position. Deflection of the one or more creases effectively increases the volume of the interior of the tube, and maintains pressure within the tube at a desirable level.

Inventors:
BECKERMAN, Scott (30 Regent Street, #404Jersey City, New Jersey, 07302, US)
CRAWFORD, John C. (809 South Lake Blvd, Mahopac, New York, 10541, US)
Application Number:
US2015/026859
Publication Date:
October 27, 2016
Filing Date:
April 21, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
COLGATE-PALMOLIVE COMPANY (300 Park Avenue, New York, New York, 10022, US)
International Classes:
B65D79/00; B65D35/08
Foreign References:
DE202009001265U12009-04-09
US20130119086A12013-05-16
DE102005025023A12006-12-07
FR1408869A1965-08-20
US20080257857A12008-10-23
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHUNG, Judy W. et al. (Colgate-Palmolive Company, 909 River RoadPiscataway, New Jersey, 08855, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A tube for storing and dispensing a product, comprising: a tube body; and at least one crease in the tube body, wherein: the tube is configured to store the product within an interior of the tube; the at least one crease in the tube body is configured to deflect from a contracted position to an expanded position in response to an increase in pressure within the interior of the tube; the tube comprises a first volume when the at least one crease is in the contracted position; the tube comprises a second volume when the at least one crease is in the expanded position; and the second volume is greater than the first volume.

2. The tube according to claim 1 , wherein: the tube body comprises at least a first edge and a second edge; the at least one crease comprises a first pleat in the first edge and a second pleat in the second edge; and the tube body is configured to increase from a first circumference when the first pleat and the second pleat are in the contracted position to a second circumference when the first pleat and the second pleat are in the expanded position, where the second circumference is greater than the first circumference.

3. The tube according to claim 2, wherein the second circumference is from 5% to 40% greater than the first circumference.

4. The tube according to claims 1 or 2, wherein the at least one crease further comprises a first crease, and wherein: the first crease extends laterally across a width of the tube body; the tube body folds back on itself at the first crease; and the first crease is configured to unfold the tube body in a longitudinal direction from the contracted position to the expanded position in response to the increase in pressure within the interior of the tube.

5. The tube according to claims 1 or 2, wherein the at least one crease further comprises a first crease and a second crease, and wherein: the second crease extends laterally across a width of the tube body; the tube body folds back on itself at the first crease and the second crease to form an "S"-shaped expansion fold; and the first crease and the second crease are configured to extend in a longitudinal direction from the contracted position to the expanded position in response to the increase in pressure within the interior of the tube.

6. The tube according to claims 1, 2, 4, or 5, wherein the at least one crease further comprises: a plurality of creases extending laterally across the tube wherein, in the contracted position, the plurality of creases are folded in a serpentine configuration; and the plurality of creases are configured to unfold and straighten from the contracted position to the expanded position.

7. The tube according to one of claims 1, 2, or 4-6, further comprising: a first interior surface; and a second interior surface facing the first interior surface, wherein: the first interior surface and the second interior surface are adhered together in the contracted position at the at least one crease; and the first interior surface and the second interior surface are configured to release from each other in response to the increase in pressure such that the first interior surface and the second interior surface are not adhered together in the expanded position.

8. The tube according to claim 7, further comprising an adhesive that coats at least one of the first interior surface and the second interior surface and adheres the first interior surface and the second interior surface together.

9. The tube according to one of claims 1, 2, or 4-7, wherein the at least one crease further comprises an expanding shoulder that encircles the tube.

10. The tube according to one of claims 1, 2, or 4-9, wherein the tube has a first length in the contracted position and a second length in the expanded position, wherein the second length is greater than the first length.

11. The tube according to one of claims 1, 2, or 4-10, wherein the tube has a first volume in the contracted position and a second volume in the expanded position, wherein the second volume is from 5% to 40% greater than the first volume.

12. A container for storing and dispensing a product, comprising: a container body; and at least one crease in the container body, wherein: the container is configured to store the product within an interior of the container; the at least one crease in the container body is configured to deflect from a contracted position to an expanded position in response to an increase in pressure within the interior of the container; the container comprises a first volume when the at least one crease is in the contracted position; the container comprises a second volume when the at least one crease is in the expanded position; and the second volume is greater than the first volume.

13. The container according to claim 12, wherein the container has a first volume in the contracted position and a second volume in the expanded position, wherein the second volume is from 5% to 40% greater than the first volume.

14. A method for accommodating an increasing pressure within a factory-sealed tube, comprising: placing a product within an interior of a tube comprising a tube body and at least one crease in the tube body wherein, subsequent to placing the product within the tube, the at least one crease is in a contracted position; sealing the product within the interior of the tube using a factory seal; and with the product sealed within the interior of the tube by the factory seal, deflecting the at least one crease from the contracted position to an expanded position during an increase in pressure within the interior of the tube.

15. The method according to claim 14, wherein the deflecting of the at least one crease further comprises: deflecting a first pleat in a first edge of the tube from the contracted position to the expanded position; deflecting a second pleat in a second edge of the tube that is opposite the first edge from the contracted position to the expanded position; and increasing the tube body from a first circumference when the first pleat and the second pleat are in the contracted position to a second circumference when the first pleat and the second pleat are in the expanded position, where the second circumference is greater than the first circumference.

16. The method according to claim 14 or 15, wherein the deflecting of the at least one crease further comprises unfolding the tube body in a longitudinal direction from the contracted position to the expanded position in response to the increase in pressure within the interior of the tube.

17. The method according to one of claims 14-16, wherein the deflecting of the at least one recess further comprises: unfolding a first crease that extends laterally across a width of the tube body; and unfolding a second crease that extends laterally across the width of the tube body, wherein: in the contracted position, the tube folds back on itself at the first crease and the second crease to form an "S"-shaped expansion fold; and during the unfolding of the first crease and the unfolding of the second crease, the tube extends in a longitudinal direction from the contracted position to the expanded position.

18. The method according to one of claims 14-17, wherein the at least one crease comprises a plurality of creases extending laterally across the tube and the method further comprises unfolding the plurality of creases from a serpentine configuration to a straightened configuration during the deflecting of the at least one crease from the contracted position to the expanded position.

19. The method according to one of claims 14-18, further comprising breaking an adhesive bond between a first interior surface of the tube and a second interior surface of the tube during the deflecting of the at least one crease from the contracted position to the expanded position.

20. The method according to one of claims 14-19, further comprising: depositing an adhesive on at least one of the first interior surface of the tube and the second interior of the tube; and adhering the first interior surface and the second interior surface together using the adhesive to form the adhesive bond.

Description:
TUBE FOR STORING AND DISPENSING A PRODUCT

BACKGROUND

[1] Toothpastes, ointments, creams, and other fluid products and materials are commonly packaged for shipment and sale within a flexible tube. The flexible tube, which can be manufactured from a plastic or other polymer, a metal alloy, composites, etc., provides resilient protection for the product during shipment and storage, and allows controlled dispensing of the product by the user.

[2] Some materials stored within the tube have a relatively high chemical stability, and thus the volume of material within the sealed tube remains largely unchanged. Other materials, for example dentifrices including hydrogen peroxide, may be more chemically unstable and/or may outgas during shipment and storage, thereby resulting in pressure changes within the sealed tube. An increase in pressure within the tube can result in inflation and bulging of the tube, an unattractive tube appearance, product expulsion and spillage from the tube when the tube is unsealed, and may result in decreased customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. In extreme cases, a pressure increase can result in rupturing of side and/or end seams, thereby rendering the product defective and unusable.

[3] A flexible tube for packaging a paste or other material that overcomes the deficiencies of some conventional tubes would be desirable.

BRIEF SUMMARY

[4] The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of one or more embodiments of the present teachings. This summary is not an extensive overview, nor is it intended to identify key or critical elements of the present teachings, nor to delineate the scope of the disclosure. Rather, its primary purpose is merely to present one or more concepts in simplified form as a prelude to the detailed description presented later.

[5] In an embodiment, a tube for storing and dispensing a product can include a tube body having a tube wall and at least one crease in the tube body, wherein the tube is configured to store the product within an interior of the tube, the at least one crease in the tube body is configured to deflect from a contracted position toward an expanded position in response to an increase in pressure within the interior of the tube, the tube comprises a first volume when the at least one crease is in the contracted position, the tube comprises a second volume when the at least one crease is in the expanded position, and the second volume is greater than the first volume.

[6] In another embodiment, a method for accommodating an increasing pressure within a factory-sealed tube can include placing a product within an interior of a tube comprising a tube body and at least one crease in the tube body wherein, subsequent to placing the product within the tube, the at least one crease is in a contracted position. The method can further include sealing the product within the interior of the tube using a factory seal and, with the product sealed within the interior of the tube by the factory seal, deflecting the at least one crease from the contracted position to an expanded position during an increase in pressure within the interior of the tube.

[7] Further areas of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating the preferred embodiment of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[8] The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[9] FIG. 1A is a side view, and FIGS. IB and 1C are edge views, depicting a tube including one or more creases in accordance with an embodiment of the present teachings;

[10] FIGS. 2 A and 2B are perspective depictions of a tube according to an embodiment of the present teachings;

[11] FIGS. 3 and 4 are perspective depictions of tubes during use according to embodiments of the present teachings;

[12] FIGS. 5 and 6 are cross sections of tube portions including one or more regions that are adhered together and release under pressure from an expansive force;

[13] FIGS. 7A-7H are side views depicting various embodiments of lightly tacked regions that form creases in tube walls; and [14] FIGS. 8A and 8B depict side views of a tube including an expanding shoulder including one or more creases that encircle the tube and expand under pressure to increase a volume within the tube.

[15] It should be noted that some details of the FIGS, have been simplified and are drawn to facilitate understanding of the present teachings rather than to maintain strict structural accuracy, detail, and scale.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[16] The following description of the preferred embodiments is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.

[17] As used throughout, ranges are used as shorthand for describing each and every value that is within the range. Any value within the range can be selected as the terminus of the range. In addition, all references cited herein are hereby incorporated by referenced in their entireties. In the event of a conflict in a definition in the present disclosure and that of a cited reference, the present disclosure controls.

[18] An embodiment of the present teachings can provide a tube for a fluid product, for example a gel product or a paste product such as a toothpaste including, for example, hydrogen peroxide, such that the tube reduces or eliminates the adverse effects of product expansion during, for example, shipping and/or storage. In various embodiments, one or more creases are formed as part of one or more walls of the tube. For purposes of the present disclosure, unless otherwise indicated, a "container" refers to a tube, receptacle, vessel, vial, bottle, canister, can, box or other holder that is used to store and/or ship a product within the container. While the embodiments below are discussed with regard to a "tube" for simplicity of explanation, it will be understood that the various embodiments may be used with other types of containers, as well as with a tube. Further, for purposes of the present disclosure, a "crease" refers to a pleat, fold, (e.g., an accordion fold), or dimple in the tube, including in the tube body, tube shoulder, and/or tube cap, that moves, unfolds, expands, or otherwise deflects under increasing pressure within the tube; e.g., when the pressure reaches a level sufficient to exert a force great enough to cause the crease to move, unfold, expand or otherwise deflect. A "crease" also refers to a lightly tacked region, such as a lightly tacked seam, fold, dot, or dimple, for example in the tube body, that deflects, releases or otherwise unbonds under increasing pressure within the tube; e.g., when the pressure reaches a level sufficient to exert a force great enough to cause the tacked region to unbond or release. The lightly tacked region may be formed using, for example, heat, pressure, and/or an adhesive. The crease may be visible on an exterior of the tube unless, for example, covered by a separate label, sleeve, or other covering (not individually depicted for simplicity). The product is placed within the tube, (e.g., during manufacturing), and then the tube is factory sealed, for example, with a threaded cap, a friction cap, a foil seal, and/or other cover. If expansion of the product within the factory-sealed tube occurs, the increased or increasing pressure within the tube deflects, moves, unfolds, articulates, actuates, or releases the one or more creases, for example from an initial contracted position to a deflected or expanded position. The tube has a first volume when in the crease or creases are in the contracted position and a second volume when in the expanded position, where the second volume is greater than the first volume. In effect, the interior volume of the tube is increased as needed and the disclosed tube maintains a more normal pressure within the tube compared to a tube that does not include the one or more creases. Thus uncontrolled bulging or rupturing of the seams is decreased or eliminated. The shape and location of the one or more creases can be designed and controlled to provide a tube that is attractive in appearance regardless of whether the one or more creases are in their initial contracted position or their pressure-induced deflected or expanded position.

[19] In various embodiments, the creases can effectively increase the volume of the tube under or in response to increasing or increased pressure from within the tube caused, for example, by outgassing of the product within the tube or some other effect. For example, depending on the area, depth, and number of the creases, the storage volume within the tube can be increased to maintain a desired pressure or pressure range within the interior of the tube. As a result of increasing pressure, the areas of the factory-sealed tube that form the creases deflected and/or expanded to, in effect, increase the volume of the interior of the factory-sealed tube, thereby maintaining pressure within the tube at a more desirable level, preferably at or near 1 atmosphere. In an embodiment, the deflection and/or expansion of the one or more creases may occur at an internal tube pressure of less than about 35 pounds per square inch (psi), or at less than about 25 psi, or at less than about 20 psi. In an embodiment, the tube has a first volume when the one or more creases are in an initial contracted position and a second volume when the one or more creases are in a deflected, expanded position, where in the second volume is from about 5% to about 40% greater, or from about 5% to about 30% greater, or from about 10% to about 20% greater than the first volume. [20] Various embodiments of the one or more creases are contemplated. For example, FIGS. 1A-C contain various views of a fluid product (e.g., toothpaste) tube 10 having features of an embodiment of the present teachings. It will be understood that the FIGS, are generalized schematic depictions and that an actual structure in accordance with an embodiment may include other substructures that are not depicted for simplicity, while various depicted substructures may be removed or modified.

[21] FIG. 1A is a side view, and FIGS. IB and 1C are edge views, depicting a tube 10 for a product 12 such as a toothpaste, cream, lotion, etc., including a tube body 14, a tube shoulder 16, an exit nozzle 18 having an opening 20 therein from which the product 12 may be dispensed from the tube 10. A bottom end 22 opposite the exit nozzle 18 may include an end seal or crimp 24. A cap, foil, or other factory seal 26 may be placed over the exit nozzle 18 to seal the product 12 within the tube 10. The exit nozzle 18 may be a threaded exit nozzle that receives a threaded cap 26 as depicted, or the cap 26 may be friction mounted or otherwise attached to the exit nozzle 18. In an embodiment, the tube body 14 may include a seam 28, depending on the fabrication method used for tube body 14. Various other tube, cap, and factory seal embodiments are contemplated, which are not individually depicted for simplicity of explanation.

[22] In the embodiment of FIGS. 1A-1C, the tube body 14 includes a plurality of creases that articulate, actuate, deflect, or deform to produce a volumetric increase within the tube 10. In the embodiment of FIG. 1A-1C, the creases are implemented as folds in the tube wall that form a pair of pleats 30, with one pleat 30 on each of a first edge and a second edge of the tube body 14, where the first edge is opposite the first edge. The folds in the tube wall that form the pleats 30 deflect, articulate, or unfold accordion-style away from each other when pressure inside the tube 10 pushes against the pleats 30 and the wall of the tube 10 with sufficient force, such as during a volumetric increase of the contents within the tube 10. As noted above, the volume of the contents of the tube 10 and the pressure within the tube 10 may increase if, for example, the product 12 within the tube 10 outgases or otherwise expands. By deflecting, articulating or unfolding in response to sufficient pressure, the pleats 30 allow the tube 10 to expand such that the volume within the interior of the tube 10 increases, thereby maintaining a desired pressure within the tube 10.

[23] FIG. IB depicts an initial contracted position of the tube 10 after filling the tube 10 with the product 12 and attaching the cap 26. During a volumetric increase of the contents within the tube 10, the creases 30 expand, deflect, unfold, articulate, or actuate as depicted in FIG. 1C, thereby increasing the volume within the tube 10. In this embodiment, a diameter, circumference, or girth of the tube increases when the creases 30 expand, deflect, unfold, articulate, or actuate, resulting in the tube having a first circumference and a first volume when the creases 30 are in the contracted position (FIG. IB) and a second circumference and a second volume when the creases 30 are in the expanded position (FIG. 1C), where the second circumference and volume are greater than the first circumference and volume. In an embodiment, the second circumference of the tube in its pressure -induced deflected or expanded position can be from about 5% to about 40% greater, or from about 5% to about 30%> greater, or from about 10% to about 20% greater than the first circumference of the tube of its initial contracted position.

[24] Another embodiment for a tube 40 having an expandable volume is depicted in FIGS. 2 A and 2B. Tube 40 includes a cap 42, a nozzle end 44 having a nozzle that is factory sealed (nozzle and factory seal not depicted for simplicity) from which product is dispensed, and a crimp end 46 having an end seal or crimp 48 opposite the nozzle end 44. In this embodiment, the crimp end 46 of the tube 40 can have at least a first crease 50A and a second crease 50B that extend laterally across a width of the tube body 52, such that the tube body 52 folds back on itself at the first 50A and second 50B creases to provide an "S"-shaped or accordion-style expansion fold. FIG. 2A depicts the tube 40 in an initial contracted position, while FIG. 2B depicts the tube 40 in a pressure -induced deflected or expanded position after expansion of the tube resulting from sufficient pressure within the tube 40. In this embodiment, the first crease 50A and the second crease 50B deflect or unfold and the crimp end 48 of the tube 40 extends in a longitudinal direction away from the cap 42 when pressure inside the tube 40 pushes with deflection- sufficient force against the first crease 50A and the second crease 50B and the wall of the tube 40, such as in response to or during a volumetric increase of the contents within the tube 40. During deflection, a length of the tube 40 increases to provide an increased volume within the tube 40 to accommodate an increase in volume of the contents within the tube 40, as shown in FIG. 2B compared to FIG. 2A. In an embodiment, the tube 40 can have a first length when in the contracted, crease-folded position and a second length when in the expanded, crease-unfolded position, where the second length is greater than the first length. [25] Various modifications to the FIG. 2 embodiment are contemplated, for example embodiments having one crease or more than two creases. For example, FIG. 3 depicts an embodiment for a tube 60, where a crimp end 62 of the tube 60 includes a single crease 64 extending laterally across a width of the tube body. The tube 60 is folded back onto itself at the crease 64 in an initial contracted position 66. When there is sufficient pressure inside the tube 60, the crimp end 62 of the tube 60 unfolds, articulates, deflects, or extends along the crease 64 as depicted to increase a volume within the tube 60 and to result in a pressure-induced deflected or expanded position 70.

[26] FIG. 4 depicts an embodiment for a tube 80, where a crimp end 82 of the tube 80 includes a plurality of creases 84 extending laterally across the tube 80. In contrast to the embodiment of FIG. 3, the crimp end 82 is not folded back onto the tube 80 but is instead folded in a serpentine configuration using a plurality of creases 84. This may also be described as an accordion- fold configuration, although different from FIG. 3 in that the orientation of the accordion folds is different. In response to sufficient pressure inside the tube 80, the crimp end 82 of the tube 80 deflects or unfolds and straightens along the plurality of creases 84 from an initial contracted position 86 into a pressure-induced deflected or expanded position 90. Deflection of the tube 80 from the contracted position 86 to the pressure -induced deflected position 90 results in an increase in the volume within the tube 80, thereby maintaining pressure within the tube 80 at a more desirable level; e.g., a level that is insufficient to further deflect the plurality of creases 84.

[27] FIG. 5 is a cross section depicting a portion of a tube 100 including a first wall 102 having an interior surface 104 and an exterior surface 106, and a second wall 108 having an interior surface 110 and an exterior surface 112. It will be appreciated that FIGS. 5 and 6 are transverse cross sections, and thus the first wall 102 and the second wall 108 may be different portions of the same tube body 14. In the embodiment depicted, each of the walls 102, 108 includes one or more creases 114 in the form of regions that are lightly tacked together during manufacture of the tube 100. The lightly tacked regions are configured to separate under the application of sufficient pressure to break or release the tacking bonds from within an interior 116 of the tube 100, thereby providing additional space or volume into which the expanding product can flow. The lightly tacked regions 114 may be formed during manufacturing using, for example, a controlled pressure and the application of heat, for example, within a compression mold using various compression molding processes known in the art. One or more of the interior surfaces 104, 110 that form walls of the tube 100 may melt or flow during the compression molding process and thereby adhere to the facing (opposite) interior surface; e.g., where the opposing creases 114 touch as shown in FIG. 5. In such embodiments, sufficient interior pressure is pressure that exerts an amount of force that releases, untacks or breaks apart the melt- adhered bond between the facing (opposite) interior surfaces. In an embodiment, the lightly tacked regions 114 have a tube wall thickness, wherein the tube wall thickness at the lightly tacked regions 114 is the same as, or less than, a thickness of other tube wall locations.

[28] In another embodiment as depicted in FIG. 6, one or more of the interior surfaces 104, 110 may be coated with an adhesive 118, for example, a thermoplastic, a contact adhesive, or other adhesive to effect the adherence of the facing interior surfaces 104, 110. In this embodiment, the one or more of the interior surfaces 104, 110 that form walls of the tube 100 may adhere to the facing (opposite) interior surface where the adhesive 118 on one surface 104 touches the adhesive 118 on the other surface 110; e.g., where the adhesive 118 on opposing creases 114 touch as shown in FIG. 6. In such embodiments, sufficient interior pressure is pressure that exerts an amount of force that releases, untacks, or breaks apart the adhesive bond between the facing (opposite) interior surfaces.

[29] Depending on the area of the attachment and the material and/or method used to tack two interior surfaces together, the tacked surfaces can be configured to release at an expansive pressure of from about 35 psi or less, or from about 25 psi or less, or from about 20 psi or less, which would be a sufficient amount of pressure to untack the interior surfaces.

[30] Various implementations of the creases including lightly tacked regions are contemplated. For example, FIGS. 7A-7H are side views depicting tubes 120A-120H having creases 122A-122H in the form of lightly tacked regions within their interiors proximate an end seal or crimp on an end of the tube 120A-120H that is opposite a nozzle 124A-124H from which product is dispensed during use. The lightly tacked regions 122A-122H include solid horizontal creases 122G that extend horizontally across the tube 120G, dashed horizontal creases 122F that extend horizontally across the tube 120F, oblique lines 122A, 122B, 122H that extend at oblique angles across their respective tube, arcuate lines 122C, 122D, and circular dimples 122E.

[31] FIGS. 8A and 8B are side views of another embodiment of a tube 130 having a factory seal 132 such as a cap or foil seal, or another covering, that factory seals a product within the tube 130. This embodiment includes an expanding shoulder 134 that encircles the tube 130 and deflects or articulates due to sufficient pressure within the tube 130 and expands to increase a length of the tube 130 from the contracted position (FIG. 8 A) to the expanded position (FIG. 8B), thereby resulting in an increased storage volume within the tube 130. The expanding shoulder 134 allows for an increase in the length and volume of the tube 130. In an embodiment, the tube 130 can have a first length in the undeflected, contracted position and a second length in the deflected, expanded position, where the second length is greater than the first length. The increase in length increases the volume within an interior of the tube 130, from a first volume in the contracted position to a second volume in the expanded position. In an embodiment, the second volume can be from about 5% to about 40% greater, or from about 5% to about 30% greater, or from about 10% to about 20% greater than the first volume.

[32] Thus, in accordance with the description above, various embodiments of the product tube described herein can provide a tube that reacts to and accommodates internal pressure increases and has a more stable pressure within the tube during expansion of the product inside. During product expansion, the creases deflect in response to an increasing pressure within the tube, resulting in an increase in the volume within the tube, thereby maintaining a more even pressure compared to prior conventional tubes. With some conventional tubes, an increase in pressure within the tube can result in inflation and bulging of the tube, an unattractive tube appearance, and/or product expulsion and spillage from the tube when the tube is unsealed, which may result in decreased customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. In extreme cases, a pressure increase inside a conventional tube can result in rupturing of side and/or end seams, thereby rendering the product defective and unusable. A tube in accordance with the present teachings can reduce or eliminate these deficiencies found with conventional tubes.

[33] In each of the embodiments, the tube can be designed and configured such that the pressure required to dispense the product from the opening 20 in the nozzle 18 (FIG. 1) is less than the pressure required to or sufficient to move, unfold, actuate, articulate, or otherwise deflect the crease(s). In an embodiment, the opening 20 can be of a sufficiently large size that compressive pressure on the tube by the user dispenses product through the opening 20 rather than actuating the creases.

[34] It is contemplated that an embodiment can include two or more crease embodiments, for example, two or more of the embodiments as depicted and/or described with reference to FIGS. 1-8. [35] Notwithstanding that the numerical ranges and parameters setting forth the broad scope of the present teachings are approximations, the numerical values set forth in the specific examples are reported as precisely as possible. Any numerical value, however, inherently contains certain errors necessarily resulting from the standard deviation found in their respective testing measurements. Moreover, all ranges disclosed herein are to be understood to encompass any and all sub-ranges subsumed therein. For example, a range of "less than 10" can include any and all sub-ranges between (and including) the minimum value of zero and the maximum value of 10, that is, any and all sub-ranges having a minimum value of equal to or greater than zero and a maximum value of equal to or less than 10, e.g., 1 to 5. In certain cases, the numerical values as stated for the parameter can take on negative values. In this case, the example value of range stated as "less than 10" can assume negative values, e.g. - 1, -2, -3, -10, -20, -30, etc.

[36] While the present teachings have been illustrated with respect to one or more implementations, alterations and/or modifications can be made to the illustrated examples without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims. For example, it will be appreciated that while the process is described as a series of acts or events, the present teachings are not limited by the ordering of such acts or events. Some acts may occur in different orders and/or concurrently with other acts or events apart from those described herein. Also, not all process stages may be required to implement a methodology in accordance with one or more aspects or embodiments of the present teachings. It will be appreciated that structural components and/or processing stages can be added or existing structural components and/or processing stages can be removed or modified. Further, one or more of the acts depicted herein may be carried out in one or more separate acts and/or phases. Furthermore, to the extent that the terms "including," "includes," "having," "has," "with," or variants thereof are used in either the detailed description and the claims, such terms are intended to be inclusive in a manner similar to the term "comprising." The term "at least one of is used to mean one or more of the listed items can be selected. Further, in the discussion and claims herein, the term "on" used with respect to two materials, one "on" the other, means at least some contact between the materials, while "over" means the materials are in proximity, but possibly with one or more additional intervening materials such that contact is possible but not required. Neither "on" nor "over" implies any directionality as used herein. The term "conformal" describes a coating material in which angles of the underlying material are preserved by the conformal material. The term "about" indicates that the value listed may be somewhat altered, as long as the alteration does not result in nonconformance of the process or structure to the illustrated embodiment. Finally, "exemplary" indicates the description is used as an example, rather than implying that it is an ideal. Other embodiments of the present teachings will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the disclosure herein. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only, with a true scope and spirit of the present teachings being indicated by the following claims.

[37] Terms of relative position as used in this application are defined based on a plane parallel to the conventional plane or working surface of a workpiece, regardless of the orientation of the workpiece. The term "horizontal" or "lateral" as used in this application is defined as a plane parallel to the conventional plane or working surface of a workpiece, regardless of the orientation of the workpiece. The term "vertical" refers to a direction perpendicular to the horizontal. Terms such as "on," "side" (as in "sidewall"), "higher," "lower," "over," "top," and "under" are defined with respect to the conventional plane or working surface being on the top surface of the workpiece, regardless of the orientation of the workpiece.




 
Previous Patent: PERFORMANCE CHANGE PREDICTIONS

Next Patent: OCTREE SERIALIZATION