|Publication number||US20060283750 A1|
|Application number||US 11/157,663|
|Publication date||Dec 21, 2006|
|Filing date||Jun 21, 2005|
|Priority date||Jun 21, 2005|
|Also published as||DE602006016791D1, EP1893503A1, EP1893503B1, WO2007002430A1, WO2007002430A9|
|Publication number||11157663, 157663, US 2006/0283750 A1, US 2006/283750 A1, US 20060283750 A1, US 20060283750A1, US 2006283750 A1, US 2006283750A1, US-A1-20060283750, US-A1-2006283750, US2006/0283750A1, US2006/283750A1, US20060283750 A1, US20060283750A1, US2006283750 A1, US2006283750A1|
|Inventors||Esther Villars, John Molander, Matthew Neumann, Joshua Norman, Sarah Thielman|
|Original Assignee||The Procter & Gamble Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (18), Classifications (9), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to articles using separable fastening elements. More particularly, this invention is concerned with packages that utilize such elements in combination.
Packages containing dry wipes, such as tissues, generally do not have complications associated with moisture loss or contamination of fastening elements on the package. Both moisture loss and contamination of fastening elements may be complications with packages containing wet wipes. Moisture loss may result in a drying out of the wet wipes. Contamination of the separable fastening elements may result in the loss of the ability of the package to remain in a closed configuration.
This invention relates to a resealable package comprising separable fastening elements. It is particularly intended for use in the packaging of wipes, such as wet wipes and hard surface cleansing wipes, but it is to be understood that the invention is also applicable to the packaging of other articles.
Wet wipes are articles in the form of sheets which may be impregnated with compositions such as a skin-cleansing liquid or a hard-surface cleansing liquid, and which may be intended to be disposed of after a single use. Wet wipes may generally be packaged in a package containing a plurality of wet wipes.
Wet wipes may be packaged in hard-bodied containers for consumer use. The hard-body containers may be reusable, thus additional wipes may be packaged into refill packages. Wet wipes in refill packages may be packaged in soft-bodied packages. The refill packages, however, may not always include an opening to facilitate the withdrawal of an individual wet wipe. The soft-bodied package may instead require the consumer to rely on the reusable hard-bodied container and fully open the soft-bodied package, remove all of the wet wipes and place those wet wipes into a hard-bodied container. If the wet wipes are not placed into a hard-bodied container, the lotion impregnating the wet wipes may dry out.
In the alternative, soft-bodied packages may comprise an opening that may facilitate the removal of an individual wipe. Soft-bodied packages that do comprise an opening to facilitate the removal of an individual wipe may face a problem of how to reseal the opening to prevent moisture loss. The wipes may dry out unless the package can be properly resealed after each wipe is removed. One response to this problem has been to place the entire soft-body package into a hard-body container. Another response has been to provide the soft-bodied package with a hard-body covering over the opening. This approach may increase the complexity in the manufacture of the packages. A third response has been to provide a soft closure flap to the package that remains closed over the opening with the help of adhesives. A disadvantage of adhesives, and other devices which employ conventional tacky or sticky surfaces to create a separable bond between two articles may be that such surfaces can be prone to contamination. Such contamination may be caused by, among other things, dirt, lint, dust, lotions, moisture, and the like, all of which tend to reduce the adhesive properties of the fastener. Eventually this loss of the adhesive may result in the rendering of the fastener unsuitable for its intended purpose.
Wet wipes packaged in a soft-bodied package may also be packaged in an interleaved configuration. The interleaved configuration allows for one wipe to pop-up out of the package following the removal of a prior wipe. The pop-up of a wipe may allow for easier removal of a wipe from the package as the user does not have to reach into the package to retrieve the wipe. Pop-up of a wet wipe in a package with a resealable closure flap, however, may make resealing the package difficult as the lotion from the wet wipe may contaminate the adhesive on the closure flap if the edge of the wet wipe that has popped up out of the package is not placed back into the package and stored away from the adhesive on the closure flap. Providing the soft-bodied package with an appropriately sized and designed closure flap may compensate for contamination of the adhesive by the lotion.
An appropriately sized closure flap may allow for multiple locations on which to place resealable fastening elements which may be adhesives, mechanical or magnetic fastening elements. An appropriately sized closure flap may allow for resealable fastening elements to be placed outside a radius of possible contamination by the articles located within the package. Therefore, an appropriately sized closure flap may allow a user to refrain from pushing a wipe that has popped up from the package back into the package. This may further allow a user to refrain from contaminating a wipe with their finger if they were to attempt to push a popped-up wipe back into the package. An appropriately sized closure flap may also reduce and/or prevent loss of moisture from the package. Am appropriately sized closure flap may also reduce contamination of the wipes located within the package by providing a sufficient barrier against the introduction of contaminants such as, but not limited to, dirt, lint, dust, lotions, moisture, and the like.
It would be desirable to provide a package with separable fastening elements that may significantly reduce or eliminate moisture loss. It would be desirable to provide a package with separable fastening elements that may withstand contamination and continue to provide the package with an adequate fastening system. It would be desirable to provide a closure flap for a soft-bodied package that may reliably reseal the package regardless of the articles contained therein. It would be desirable to provide a closure flap for a soft-bodied package that may be used in combination with separable fastening elements that may reduce and/or prevent moisture loss from the package. It would be desirable to provide a closure flap for a soft-bodied package sufficient in size such that if moisture contamination does occur, there may be multiple regions in which to place separable fastening elements, thereby continuing the reduction and/or prevention of moisture loss from the package.
According to the present invention, there is provided a package formed substantially of flexible sheet material and having a defined article receiving cavity. The flexible sheet material has a face in which is defined a dispensing opening. A flexible closure flap may be attached to the flexible sheet material. The closure flap may cover the dispensing opening of the package when the package is in a closed configuration. The closure flap may comprise an area that is at least about four times greater than the area comprising the dispensing opening. The package may contain a plurality of wet wipes that are folded in an interleaved configuration.
In another embodiment, the closure flap may comprise an area that is at least about six times greater than the area of the dispensing opening. In yet another embodiment, the closure flap may comprise an area that is at least about eight times greater than the area of the dispensing opening.
The closure flap may comprise at least one resealable fastening element selected from the group consisting of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members, and combinations thereof. The flexible sheet material of the package may comprise at least one resealable fastening element selecting from the group consisting of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members, and combinations thereof.
In another embodiment, the package may comprise regions of reinforcement.
In another embodiment, the package may comprise at least one graphic. In yet another embodiment, the package may comprise at least two graphics. The graphics may be registered to provide for coordination of the graphics.
In one embodiment, the package of the present invention may experience a moisture loss of less than 10 grams per 200 hours. In another embodiment, the package may experience a moisture loss of less than 8 grams per 200 hours. In yet another embodiment, the package may experience a moisture loss of less than 6 grams per 200 hours.
The present invention provides for separable fastening elements to aid in the closure of resealable packages that may contain wet wipes. The present invention may combine the use of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members and other suitable systems to aid in the closure of packages containing wet wipes.
The term “adhesive” refers refer to a material which demonstrates adhesion when applied to another material generally (e.g. material is not specially selected). Adhesive materials connect to other materials indiscriminately and may stick to a variety of materials. The term “adhesive” may also refer herein to any acrylic-based or rubber-based adhesive. The term “adhesive” may also comprise cohesives. The term “cohesive” refers herein to a material that demonstrates surface interaction (in terms of connection of one surface to another) when applied to itself or to an analog of itself.
The term “mechanical fasteners” or “mechanical fastening elements” refers herein to fasteners that may not rely on adhesive or magnetic properties to create a contiguous bond. Mechanical fasteners may be selected from the group consisting of hooks, loops, buttons, snaps, suction cups, strings, rail type closures, vacuum closures, mechanical interlocking fasteners and combinations thereof.
The term “magnetic members” or “magnetic fasteners” or “magnetic fastening elements” refer herein to any material having magnetic properties. The magnetic members may also include particulate magnetic material including, but not limited to, magnetoplumbite-structure ferrite particles and/or rare-earth magnet particles. The magnetic members may be selected from those which form a magnet-to-magnet interface, those which form a magnet-to-metal interface and combinations thereof. The magnetic members may be disposed thereon, thereunder, or therethrough the flexible sheet material utilized in the present invention. The magnetic members may be deposited onto the flexible sheet material through a variety of means suitable for the present invention. The means may include ink jet, spraying, coating, screen-printing, intaglio printing, flexographic printing, rotogravure printing and the like. Rotogravure printing may deposit a molten blend of a suitable thermoplastic material and magnetic particles as described herein onto a printing device so as to form magnetic members for deposition onto the flexible sheet material.
The term “wet” refers herein to indicate a wipe substrate having a moisture content of greater than 10% by weight. Such wet wipes often having a moisture content of approximately 50% to approximately 400% or more by weight. This is in contrast to a “dry wipe” which is used herein to indicate a wipe substrate having a moisture content of less than approximately 10%.
The term “material” refers herein to include either a natural or synthetic material or any combination thereof, including films, film laminates, non-woven laminates, sponges, non-woven webs, woven webs, knitted fabrics, foams, and any combination thereof, or cellulosic materials including wood pulp, and the like, having a single layer or multiple layers.
The term “non-woven fabric” or “non-woven material” or “non-woven web” or “non-woven” refers herein to a material made from an assembly of continuous filaments and/or non-continuous fibers, without weaving or knitting by processes such as spun-bonding, carding, melt-blowing or other processes known in the art for such purposes. The non-woven material can comprise one or more layers of such fibrous assemblies, wherein each layer can include continuous filaments or discontinuous fibers.
The term “foam” refers herein to any material comprising a solid, liquid crystalline, or liquid continuous phase and a gaseous dispersed phase. Because of the dispersed gaseous phase, a foam has a density less than the density of the continuous phase.
The term “film” refers herein to any polymeric sheet made by a process such as, but not limited to, extrusion of a polymeric material through a narrow slot of a die, blown films, cast films, and calendar films. The term “film” may also refer to a laminate comprising one or more layers of polymeric material. The term “film” may also include foils and metallized films.
The term “polymer” or “polymeric” refers herein to thermosetting and/or thermoplastic compositions, including but not limited to, polyolefins, including polyethylene, polypropylene, linear low density polyethylene, low density polyethylene, low density polypropylene, high density polyethylene, high density polypropylene, polyesters, polyamides, polyacetals, polyethers, poly (meth) acrylates, thermoplastic elastomers, styrenic block copolymers, metallocene-catalyzed polyolefins, polyether amides, polyurethanes, polyvinylchloride, superabsorbent materials, rayon, ethylene vinyl acetate, ethylene vinyl alcohol, and blends and copolymers, filled polymers, biconstituent or bicomponent mixtures thereof and combinations thereof. The polymeric material can also include various pigments to provide desired colors and/or visual effects and other components such as antioxidants, fillers (such as magnetoplumbite-structure ferrite particles and minerals and the like), processing aids and the like.
A “natural material” means herein a material derived from plants, animals, minerals, insects or byproducts of plants, animals, and insects. Non-limiting examples of natural materials include cellulosic fibers, cotton fibers, keratin fibers, silk fibers and the like. Non-limiting examples of cellulosic fibers include wood pulp fibers, hemp fibers, jute fibers, and the like. Non-limiting examples of keratin fibers include wool fibers and the like.
The term “attach” herein refers to a component of a flexible package is at least partially secured directly or indirectly (by one or more intermediate members) to another component of the flexible package. Attachment may be relatively continuous or intermittent. Relatively continuous attachment may imply that the components are bonded together over substantially all of one or more dimensions of a common interface between the components. Intermittent attachment may imply that the components are bonded together with one or more individual, discrete bonds that are not continuous or bond patterns having open areas free of bonds. Attachment may be conducted by a variety of methods well known in the art such as adhesive bonding, thermal bonding, mechanical bonding, ultrasonic bonding, heat bonding, pressure bonding, stitching, and the like. If the attachment is performed by an adhesive applicator, the adhesive applicator may apply an effective amount of adhesive so as to make the attachment.
The term “flexible” or “highly flexible” means herein that the material out of which the package may be constructed may tend to conform or deform in the presence of externally applied forces. As measured under the Stiffness of Fabric test, a flexible sheet material may have a peak load of less than about 1000 gf.
The terms “separable” or “releasable” bond means herein a relationship between two or more articles or surfaces in which the articles or surfaces are generally fastened to each other, yet can be separated with the application of a certain amount of force, and then subsequently refastened at a later time. In order to be “separable” or “releasable,” the articles or surfaces must be capable of being fastened and separated. It is contemplated by the present invention that the force utilized to separate the articles or surfaces in issue is an amount which can be applied by hand.
The body portion 30 may comprise walls such as a top wall 32, opposed bottom wall 34, end walls 33 and 35, and side walls such as 36. The package 20 may be sealed on opposing end walls 33 and 35 by end seals 26 and 27. There may also be a longitudinal seam (e.g. a fin seal as is produced by a form fill seal apparatus) on the bottom wall 34 of the package 20. The package 20 may have an opening 15 in the top wall 32.
Baffles, such as 22 and 24, may be formed in order to form an interface between walls of the package 20. The baffles may enable the top wall 32 of the package 20 to remain flat. Further, the baffles may enable the top wall 32 to remain flat as the package 20 is emptied of articles, such as wipes. A top wall 32 that remains flat may have little wrinkling and folding of the flexible sheet material 40 which may allow for better surface-to-surface contact between the closure flap 50 and the top wall 32. This may further allow for the closure flap 50 to properly cover the top wall 32 when in a closed configuration. Proper closure of the closure flap 50 may prevent moisture loss from the package 20. For example, there may be a baffle 22 between the top wall 32 and a side wall 36. There may be another baffle 24 between side wall 36 and the bottom wall 34. The package 20 is not limited to the two baffles, 22 and 24, illustrated in the figures or in the description of the present invention. The package 20 may exist without the presence of baffles. In one embodiment, there may be two baffles, each located at an interface between the top wall 32 and two side walls. In another embodiment, there may be four baffles; two baffles each located at an interface between the top wall and a side wall and two additional baffles each located at an interface between the bottom wall and a side wall. In other embodiments, one or more baffles may extend between the top wall 32 and the bottom wall 34. In other embodiments, additional baffles may be located within the area of the side walls.
The package 20 may have an opening 15 in the top wall 32 for dispensing wipes 10. The opening may be of any shape such as circular, oval, triangular, elliptical, ovoid, square, rectangular, etc. The opening 15 of the package 20 may be made during the manufacturing process by perforating or partially die-cutting the desired opening shape in the flexible sheet material 40 along a line of weakness 17 to define a removable cover 19 (as shown in
The closure flap 50 may be formed from the flexible sheet material 40 which forms the body 30 of the package 20. In such an embodiment, the closure flap 50 may be formed as an extension of an end seal (such as end seal 26) or as an extension of a fin seal (such as a fin seal on a bottom wall 34). The closure flap 50 may also be formed by a flexible sheet material 40 which may be folded into three panels such that one panel forms the bottom wall 34, one panel forms the top wall 32 and the third panel forms the closure flap 50. In another embodiment, the closure flap 50 may be a separate flexible sheet material and may be permanently attached to the flexible sheet material 40 of the package 20 adjacent to the interface between the top wall 32 and a side wall creating a sealed edge 58. This attachment may be accomplished by thermal bonding, adhesive bonding, mechanical bonding, ultrasonic bonding, heat bonding, pressure bonding, stitching, and the like.
The closure flap 50 may be of a size at least equal to the opening 15 of the package 20. The area of the closure flap 50 may have an area at least about four times the area of the opening 15. In another embodiment, the closure flap 50 may have an area at least six times the area of the opening 15. In a further embodiment, the closure flap 50 may have an area at least about eight times the area of the opening 15. An appropriately sized closure flap, such as closure flap 50, may provide multiple locations to associate separable fastening elements. Thus, separable fastening elements may be located beyond a radius of contamination of any moisture or lotion associated with wet wipes. The closure flap 50 may therefore continue to reseal the package 20 as uncontaminated separable fastening elements remain with which to close the closure flap 50 over the opening 15 of the package 20. An appropriately sized closure flap, such as closure flap 50, may prevent moisture loss from a package 20 containing wet wipes 10.
The closure flap 50 may be progressively removed from the package 20 up to the sealed edge 58. The sealed edge 58 may prevent any further removal of the closure flap 50. The closure flap 50 may be resealed over the opening 15. The closure flap 50 may be oriented in any manner on the package 20 in order to provide left-handed use, right-handed use, and ambidextrous use of the package 20.
Separable Fastening Element
Additional mechanical fastening elements may be exemplified by
In another embodiment, the cover 19 of the opening 15 may be removed from the package 20 in its entirety during the manufacturing process. In the event that the cover 19 is completely removed from the package 20, the closure flap 50 may be used to cover the opening 15 of the package 20 (as shown in
A separable fastening element system 60 utilizing the elements of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members, and combinations thereof may be used with a package 20 comprising a cover 19. Thus, as exemplified in
A separable fastening element system may be utilized in order to reduce or eliminate moisture loss from a package typically seen with a single reclosable fastener. Moisture loss may be measured under the Evaluation of Moisture Loss Test. A package of the present invention may experience a moisture loss of less than about 10 grams per 200 hours. In another embodiment, a package of the present invention may experience a moisture loss of less than about 8 grams per 200 hours. In yet another embodiment, a package of the present invention may experience a moisture loss of less than about 6 grams per 200 hours. In yet a further embodiment, a package of the present invention may experience a moisture loss of less than about 4 grams per 200 hours.
Stiffness of Fabric Test
The Stiffness of Fabric Test is run for purpose of the present specification is a modification of the Stiffness of Fabric Test by Circular bend as described in the ASTM D 4032-94. (hereby incorporated by reference). The Stiffness of Fabric Test for purposes of the present specification is conducted as follows:
Summary of Test Method
A pusher-ball forces a swatch of material through an orifice in a platform. The maximum force required to push the fabric through the orifice is an indication of the material's stiffness (resistance to bending).
Circular Bend Stiffness Tester, having the following parts:
Platform, 102 by 102 by 6 mm smooth-polished chrome-plated steel plate with a 38.1-mm diameter orifice. The lap edge of the orifice should be at a 45° angle to a depth of 4.8 mm.
Pusher-Ball, 6 mm diameter steel spherical ball, mounted concentric with orifice, 16 mm clearance on all sides. The bottom of the pusher-ball plunger should be set at 3 mm above the top of the orifice plate. From this position, the downward stroke length is 57 mm.
Force-Measurement Gage, dial or digital type Dial gages with maximum reading pointer in different capacities ranging from 1 to 50 lbf, 0.5 to 25 kgf, or 5 to 200 N with 100 graduations minimum; or Digital gage with maximum reading “hold” feature and capacity of 100 lbf, 50 kgf, or 500 N, with 1000 graduations minimum.
Actuator, manual or pneumatic.
Specimen Marking Template, 102 by 102 mm.
Stop Watch, for checking stroke speed.
Number and Preparation of Test Specimens
Using the specimen marking template specified above mark and cut five test specimens from staggered areas of each swatch of material to be tested. It will be appreciated that it may not be practical or possible to obtain all samples from a particular swatch (or particular product if the material is only available as incorporated into a product). In such a case, it is acceptable to take samples from multiple products or swatches. Samples with bonded, seals, seams or the like should be avoided. Lay each specimen flat to form a square 102 by 102 mm. Handling of specimens should be kept to a minimum and to the edges to avoid affecting stiffness properties.
Store the samples for 8 hours or more at 23° C. and 50% relative humidity.
Set the tester on a flat surface with dial at eye level.
Select a gage with a capacity in which results will fall within 15 to 100% of dial gage force or 1.5 to 100% of digital gage force.
Check tester pusher-ball speed control for full stroke length.
Pneumatic Actuator—Set the air pressure control to the actuator at 324 kPa. Using a stop-watch, adjust the pneumatics to provide plunger speed of 1.7±0.15 s under no load conditions.
Manual Actuator—Using a stop-watch, establish and confirm a plunger speed of 1.7±0.3 s.
Center a specimen on the orifice platform below the pusher-ball.
If 3.2 mm clearance under pusher-ball prevents ease of entry of specimen due to sample thickness, the clearance may be increased to 6.3 mm maximum. In reporting, the results should indicate the pusher-ball clearance, if not standard.
Check the gage zero and adjust, if necessary.
Set the maximum force reading switch.
Actuate the pusher-ball for the full stroke length. Avoid touching the specimen during testing.
Record maximum force reading to nearest gage graduation.
Continue as directed above until all specimens have been tested.
Average the individual specimen readings and round to the nearest gage increment.
Report the Average force in gage units.
End of Test
Evaluation of Moisture Loss Test
The following test method is a modification of ASTM D-3079 (Standard Test Method for Water Vapor Transmission of Flexible Heat-Sealed Packages for Dry Products)(hereby incorporated by reference).
Scope: This test method covers the determination of the amount of moisture vapor loss for packages containing wet wipes during simulated use.
Summary of Test Method: Ten test specimens of each leg being evaluated are stored in a constant temperature and humidity environment of 25° C. ±1° C. and 50% RH ±2% for duration of study. Products are weighed at an initial time (t=0) in which, by definition, the cumulative average moisture loss is zero grams. Twice per day (morning and evening) 6-10 hours apart for 17 days the samples are weighed, 3 wipes are dispensed by hand, and the samples are weighed again. The packages are closed by hand following dispensing of the wipes. The mass at the initial weighing is called “pre-dispensing mass” and the mass at the subsequent weighing is called “post-dispensing mass”. “Cumulative average moisture loss” is then calculated and plotted against time resulting in a slope of grams of moisture loss/hour.
Test Specimens: Packages are manufactured and loaded by hand using 72 ct Pampers Sensitive wipes currently available on the market at the time of filing. Specimens that are damaged during the study are excluded from cumulative moisture loss calculations.
Calculations: At each weighing occasion the “pre-dispensing mass” is subtracted from the “post-dispensing mass” of the prior weighing occasion. This is done for each of the 10 specimens resulting in 10 “individual moisture losses”. “Individual moisture losses” are averaged (mean average) to determine “Average moisture loss”. “Average moisture losses” are cumulatively added over time to determine “Cumulative Average Moisture Loss”
All documents cited in the Detailed Description of the Invention are, in relevant part, incorporated herein by reference; the citation of any document is not to be construed as an admission that it is prior art with respect to the present invention. To the extent that any meaning or definition of a term in this written document conflicts with any meaning or definition of the term in a document incorporated by reference, the meaning or definition assigned to the term in this written document shall govern.
While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.
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|EP2860133A1 *||Oct 10, 2014||Apr 15, 2015||Grupo P.I. Mabe, S.A. de C.V.||System for dispensing non-intertwined wet wipes in a flexible container|
|WO2014046967A1 *||Sep 13, 2013||Mar 27, 2014||The Procter & Gamble Company||Methods of providing packages of wet wipes with improved wetness gradients, and associated product|
|WO2014186572A2 *||May 15, 2014||Nov 20, 2014||Intercontinental Great Brands Llc||Resealable package with segmented opening|
|U.S. Classification||206/494, 206/233|
|International Classification||B65D73/00, B65D71/00|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D83/0894, B65D83/0805, B65D2575/586|
|European Classification||B65D83/08B, B65D83/08H|
|Jul 26, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:VILLARS, ESTHER ABIGAIL;MOLANDER, JOHN CARROLL;NEUMANN, MATTHEW AARON;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:016573/0818
Effective date: 20050621