Patent application title: Multi-compartment packaging
Hans-Peter Huber (Neuthard, DE)
Peter Bohn (Rheinhausen, DE)
Klaus Renner (Ettlingen, DE)
IPC8 Class: AB65D8132FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package for mixing means to manipulate without rupture
Publication date: 2009-02-05
Patent application number: 20090032413
Patent application title: Multi-compartment packaging
BROWDY AND NEIMARK, P.L.L.C.;624 NINTH STREET, NW
Origin: WASHINGTON, DC US
IPC8 Class: AB65D8132FI
The invention relates to a multi-compartment packaging comprising a base
part provided with at least two cups (11,12) which are used to receive
the components, and a cover film which is connected to the base part. The
components can be mixed together by exerting pressure on the connection
area between the at least two cups which, as a result, becomes detached.
The cover film is made of at least two films (20,30) having different
structures. One section or one surface arranged above at least one cup
(11) is covered by only one of the two films (20). Due to said selective
covering of the base part and/or the components located in the two cups
by the films adapted to the user profile of the compartments, the desired
physical properties can be adjusted in a separate manner in relation to
the density and/or light-impermability for the two cups.
1. A multi-chamber packaging comprising a base provided with at least two
wells, which are used to receive the components, and a cover film, which
is connected to the base, wherein the connection area provided between
the at least two wells is releasable through exertion of pressure, in
order to mix the components together,characterized in that the cover film
is composed of two films (20,30) of different consistency, and that a
section or area over at least one well (11) is covered by only one of the
two films (20).
2. A multi-chamber packaging according to claim 1, characterized in that the film (20) facing the base (10) is a plastic film.
3. A multi-chamber packaging according to claim 1, characterized in that the film (30) forming the top surface is a film (high barrier film), for example of aluminum, that is impermeable especially to gases, such as water vapor.
4. A multi-chamber packaging according to claim 2, characterized in that the plastic film (20) is gas permeable.
5. A multi-chamber packaging according to claim 2, characterized in that the plastic film (20) is clear or dyed.
6. A multi-chamber packaging according to claim 1 and 2, characterized in that the plastic film (20) is clear and imprinted at least partially with a printed mark (D).
7. A multi-chamber packaging according to claim 6, characterized in that the ink color of the printed mark (D) corresponds to the color of the proper and complete mixture of the components (P1, P2).
8. A multi-chamber packaging according to claim 1, characterized in that the rib (S) between the two wells (11,12) is arranged approximately centrically, so that the packaging can be folded up with facing films (20, 30) and locked in this position, thus preventing an unintentional opening of the rib.
9. A multi-chamber packaging according to claim 8, characterized in that the locking is achieved by means of a self-adhesive label (41) or notches.
10. A multi-chamber packaging according to claim 8, characterized in that the locking is achieved by means of notches (42A;42B,42C) provided in the opposite sides.
11. A multi-chamber packaging according to claim 8, characterized in that the locking is achieved by an outer packaging, especially a folding box (40).
The invention relates to a multi-compartment packaging comprising a base provided with at least two wells, which are used to receive the components, and a cover film, which is connected to the base, wherein the connection area provided between the at least two wells is releasable through exertion of pressure, in order to mix the components together.
Multi-chamber packagings of this type are known in a wide variety of designs; the applicant's patent document EP 1 021 356, for example, shows a packaging of this type in which different sealing strengths are created in the rim region between the cover film and base on one hand and in the connection area (rib) between the wells, to ensure that when the interconnection between the two chambers is created by breaking open the rib, the connection in the rim region between the base and cover film remains intact.
WO84/02892 and WO 02/38468 A 1 show similar solutions as well.
The growing need for multi-chamber packagings of this type shows that they are suitable for a multitude of products, for example from the fields of medicine and cosmetics, in which two components that need to be kept separate may be put together and mixed only shortly before their intended use.
Often, the provided components to be mixed are so different in their chemical and/or physical compositions that this results in different product-specific requirements regarding the physical properties of the packaging materials being used, such as, for example, the cover film. Such requirements may be, e.g., gas permeability/gas impermeability or light transmission.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
It is, therefore, the object of the invention to improve multi-chamber packagings of the generic type in such a way that the "requirement profile" of each component with respect to the portions of the multi-chamber packaging that encompass and enclose it, is reliably met prior to mixing it, so as to ensure the reliable quality of the product to be mixed even in case of extended storage times and transportation.
This object is met according to the invention in such a way that the cover film is constructed of two films of different consistency, and that a section or area over at least one well is covered by only one of these two films.
It is the underlying concept of the invention to separately "adjust" the desired physical properties with respect to gas impermeability and light transmission by selectively covering the base and the components contained in the two wells with the two films that are adapted to the "requirement profile".
A multitude of options arises in the process, which are described in detail in the subclaims:
It is thus possible, for example, to select the film of the cover film that faces the base and, hence, the given component, to be a plastic film that extends over the entire surface of the multi-chamber packaging and that possesses those properties that are required by one of the components, i.e., for example, a certain degree of gas permeability, or a certain degree of light transmission or opacity.
If the plastic film is clear, for example, imprinting it with a certain color that corresponds to the color of the mixture after the two components have been mixed can achieve that the package will be opened for removal of the mixed end product only after the color of the mixture matches the color of the imprint, which represents an added degree of quality assurance.
The second film, which is sealed onto the plastic film, is particularly a gas-impermeable film, i.e., a so-called high barrier film, for example of aluminum, which does not permit any exchange, such as water vapor, with the environment. This film extends over a well for whose content it must be ensured that no exchange of gases or liquid takes place through the film (in this case the base will be produced from a correspondingly gas-impermeable material as well, e.g., also from an aluminum foil). This gas impermeable film of the cover film extends at least over the connection area/rib between the two wells that are used to receive the two components.
Another option consists of providing the plastic film with a coloring in an otherwise identical arrangement if the product contained in the respective well is sensitive to high-intensity light or to a certain spectral range of light.
In particular, however, it is also possible to adjust the "gas release surface" that is provided by the plastic film, by providing a corresponding proportional covering with the second, gas-impermeable film in such a way that it has cut-outs, for example, in the form of more or less large holes, thus permitting a limited degree of gas release.
In all of these cases it is possible through product-specific selection of the two films and their individual coverage of the two wells, to achieve that the components are optimally stored in accordance with their physical/chemical nature.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
A number of exemplary embodiments of the inventive multi-chamber packaging will now be explained in more detail in conjunction with drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 shows a section and top view of the first exemplary embodiment,
FIG. 2 shows a section through the multi-chamber packaging according to claim 1 during the mixing process,
FIGS. 3A and 3B show two additional exemplary embodiments of the multi-chamber packaging in a top view,
FIGS. 4A and 4B show examples of the activation protection of the multi-chamber packaging.
DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS
The multi-chamber packaging depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises a base 10, for example a deep-drawn aluminum foil, in which two wells 11 and 12 are formed in the known manner to receive components P1 and P2. Covering and enclosing the base 10 takes place with a cover film that is constructed of two films 20 and 30.
The bottom film 20, which faces the wells 11 and 12 in the depicted embodiment is a light-transmitting plastic film, the outer second film 30 is a gas impermeable aluminum foil or a material with comparable action, e.g., silicon oxide film. The film 30 extends over the entire second well 12 and over the rib S between the two wells 11 and 12, but only partially over the first well 11.
This has the result that the receptacle chamber that is formed by the well 12 and the two films 20 and 30 for the first component P1 is sealed altogether gas tight, whereas the receptacle chamber formed by the well 11 and the film 20 that contains the second component P2, is both gas permeable and light transmitting.
The plastic film 20 has, in a region adjacent to the well 11, a printed mark D, the texture and/or coloration of which is chosen such that it corresponds to the texture/coloration of the end product once it has been completely and properly mixed from the two components P1,P2.
The two films 20 and 30 are sealed with their edge R in a first sealing strength onto the base 10, and with a second, lesser sealing strength in the area of the rib S, like it is described, for example, in the above-mentioned patent document EP 1 021 356, so that no further explanation is needed here.
When pressure is exerted onto one of the two wells 11 or 12 (FIG. 2), this accordingly has the result that the weak seal area in the region of the rib breaks open and the two components P1 and P2 can be mixed together, for example through bending or rolling motions, resulting in their even distribution in both wells 11 and 12 (the beginning of this mixing process is schematically depicted in FIG. 2).
As soon as a homogenous mixture is attained, this will be apparent to the user through comparison of the color and texture in well 11 to the color and texture of the printed mark D, and the user may then open the multi-chamber packaging along its rim region by using suitable measures (which are not shown separately here), e.g., pull tabs, perforations, or the like, and remove the mixed end product.
Manufacture of the packaging may take place especially according to the following steps:
The two films 20 and 30 are removed from rollers and brought together, the printed mark D having previously been applied onto the film 20.
The two films 20 and 30 are joined, for example by welding, at least in their edge regions and then moved onto the base 10 containing the components P1, P2, where the above-describe peel-type sealing of the film 20 onto the base 10 takes place, which ensures the "opening function" of the rib area S.
FIGS. 3A and 3B show two additional exemplary embodiments in a top view, where the outer film 30, which may again be a gas impermeable aluminum foil, has punch-outs 30A in the form of circular areas, so that "windows" remain to the film 20 located underneath, which, in this case, may be dyed, for example. A variant of this type may be used if the component P2 contained in well 11 requires a certain degree of gas permeability but must be protected from the effects of strong light.
In the third exemplary embodiment depicted in FIG. 3B, three wells 11,12,13 are provided, with cut-outs 30B disposed over the second well 12 and a recess 30C in the form of a corner that has been left free, in the region of which an imprint (which is not depicted) on the plastic film 20 could be provided instead.
The depicted exemplary embodiments are intended only as examples with respect to the selected films and shapes and sizes, which serve to illustrate that, in accordance with the requirements of the two components P1, P2, a reliable mixing quality of the end product can be achieved by combining two suitable films 20 and 30.
FIG. 4 shows three examples for the activation protection of the multi-chamber packaging; all examples being aimed at blocking an unintentional opening of the rib S between the wells 11 and 12 and, hence, activation of the component system, by folding the multi-chamber system up by 180°:
Either through insertion into an outer packaging, such as a folding box 40 (FIG. 4A), or by means of a self-adhesive label 41 (FIG. 4B), or by means of punching lines 42A or 42B,42C into the opposite end regions to create interlocking tabs (FIGS. 4C, 4D).
Patent applications by Klaus Renner, Ettlingen DE
Patent applications in class Means to manipulate without rupture
Patent applications in all subclasses Means to manipulate without rupture