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Publication numberUS20060283750 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/157,663
Publication dateDec 21, 2006
Filing dateJun 21, 2005
Priority dateJun 21, 2005
Also published asDE602006016791D1, EP1893503A1, EP1893503B1, WO2007002430A1, WO2007002430A9
Publication number11157663, 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
InventorsEsther Villars, John Molander, Matthew Neumann, Joshua Norman, Sarah Thielman
Original AssigneeThe Procter & Gamble Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Resealable package with separable fastening element
US 20060283750 A1
Abstract
A flexible package comprising a dispensing opening and a resealable closure flap. The closure flap may have an area that is at least four times the size of the area of the dispensing opening. The package and the closure flap may comprise a resealable fastening element system.
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Claims(22)
1. A package containing wet wipes comprising:
a. a flexible sheet material defining an article receiving cavity;
b. an opening in said flexible sheet material allowing access to said article receiving cavity;
c. said opening defining a first area;
d. a flexible closure flap defining a second area, said closure flap is secured to said flexible sheet material;
e. said closure flap covering said opening when in a closed configuration;
f. said article receiving cavity containing at least two wet wipes, said wet wipes being in an interleaved configuration,
wherein said second area is at least about four times greater than said first area.
2. The package of claim 1 wherein said second area is at least about six times greater than said first area.
3. The package of claim 2 wherein said second area is at least about eight times greater than said first area.
4. The package of claim 1 comprising a region of reinforcement associated with said closure flap.
5. The package of claim 1 comprising a region of reinforcement associated with said flexible sheet material.
6. The package of claim 1 further comprising a fastening element associated with said closure flap, said fastening element selected from the group consisting of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members and combinations thereof.
7. The package of claim 1 further comprising a fastening element associated with said flexible sheet material, said fastening element selected from the group consisting of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members and combinations thereof.
8. The package of claim 1 comprising at least one graphic.
9. The package of claim 8 comprising at least two graphics.
10. The package of claim 1 wherein said package has a moisture loss of less than about 10 grams per 200 hours.
11. The package of claim 10 wherein said moisture loss is less than about 8 grams per 200 hours.
12. The package of claim 11 wherein said moisture loss is less than about 6 grams per 200 hours.
13. A package containing wet wipes comprising:
a. a flexible sheet material defining an article receiving cavity;
b. said article receiving cavity containing a plurality of wet wipes, wherein said wet wipes are in an interleaved configuration;
c. said flexible sheet material comprising a top wall;
d. an opening in said top wall allowing access to said article receiving cavity;
e. a flexible closure flap secured to said flexible sheet material;
f. said closure flap comprising a top surface and a bottom surface;
g. said bottom surface of said closure flap covering said opening when in a closed configuration;
h. a first fastening element associated with said closure flap;
i. a second fastening element associated with said top wall;
wherein said first fastening element is releasably engaged with said second fastening element when said package is in a closed configuration.
14. The package of claim 13 comprising a region of reinforcement associated with said closure flap.
15. The package of claim 13 comprising a region of reinforcement associated with said top wall.
16. The package of claim 13 wherein said first fastening element is selected from the group consisting of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members, and combinations thereof.
17. The package of claim 16 wherein said second fastening element selected from the group consisting of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members and combinations thereof.
18. A package containing wet wipes comprising:
a. a flexible sheet material defining an article receiving cavity;
b. said article receiving cavity containing a plurality of wet wipes, wherein said wet wipes are in an interleaved configuration;
c. said flexible sheet material comprising a top wall;
d. an opening in said top wall allowing access to said article receiving cavity;
e. a flexible closure flap secured to said flexible sheet material;
f. said closure flap comprising a top surface and a bottom surface;
g. said bottom surface of said closure flap covering said opening when in a closed configuration;
h. said bottom surface of said closure flap comprising an adhesive;
i. a first fastening element associated with said closure flap;
j. a second fastening element associated with said top wall;
wherein said first fastening element is releasably engaged with said second fastening element when said package is in a closed configuration.
19. The package of claim 18 comprising a region of reinforcement associated with said closure flap.
20. The package of claim 18 comprising a region of reinforcement associated with said top wall.
21. The package of claim 18 wherein said first fastening element is selected from the group consisting of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members, and combinations thereof.
22. The package of claim 21 wherein said second fastening element is selected from the group consisting of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members, and combinations thereof.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to articles using separable fastening elements. More particularly, this invention is concerned with packages that utilize such elements in combination.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

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.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

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.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in a closed configuration.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in an open configuration.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in an open configuration comprising an adhesive closure flap and a second separable fastening element, such as an adhesive.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in an open configuration comprising an adhesive closure flap and a second separable fastening element, such as hooks and loops, in an arcuate configuration.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in an open configuration comprising an adhesive closure flap and a second separable fastening element, such as hooks and loops, in a one-sided configuration.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in an open configuration comprising an adhesive closure flap and a second separable fastening element, such as hooks and loops, in a two-sided configuration.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in an open configuration comprising an adhesive closure flap and a second separable fastening element, such as hooks and loops, in a three-sided configuration.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in an open configuration comprising an adhesive closure flap and a second separable fastening element, such as magnetic members, in a four-sided configuration.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in a closed configuration in which a mechanical closure element such as buttons may be viewed.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in an open configuration in which a mechanical closure element such as snaps may be viewed.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in an open configuration comprising an adhesive closure flap with a removable cover attached to the closure flap.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an exemplary package in a closed configuration comprising graphics.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

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.

Exemplary Package

In FIG. 1, the package 20 is illustrated in a closed configuration. The package 20 may be in a substantially parallelepiped configuration. The package 20 may comprise a body portion 30 which may be formed of flexible sheet material 40. The body 30 of the package 20 may be formed of a single sheet of flexible sheet material 40. The flexible sheet material 40 may be composed of polyolefin film, polyethylene film, polypropylene film, or a laminate of polyolefin, polyethylene and polypropylene films. The flexible sheet material may also be composed of ethylene vinyl acetate, linear low density polyethylene and combinations thereof.

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. FIG. 1 exemplifies that the package 20 may further comprise a closure flap 50. The closure flap 50 may have a top surface 52. The closure flap 50 may further comprise a tab 51. The tab 51 may remain free of any separable fastening element utilized in the package 20. The tab 51 may therefore assist the user in the opening and closing of the closure flap 50 of the package 20.

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.

In FIG. 2, the package 20 is illustrated in an open configuration. Any suitable separable fastening element according to the present invention may be applied to the package 20. The exemplary package 20 may be designed to have a body portion 30 capable of retaining a plurality of wipes 10.

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 FIG. 11). The line of weakness 17 may fully penetrate the flexible sheet material 40 in order that the cover 19 may be fully removed from the package 20 during the manufacture process. In another embodiment, the line of weakness 17 may only partially penetrate the flexible sheet material 40 so that the cover 19 may remain attached to the flexible sheet material 40 to be later removed from the top wall 32 of the package 20 by a closure flap 50 (exemplified in FIG. 11).

Closure Flap

FIG. 2 exemplifies that the closure flap 50 may have a top surface 52 and a bottom surface 54. In the view of FIG. 2, only the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50 is visible. The closure flap 50 may be connected to the body 30 of the package 20 such that the closure flap 50 may be closed to cover the opening 15 of the package 20 in such a manner that the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50 may contact the top wall 32 of the package 20. The top surface 52 of the closure flap 50 may be seen when the package 20 is in the closed configuration (as shown in FIG. 1).

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.

FIG. 2 exemplifies that the closure flap 50 and/or the top wall 32 of the package 20 may comprise regions of reinforcement 55. Such regions of reinforcement 55 may be placed in any configuration on the closure flap 50 and/or the top wall 32. In one embodiment, a region of reinforcement 55 may be placed in a pattern on the closure flap 50 and/or the top wall 32. Such a pattern may be a repeating pattern. In another embodiment, a region of reinforcement 55 may be such that the entire closure flap 50 is the region of reinforcement 55. In such an embodiment in which the entire closure flap 50 is a region of reinforcement 55, the closure flap 50 may remain open when the package 20 is in use and the closure flap 50 may more easily flip into the closed configuration when the user has closed the package 20. A region of reinforcement 55 may allow for one-handed operation by a user and may increase the prevention of moisture loss from the package as well as reduce contamination. As exemplified in FIG. 2, one possible location of a region of reinforcement 55 may be along the edge of the closure flap 50. The regions of reinforcement 55 may comprise separable fastening elements, printed stiffness, beaded stiffness, higher modulus film, film greater in thickness than regions lacking in reinforcement, printed polymers, laminated materials and combinations thereof.

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

FIG. 3 exemplifies that the closure flap 50 of the present invention may comprise a separable fastening element system 60. The separable fastening element system 60 may be one or more separable fastening elements selected from the group of elements consisting of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members, and combinations thereof. The separable fastening element system 60 may be a combination of one or more elements such that at least one of the elements is located on the top wall 32 of the package 20 and at least one element is located on the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50. It should be understood that the separable fastening element system 60 should not be so limited by the examples included in the appended drawings and may be selected from any combination of the group consisting of adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members, adhesives and mechanical fastening elements, adhesives and magnetic members, mechanical fastening elements and magnetic members and combinations thereof. It should be understood that the separable fastening element system 60 may be placed in any configuration on the closure flap 50 and the top wall 32. Configurations of the separable fastening element system 60 should not be so limited by the examples included in the appended drawings.

FIG. 3 exemplifies an embodiment in which the closure flap 50 may be coated with an adhesive 62 on the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50. This may be used in combination with a second separable fastening element such as an adhesive 64 located on the top wall 32 of the package 20. As shown in FIG. 3, adhesives 62 and 64 cover essentially the entire surface under the closure flap 50 when it is in a closed configuration. In an alternate embodiment (not shown), the adhesive may be disposed along the edge of the closure flap 50 or about the periphery of opening 10, etc. Examples of suitable commercial material for use as adhesives 62 and 64 may be acrylic-based or rubber-based adhesives.

FIG. 4 exemplifies another embodiment of the present invention in which the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50 may be coated with an adhesive 62 and may be used in combination with a second separable fastening element 63 which may be located on both the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50 and the top wall 32 of the package 20. In this embodiment, the adhesive 62 and the second separable fastening element 63 cooperate to help insure closure functionality in the event of a partial or substantially complete failure of the adhesive properties of adhesive 62. Examples of such elements may be mechanical fasteners and magnetic members. An example of such a combination of an adhesive and mechanical fastener may be seen in FIG. 4 in which the closure flap 50 may be coated with an adhesive 62. There may exist a plurality of hooks 66 on the closure flap 50. The corresponding loops 68 may be found in such a location on the top wall 32 of the package 20 as to allow for interaction between the hooks 66 and the loops 68.

FIG. 4 exemplifies a pattern in which the mechanical fasteners, such as hooks 66 and loops 68, may be placed in an arcuate shape on both the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50 and the top wall 32 of the package 20. FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 show further examples of alternative configurations of the mechanical fasteners, such as hooks 66 and loops 68. FIG. 5 exemplifies that the loops 68 may be placed on one side of the opening 15 of the package 20. FIG. 6 exemplifies that the loops 68 may be placed on two sides of the opening 15 of the package 20. FIG. 7 exemplifies that the loops 68 may be placed around three sides of the opening 15 of the package 20. The corresponding hooks 66 of each embodiment may be placed on the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50 in corresponding locations such as to allow for interaction between the hooks 66 and the loops 68.

FIG. 8 exemplifies another embodiment of the present invention in which the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50 may be coated with an adhesive 62 and may be used in combination with a second separable fastening element 65 which may be located on both the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50 and the top wall 32 of the package 20. The second separable fastening element 65, as exemplified in FIG. 8, may be the use of magnetic members 70 and 72. It should be understood that the magnetic members 70 and 72 may be located thereon and/or therethrough the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50. It should also be understood that the magnetic members 70 and 72 may be located thereon, thereunder, and/or therethrough the top wall 32 of the package 20. By providing magnetic members 70 and 72 with opposite polarities, attraction between magnetic members 70 and 72 and closure of the closure flap 50 when desired may be insured. The natural force provided by the magnetic field can be sufficient to provide a desired function holding force between the closure flap 50 and the top wall 32 of the package 20 so as to minimize any evaporation of any moisture contained in the package 20. The magnetic members 70 and 72 are not so limited in configuration on the package 20 as that exemplified in FIG. 7. It should be understood that the magnetic members 70 and 72 may be placed in any desired configuration. Magnetic members are disclosed in greater detail in copending U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ entitled Personal Care Articles of Commerce Comprising A Magnetic Member filed in the name of Molander, et al. on Jun. 21, 2005 (P&G Case No. 10053P).

Additional mechanical fastening elements may be exemplified by FIGS. 9 and 10. FIG. 9 exemplifies a package 20 in a closed configuration utilizing buttons 74 as an example of another mechanical fastening element. FIG. 10 exemplifies a package 20 in an open configuration utilizing snaps 76 as an example of another mechanical fastening element.

Cover

FIG. 11 exemplifies that the flexible sheet material 40 comprising top wall 32 may have been partially die-cut to provide a cover 19 for the opening 15 of the package 20. The flexible sheet material 40 may be partially die-cut in the shape of the cover 19. The cover 19 may remain attached to the flexible sheet material 40 and cover the opening 15 prior to the initial opening of the package 20 by the user. The closure flap 50 of the package 20 may be placed in a closed configuration over the cover 19 and the top wall 32 of the package 20. In one embodiment, the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50 may comprise an adhesive 62 which may allow for the cover 19 to adhere to the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50. Upon initial opening of the package 20, the adhesion of the cover 19 to the closure flap 50 may be greater than the attachment of the cover 19 to the flexible sheet material 40 of the top wall 32 thus removing the cover 19 from the top wall 32 of the package 20. If the cover 19 adheres to the closure flap 50 by the use of an adhesive 62 on the bottom surface 54 of the closure flap 50, upon closure of the closure flap 50, the cover 19 may serve to cover the opening 15 of the package 20. Thus, without being bound by theory, the cover 19 may prevent contact between the closure flap 50 and the product

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 FIG. 1).

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 FIG. 11, the closure flap 50 of the package 20 may comprise an adhesive 62 as well as magnetic member 70. The top wall 32 of the package 20 may comprise magnetic member 72.

Graphics

FIG. 12 exemplifies that, optionally, a package 20 made according to the present invention may also comprise one or more graphics 75. The graphics 75 may comprise any word, number, text, picture, drawing, object, human character, anthropomorphic character and combination thereof. The graphics 75 may be in any location on the flexible sheet material 40 of the package 20 and the closure flap 50. The graphics 75 may be located on the flexible sheet material 40 forming the body 30 of the package 20, the closure flap 50 and a combination thereof. If the graphics 75 are located on both the body 30 of the package 20 and the closure flap 50, the graphics 75 may be placed in an overlapping manner such that the graphics 75 may be coordinated. Graphics 75 may be coordinated in such a manner as to provide feedback to the user such that the user knows the package 20 is closed properly when the graphics 75 are in alignment. In such an embodiment, the graphics 75 may be registered to provide coordination among the graphics 75. In another embodiment, the graphics 75 on the closure flap 50 may be different from any graphics 75 on the flexible sheet material 40 of the body 30 of the package 20. In yet another embodiment, the graphics 75 on the closure flap 50 and the graphics on the body of the package 20 may interrelate with each other such that one scene is depicted on the closure flap 50 and a second, related scene is depicted on the body 30 of the package 20. In such an embodiment, it can be a single scene located on the closure flap 50 and the body 30 of the package 20 which appears to change when the package 20 is changed from a closed configuration to an open configuration. In another embodiment, the graphics 75 may be oriented on the package 20 in order to signal left-handed use, right-handed use, and ambidextrous use of the package 20.

Moisture Loss

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.

Test Methods

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).

Apparatus

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.

Conditioning

Store the samples for 8 hours or more at 23 C. and 50% relative humidity.

Procedure

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 1.70.15 s under no load conditions.

Manual Actuator—Using a stop-watch, establish and confirm a plunger speed of 1.70.3 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.

Calculation

Average the individual specimen readings and round to the nearest gage increment.

Report

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.

Referenced by
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USD734144May 30, 2014Jul 14, 2015Clear Lam Packaging, Inc.Package
EP2860133A1 *Oct 10, 2014Apr 15, 2015Grupo P.I. Mabe, S.A. de C.V.System for dispensing non-intertwined wet wipes in a flexible container
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Classifications
U.S. Classification206/494, 206/233
International ClassificationB65D73/00, B65D71/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/0894, B65D83/0805, B65D2575/586
European ClassificationB65D83/08B, B65D83/08H
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 26, 2005ASAssignment
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