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Title:
APPLICATOR MEMBER FOR APPLYING A PRODUCT AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING SAID APPLICATOR MEMBER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/126799
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Applicator member (10) for applying a product to keratin fibres, notably for eyelashes, comprising: a support (12) made of plastically deformable material; and a core (14) made of polymeric material bearing first application elements (16) that project from said core, the core (12) being mounted at least partially around said support (12), said first application elements (16) being arranged in a single helical coil along the longitudinal axis (X2-X2') of the applicator member (10).

Inventors:
LEROUX STÉPHANE (FR)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2019/084832
Publication Date:
June 25, 2020
Filing Date:
December 12, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
OREAL (FR)
International Classes:
A45D40/26
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011121526A12011-10-06
WO2009037609A12009-03-26
Foreign References:
FR3059876A12018-06-15
FR2936691A12010-04-09
FR2900318A12007-11-02
FR2900319A12007-11-02
FR2936691A12010-04-09
EP1161896A12001-12-12
FR2987243A12013-08-30
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THON, Julien et al. (FR)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Applicator member (10) for applying a product to keratin fibres, notably for eyelashes, characterized in that it comprises:

a support (12) made of plastically deformable material; and

a single core (14) made of polymeric material bearing first application elements (16) that project from said core, the core (12) being mounted at least partially around said support (12), said application elements (16) being arranged in a single helical coil along the longitudinal axis (X2-X2’) of the applicator member (10).

2. Applicator member (10) according to Claim 1, wherein the core (14) is overmoulded at least partially around said support (12).

3. Applicator member (10) according to the preceding claim, wherein the support (12) comprises a single twisted wire in the form of a helix.

4. Applicator member (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the turns of the helical coil are in axial contact with one another.

5. Applicator member (10) according to any one of Claims 1 to 3, wherein the turns of the helical coil are spaced apart by an axial distance.

6. Applicator member (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the core (14) internally delimits a central longitudinal cavity (18) that extends along at least a part of the length of the applicator member (10).

7. Applicator member (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first application elements (16) extend along an extension axis that forms an angle of 90° with the longitudinal axis (X-X’) of the support (12).

8. Applicator member (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first application elements (16) have a section in the shape of at least one closed loop in a direction substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the applicator member (10).

9. Device (1) for packaging and applying a product, notably a makeup product, comprising a container (2) for storing the product, and an applicator (3) comprising an applicator member (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, which is able to be inserted into the internal volume of the container (2) in order to be loaded with product.

10. Method for manufacturing an applicator member according to any one of Claims 1 to 8, comprising the following steps of: mounting the core (14) bearing the first application elements (16) on the support (12) extending along a longitudinal axis (X-X’) of the support (12) to form a unitary application assembly;

plastically deforming the support (12) so as to give the unitary assembly the shape of a single helical coil along the longitudinal axis (X2-X2’) of the applicator member (10).

11. Method according to Claim 10, wherein the core (14) is overmoulded on the support (12).

12. Method according to Claim 10 or 11, wherein, in order to plastically deform the support (12), it is wrapped around a temporary central part (20) with a longitudinal axis (X2-X2’) coincident with the longitudinal axis of the applicator member (10) so as to give the one-piece assembly the shape of a helix along the longitudinal axis (X2-X2’) of the applicator member (10); and the temporary central part (20) is withdrawn.

13. Method according to any one of Claims 10 to 12, wherein, before the support (12) is deformed, the first application elements (16) are aligned with one another in at least one line.

14. Method according to any one of Claims 10 to 13, wherein, before the support (12) is deformed, the first application elements (16) are disposed in the form of a single group of first application elements.

15. Method according to any one of Claims 10 to 14, wherein, before the support (12) is deformed, the first application elements (16) extend radially on one side of said support (12).

Description:
DESCRIPTION

TITLE: Applicator member for applying a product and method for manufacturing said applicator member

The present invention relates to an applicator for applying a cosmetic, makeup or care product to the eyelashes or eyebrows.

The expression“cosmetic product” is understood to mean a product as defined in Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 relating to cosmetic products.

The invention is particularly suitable for the application of a cosmetic product, such as a makeup product, for example to keratin fibres, and notably for the application of mascara.

Mascara is understood to be a composition intended to be applied to the eyelashes or eyebrows. It may notably be a makeup composition for the eyelashes or eyebrows, a makeup base for the eyelashes, known as“base coat”, a composition to be applied over mascara, known as“top coat”, or even a composition for the cosmetic treatment of the eyelashes or eyebrows.

Conventionally, an applicator comprises at least one applicator member that defines an application surface intended to come into contact with the part of the body to be treated. The applicator member has a main body or core, of generally elongate shape, which is able to bear application elements that project from said core.

The applicator also comprises a stem which is secured to a gripping member and at the end of which the applicator member is fastened. The gripping member is generally provided to close off, in a sealed manner, the opening of a container containing the cosmetic product to be applied.

Different types of applicator member for eyelashes or eyebrows exist, for example applicator members known as“free fibre” applicator members or those known as“moulded fibre” applicator members.

The“free fibre” applicator members are generally formed by two arms of a metal wire in the form of a U-shaped hairpin, between which there is disposed a set of bristles or free fibres that are independent and arranged substantially alongside one another along the length of the interstitial space between the two arms of the hairpin. A twist force is then applied to the hairpin in order to form a twisted core comprising bristles or free fibres gripped between these arms. The twisting of the arms allows these bristles to spread helically, said bristles adopting a distribution in helical layers.

The applicator members known as“moulded fibre” applicator members are obtained at least partially by moulding at least one thermoplastic material, for example an elastomer material, forming a moulded core with spikes. However, such applicator members are produced using complex and expensive moulds. In addition, the need to have to demould the applicator member reduces the possible diversity of spike shapes, and the complexity thereof.

Also known are applicators known as“hybrid” applicators having a flexible core, for example made of thermoplastic material, bearing spikes, and two hairpin shaped metal arms that enclose the core and are twisted about one another, imparting a twist to the core and causing the spikes to form helical layers.

In this regard, reference may be made to the documents FR 2 900 318, FR 2 900 319, FR 2 936 691, which at least partially propose applicators of this type.

Also known is the document EP 1 161 896 - B 1 , which describes an applicator device for applying a product, comprising a support made of a first material and a row of application elements attached to said support by a mounting member made of a second material. The device is obtained by overmoulding, two- shot injection moulding or injection overmoulding of said first and second material. However, the application elements of such a device are not disposed in helical layers.

The document FR 2 987 243 - A1 describes an applicator comprising an applicator member having a twisted-core brush and a moulded applicator member disposed on said core. Said moulded member comprises a body that bears teeth and is provided with a longitudinal through-passage for said core to pass through.

However, the shape of the teeth requires the use of a complex and expensive mould and demoulding is particularly time-consuming. As a result, this limits the variety of conceivable shapes for the teeth.

Also known are 3D printing additive manufacturing methods. However, such methods are particularly expensive and there is a problem of safety in the long term on account of the possible molecular exchange between the constituent material of the applicator obtained by such a method and the product to be applied.

Therefore, it will be appreciated that there is a need to further improve applicators, and in particular to reduce costs and manufacturing lead times while proposing applicators that exhibit a wide variety of shapes of application elements. Another objective of the invention is to find a compromise between the loading with product to be applied and the combing/ separation of the eyelashes.

A subject of the invention is an applicator member for applying a product to keratin fibres, notably for eyelashes, comprising a support made of plastically deformable material, and a single core made of polymeric material bearing first application elements that project from said core. The core is mounted at least partially around said support.

The first application elements are arranged in a single helical coil or helix along the longitudinal axis of the applicator member.

The helix shape corresponds to a corkscrew shape. Advantageously, the helix has a constant diameter along the entire length of the applicator. In a variant, the diameter of the helix could vary along the applicator.

In this way, the radial distance between the end of the first application elements in contact with the user’s eyelashes and the longitudinal axis of the applicator is increased.

The expression“plastically deformable” means any material that is capable of deforming without breaking under the action of external loading and of keeping the deformation when the external loading stops.

The core is arranged in at least two helical coils disposed along the longitudinal axis of the member.

Specifically, the twisting of the support brings about the arrangement of the core, and thus of the first application elements that are joined to the core, in at least two helical coils.

Advantageously, the core is overmoulded at least partially around said support.

For example, the core may radially surround the entire circumference of the support. In a variant, the core extends around the support through strictly more than 180°.

Thus, the overmoulding of the application elements directly on a single rectilinear wire and all around the latter does away with the problems of demoulding the application elements and it is possible to increase the variety of conceivable shapes for said application elements.

In order to mould the first application elements on the support, use can be made of any synthetic material which is or is not relatively rigid, for example SEBS, a silicone, latex, a material having improved slip, butyl, EPDM, a nitrile, a thermoplastic elastomer, a polyester elastomer, a polyamide elastomer, a polyethylene elastomer or a vinyl elastomer, a polyolefin such as PE or PP, PYC, EVA, PS, SEBS, SIS, PET, POM, PU, SAM, PA or PMMA.

In a variant, the core could be in the form of a sleeve that is able to be slipped onto the support, extending around the support in particular through strictly more than 180°.

Furthermore, the core advantageously has a cross section with a circular external contour. In a variant, the core could have a cross section with an external contour that is polygonal, such as hexagonal, square or rectangular, or elongate, or the external contour of the cross section of the core could have a polygonal portion and a rounded portion, for example a circular portion.

The support comprises, for example, a single twisted wire in the form of a helix.

For example, the support has a circular section. In a variant, some other shape of the section of the support could be provided. For example, the section of the support is solid or hollow. Furthermore, the external contour of the cross section of the support may have a shape that is polygonal, for example square, hexagonal or rectangular, or an elongate shape. For example, the support may be a metal wire, such as a steel wire.

According to one embodiment, the turns of the helix are in axial contact with one another. The turns are said to be“contiguous”.

In other words, there is no axial clearance between said turns and so the turns are in contact with one another along the longitudinal axis of the applicator member. Since the turns have a circular section, the contact between two adjacent turns forms a Y-shaped recess that makes it possible to form a reservoir of product. In a variant, the turns could have a section that is polygonal, such as square, triangular, rectangular or hexagonal, or an elongate section.

According to another embodiment, the turns of the helix are spaced apart. The turns are said to be“non-contiguous”.

In other words, the turns of the helix are spaced apart axially. The axial space between two adjacent turns can act as a reservoir of product.

Advantageously, the core internally delimits a central longitudinal cavity that extends along at least a part of the length of the applicator member. This cavity can form a reserve of product within the applicator member. When the turns of the helix are non-conti guous, the cavity can communicate radially with the spikes via the axial space between said turns.

The first application elements extend, for example, along an axis of extension forming an angle of 90° with the longitudinal axis of the support.

It will be noted that the axis of extension of the first application elements is not limited to this example and that the axis of extension of the spikes could form an angle other than 90° with the axis of the support.

The first application elements are spikes.

A“spike” denotes an individual projecting element. The spikes form first application elements that are particularly suitable for combing/ separating the eyelashes during the application of the product.

The first application elements may be overmoulded on the core or be attached to the latter, for example by adhesive bonding.

For example, the first application elements may have a conical shape, or complex shapes such as closed or open loops, application elements having undercut surfaces in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the support or having a complex shape, such as a logo.

For example, the first application elements have a section in the shape of at least one closed loop in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the applicator member.

Generally, during the deformation of the support, the orientation of the first application elements is angularly modified by around 90°.

According to a second aspect, the invention relates to a device for packaging and applying a product, notably a makeup product, comprising a container for storing the product, and an applicator comprising an applicator member as described above, which is able to be inserted into the internal volume of the container in order to be loaded with product.

The longitudinal axis of the applicator member is rectilinear and coincident with the longitudinal axis of the container when the applicator is mounted thereon. In a variant, the longitudinal axis of the applicator member could be curved.

The end of the support that is joined to a stem of the applicator is not deformed and remains rectilinear along the longitudinal axis of the applicator member. According to another aspect, the invention relates to a method for manufacturing an applicator member as described above, comprising the following steps of:

mounting the core bearing the first application elements on the support extending along a longitudinal axis of the support to form a unitary application assembly;

plastically deforming the support so as to give the one-piece assembly the shape of a single helical coil along the longitudinal axis of the applicator member.

Such a manufacturing method allows the low-cost manufacture of applicator members having protuberance or application-spike shapes that are impossible or extremely complex to produce with conventional moulding techniques.

In addition, it is possible to manufacture a large quantity of a starting material formed by the wire and the application elements, for example several rectilinear metres, and then to cut it to the desired size, and then deform it into a helix. This considerably shortens the method for manufacturing the applicator member.

It makes no difference whether deformation is carried out in one direction of rotation or in the other.

The application assembly may turn through more than one revolution about the temporary central part under the effect of the rotation imparted by the support, forming an alternate succession of turns along the longitudinal axis of the applicator member, each containing first application elements.

Preferably, the core is overmoulded on the support.

In order to plastically deform the support, it may be wrapped around a temporary central part with a longitudinal axis coincident with the longitudinal axis of the applicator member so as to give the one-piece assembly the shape of a helix along the longitudinal axis of the applicator member; and the temporary central part is withdrawn. There could be other ways of giving the support and thus the core the helix shape.

Before the support is deformed, the first application elements are advantageously aligned with one another in at least one row, which extends axially for example along at least a part of the length of the core.

Before the support is deformed, the core could likewise bear two diametrically opposite rows of first application elements. For example, before the support is deformed, the first application elements are disposed in the form of a single group of first application elements.

According to another embodiment, before the support is bent, the first application elements are disposed in the form of at least one first group and at least one second group of first application elements, the first group being spaced apart axially from the second group by an axial distance greater than the axial distance between two first application elements of one and the same group.

The first application elements of one and the same group could be mutually identical and the first application elements of two different groups could have different shapes.

The first application elements of one and the same group could also not be mutually identical.

For example, before the support is deformed, the first application elements extend radially on one side of said support.

The present invention will be understood better from studying the detailed description of embodiments that are given by way of entirely non-limiting example and are illustrated by the appended drawings, in which:

[Figure 1] is a schematic view in longitudinal section of a packaging and application device according to one embodiment of the invention;

[Figure 2] shows a view in cross section, in isolation, of an applicator member of the device in Figure 1, after a core has been mounted on a support and before said support is deformed;

[Figure 3] shows the applicator member in Figure 2 after said support has been deformed;

[Figure 4A],

[Figure 4B],

[Figure 4C],

[Figure 4D],

[Figure 4E],

[Figure 4F] show different shapes of the first application elements.

Figure 1 shows a device 1 for packaging and applying a product, comprising a container 2 delimiting an internal volume 2a containing a product to be applied to a user’s eyelashes and/or eyebrows, for example a cosmetic makeup product such as mascara or a care product. The device 1 for packaging and applying a product also comprises an applicator or application device 3 for applying said product.

The container 2 extends along a longitudinal overall axis C1-C , shown in a position presumed to be vertical. The body of the container 2 is provided with a closed lower end 4 forming a bottom and an upper end 5 forming a neck provided with an opening 7, opposite the lower end 4, allowing access to the internal volume 2a containing the product. In a variant, the body of the container could not comprise a neck and the opening could be made in a free edge of said container.

In the embodiment illustrated, the neck 5 has an outside diameter smaller than the outside diameter of the body of the container 2 and comprises, on its outer surface, a thread 5a. The body of the container 2 may be made, for example, of rigid synthetic material.

The application device 3 or applicator extends along a longitudinal overall axis X2-X2’, shown in a position presumed to be vertical, that is coincident with the axis C1-C in Figure 1. The application device 3 comprises a gripping member 7, a stem 8, a wiping member or wiper 9 and an applicator member 10.

The gripping member 7 has a tubular mounting skirt 7a and a transverse wall 7b that extends substantially perpendicularly to the axis X2-X2’ and is attached to the mounting skirt 7a. The mounting skirt 7a comprises a threaded inner surface 7c that is intended to be screwed onto the thread 5a on the neck of the container 2.

The stem 8 comprises a first end fastened to the applicator member 10 and a second end fastened to the gripping member 7. In the example illustrated, the stem 8 has a circular cross section more or less along its entire length. In a variant, other shapes could be provided for the cross section of the stem, for example a polygonal shape, such as a square or rectangular shape, or even an oval shape, etc.

The stem 8 and the gripping member 7 may be produced in one piece, for example by inj ecti on-moulding a plastics material, to which the applicator member 10 is then attached. The stem could be fastened to the gripping member by any other means, for example by adhesive bonding, screwing, etc.

As illustrated in Figure 1, the wiping member 9 comprises a cylindrical body

9a with an outside diameter substantially the same as the inside diameter of the neck 5 of the container 2. The body is delimited by two opposite ends, with one of the ends being in radial contact with the outer surface of the stem 8. The body 9a comprises, on its outer surface, a member 9b for retaining it on the container 2, for example in the form of an annular bulge that is snap-fitted in a complementary shape on the container 2

The wiping member 9 also has, at a first free end of the body, an annular wiping lip 9c, defining with its free end a wiping orifice 9d with a substantially circular cross section. This wiping lip 9c extends in the direction of the stem 8 and is dimensioned so as to press at least against the stem 8, or even against the applicator member 10 as the applicator is removed from the container. The wiping lip 9c in this case extends obliquely with respect to the body 9a towards the axis X2-X2’.

The inside diameter of the orifice 9d is preferably less than or equal to the outside diameter of the stem 8, so as to prevent the product contained in the container 2 from escaping to a space delimited between the stem and the mounting skirt 7a of the gripping member 7 of the application device 3.

The body 9a of the wiping member 9 comprises, at a second end opposite the first end, an annular flange 9e having an outside diameter substantially equal to the inside diameter of the mounting skirt 7a of the gripping member 7 of the application device 3. After the application device 3 has been joined to the container 2, the flange 9e bears axially against the neck 5 of the container.

The wiping member 9 may be made for example of an elastomer material or a polyolefin, notably polyethylene or any other plastics material. The wiping lip 9c is, for example, more flexible than the body 9a of the wiping member 9.

As illustrated in Figures 1 to 3, the applicator member 10 comprises a support 12 that is elongate along the longitudinal axis X-X’, and a main body or core 14 bearing first application elements or spikes 16. The core 14 and the spikes 16 form a unitary application part 11 overmoulded on the support 12.

The core 14 is made of polymeric material, notably thermoplastic, which is overmoulded on said support 12 so as to entirely surround said support 12. In a variant, the core could be in the form of a sleeve fitted on the support.

For the application part 11, use could be made of any synthetic material which is or is not relatively rigid, for example SEBS, a silicone, latex, a material having improved slip, butyl, EPDM, a nitrile, a thermoplastic elastomer, a polyester elastomer, a polyamide elastomer, a polyethylene elastomer or a vinyl elastomer, a polyolefin such as PE or PP, PYC, EVA, PS, SEBS, SIS, PET, POM, PU, SAM, PA or PMMA. The spikes 16 are moulded with the core 14 and extend radially from the core 14 on one side thereof. The spikes 16 could also be attached to the core, for example by adhesive bonding, rather than being overmoulded directly thereon.

A“spike” denotes an individual projecting element. The spikes 16 form first application elements that are particularly suitable for combing/ separating the eyelashes during the application of the product.

As illustrated, the spikes 16 are aligned with one another in at least one row, which extends axially for example along substantially the entire length of the core 14. In a variant, two or more groups of spikes that are aligned and spaced or not spaced apart by an axial distance greater than the axial distance between two spikes of one and the same group could be provided.

In the example illustrated in Figures 2 to 4, the spikes 16 extend along an axis that forms an angle of 90° with the longitudinal axis X-X’ of the support 12. It will be noted that the axis of extension of the spikes 16 is not limited to this example and that the axis of extension of the spikes could form an angle other than 90° with the axis of the support.

In the example illustrated, the spikes 16 are in the form of a closed loop. However, the spikes could have a different shape, in particular have complex shapes as can be seen in Figures 4A to 4F.

The support 12 is made of a plastically deformable material that is in the form of a rectilinear wire. For example, the support 12 has a cross section with a circular external contour. In a variant, some other shape of the cross section of the support 12 could be provided. The external contour of the cross section of the support may thus have a shape that is polygonal, for example square, hexagonal or rectangular, or an elongate shape. For example, the section of the support 12 is solid or hollow. For example, the support 12 may be a metal wire, such as a steel wire.

In the example illustrated in Figure 2, before the support 12 is deformed, the core 14 bears one row of single spikes 16. In a variant, the core could bear two or more rows of spikes, for example two diametrically opposite rows of spikes.

In order to produce the applicator member 10, first of all the core 14 made of polymer material bearing the first application elements 16, namely in this case the spikes, is mounted or overmoulded on the rectilinear support 12, as can be seen in Figure 2. Generally, first application elements 16 are obtained that are inseparable from the support 12 so as to form a unitary application assembly.

This application assembly is then plastically deformed so as to give the unitary assembly the shape of a single helical coil or helix along the longitudinal axis X2-X2’ of the applicator member 10. The helix shape corresponds to a corkscrew shape.

In order to provide this helix shape, it is possible, in an entirely non-limiting manner, to wrap the application assembly 11 around a temporary central part 20 having a longitudinal axis X2-X2’, and then to withdraw said temporary central part 20.

The end of the support 12 that is joined to the stem 8 is not deformed and remains rectilinear along the longitudinal axis X2-X2’ of the applicator member 10.

It makes no difference whether deformation is carried out in one direction of rotation or in the other.

The application assembly may turn through more than one revolution about the temporary central part 20 under the effect of the rotation imparted by the support 12, forming an alternate succession of turns along the longitudinal axis of the applicator member, each containing first application elements.

As illustrated, the turns of the helix are contiguous, meaning that there is no axial clearance between said turns and so the turns are in contact with one another along the longitudinal axis X2-X2’ . Since the turns have a circular section, the contact between two adjacent turns forms a Y-shaped recess that makes it possible to form a reservoir of product.

In a variant, the turns of the helix could be non-conti guous, meaning that they are spaced apart axially. The axial space between two adjacent turns can act as a reservoir of product.

As illustrated, the applicator member 10 comprises a central longitudinal cavity 18 extending along the entire axial length of the deformed application part 11. This cavity 18 can form a reserve of product within the applicator member 10.

When the turns of the helix are non-conti guous, the cavity 18 can communicate radially with the spikes 16 via the axial space between said turns.

Before the unitary application part 11 is deformed, the spikes 16 exhibit an open loop in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis X2-X2’, while, after it has been deformed, the spikes 16 exhibit an open loop in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis X2-X2’. In other words, generally, during the deformation of the application part 11, the orientation of the spikes 16 is angularly modified by around 90°.

The arrangement by fitting or overmoulding of the core 14 and the spikes 16 on the support 12 makes it possible to increase the size of the applicator member 10 in the radial direction compared with a standard applicator. The radial augmentation of the applicator member 10 with respect to its longitudinal axis X2-X2’ allows the eyelashes to be in contact with the product to be applied without it being necessary to bring them closer to the longitudinal axis X2-X2’ of the applicator member 10.

This radial distance may be modified by modifying the section of the temporary central part 20.

Figures 4A to 4F illustrate different shapes of spikes 16A to 16F, for example spikes 16A having a conical shape with an axis of extension perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, although an axis of extension that forms an angle other than 90° with the longitudinal axis could be provided, spikes 16B that have open loops, spikes 16C that have two closed loops in the shape of an eight, spikes 16D, 16E that have undercut surfaces in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the support 12, or spikes 16F that have a complex shape, such as a logo.

The overmoulding of the application elements directly on the rectilinear wire and all around the latter does away with the problems of demoulding the application elements and it is possible to increase the number of shapes of said application elements.

By virtue of the invention, an applicator of simple and economic design that is easy to assemble and is capable of having complex spike shapes is provided.