EP2938547B1 - Retractable blow moulded plastic thin-walled container - Google Patents

Retractable blow moulded plastic thin-walled container Download PDF

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Publication number
EP2938547B1
EP2938547B1 EP12816478.7A EP12816478A EP2938547B1 EP 2938547 B1 EP2938547 B1 EP 2938547B1 EP 12816478 A EP12816478 A EP 12816478A EP 2938547 B1 EP2938547 B1 EP 2938547B1
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EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
thin
walled
bottle
neck
retractable
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active
Application number
EP12816478.7A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
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EP2938547A1 (en
Inventor
Marie-Bernard BOUFFAND
Alain Colloud
Christine GEHRINGER
Agnieszka JEZIORSKA
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Societe des Eaux Minerales dEvian SA SAEME
Original Assignee
Societe des Eaux Minerales dEvian SA SAEME
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Publication date
Application filed by Societe des Eaux Minerales dEvian SA SAEME filed Critical Societe des Eaux Minerales dEvian SA SAEME
Priority to PCT/EP2012/077070 priority Critical patent/WO2014101957A1/en
Publication of EP2938547A1 publication Critical patent/EP2938547A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP2938547B1 publication Critical patent/EP2938547B1/en
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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D71/00Bundles of articles held together by packaging elements for convenience of storage or transport, e.g. portable segregating carrier for plural receptacles such as beer cans or pop bottles; Bales of material
    • B65D71/0088Palletisable loads, i.e. loads intended to be transported by means of a fork-lift truck
    • B65D71/0092Palletisable loads, i.e. loads intended to be transported by means of a fork-lift truck provided with one or more rigid supports, at least one dimension of the supports corresponding to a dimension of the load, e.g. skids
    • B65D71/0096Palletisable loads, i.e. loads intended to be transported by means of a fork-lift truck provided with one or more rigid supports, at least one dimension of the supports corresponding to a dimension of the load, e.g. skids the dimensions of the supports corresponding to the periphery of the load, e.g. pallets
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D1/00Containers having bodies formed in one piece, e.g. by casting metallic material, by moulding plastics, by blowing vitreous material, by throwing ceramic material, by moulding pulped fibrous material, by deep-drawing operations performed on sheet material
    • B65D1/02Bottles or similar containers with necks or like restricted apertures, designed for pouring contents
    • B65D1/0223Bottles or similar containers with necks or like restricted apertures, designed for pouring contents characterised by shape
    • B65D1/0261Bottom construction
    • B65D1/0276Bottom construction having a continuous contact surface, e.g. Champagne-type bottom
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D1/00Containers having bodies formed in one piece, e.g. by casting metallic material, by moulding plastics, by blowing vitreous material, by throwing ceramic material, by moulding pulped fibrous material, by deep-drawing operations performed on sheet material
    • B65D1/02Bottles or similar containers with necks or like restricted apertures, designed for pouring contents
    • B65D1/0223Bottles or similar containers with necks or like restricted apertures, designed for pouring contents characterised by shape
    • B65D1/0292Foldable bottles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D1/00Containers having bodies formed in one piece, e.g. by casting metallic material, by moulding plastics, by blowing vitreous material, by throwing ceramic material, by moulding pulped fibrous material, by deep-drawing operations performed on sheet material
    • B65D1/40Details of walls
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D71/00Bundles of articles held together by packaging elements for convenience of storage or transport, e.g. portable segregating carrier for plural receptacles such as beer cans or pop bottles; Bales of material
    • B65D71/02Arrangements of flexible binders
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D85/00Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials
    • B65D85/07Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for compressible or flexible articles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D3/00Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes
    • B67D3/0029Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes provided with holders for bottles or similar containers
    • B67D3/0035Apparatus or devices for controlling flow of liquids under gravity from storage containers for dispensing purposes provided with holders for bottles or similar containers the bottle or container being held upside down and not provided with a closure, e.g. a bottle screwed onto a base of a dispenser
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2501/00Containers having bodies formed in one piece
    • B65D2501/0009Bottles or similar containers with necks or like restricted apertures designed for pouring contents
    • B65D2501/0018Ribs
    • B65D2501/0036Hollow circonferential ribs
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2571/00Bundles of articles held together by packaging elements for convenience of storage or transport, e.g. portable segregating carrier for plural receptacles such as beer cans, pop bottles; Bales of material
    • B65D2571/00006Palletisable loads, i.e. loads intended to be transported by means of a fork-lift truck
    • B65D2571/00043Intermediate plates or the like

Description

    Field of the invention
  • This invention relates generally to the construction of a thin-walled bottle, suitable for containing water or other liquids. It is particularly applicable to the construction of thin-walled bottles for containing water for human consumption (generically drinking water hereafter) and which can be used in conjunction with water dispensing units.
  • Background of the invention
  • Large containers, also named jugs, which are employed in the servicing of drinking water in dispensing units are customarily cylindrical in form. Such jugs, when applied to units of the electrical or non-electrical type, are inverted and positioned upon the upper portion of the dispensing unit to supply water to an inner reservoir as it is being dispensed. Water is supplied to the reservoir from a replaceable jug which is inverted on the top of the cooler unit, the neck of the bottle being placed in a funnel-shaped inlet to the reservoir at the top of the dispensing unit. Pumps can also be used to supply water out of the jugs. The capacity of a typical jug is of the order of five gallons. When all the water in the jug has been dispensed the empty jug is removed and replaced by another full bottle. Usually a supply of full jugs is kept at the site and from time to time the supplier will deliver a fresh supply of filled jugs and collect the empty jugs for cleaning and refilling.
  • The jugs are blow moulded from plastic material such as polyester terephtalate or polycarbonate. A plastic cap fits over the top of the neck to close the jug whilst it is in transit or storage. These jugs are difficult to lift and manoeuvre into position on the cooler unit because of their bulk and weight when full.
  • Because these jugs are returnable and refillable, they are thus subjected to numerous handling and storage operations and conditions, wherein they are exposed to mechanical constraints such as abrasive wear, notably in the contact area between the jugs after stacking, or such as drops.
  • Then, the requirements of the moulded plastic jugs are notably resistance to abrasion (scuffing) and impact or drop resistance.
  • In this respect, the moulded plastic jugs have a wall thickness of at least 400 µm, preferably 500 µm, and more preferably comprised between 600 and 1500 µm. This wall thickness requirement is linked to the relatively large capacity of the thin-walled bottle, i.e at least, in an increasing order of preference and in liters: 10; 15; 21.
  • The fact that these jugs are returnable and can be reused, involves numerous constraints, such as organization of a delivery circuit of full thin-walled bottles and of a circuit for picking up empty jugs. Moreover, these empty jugs are cumbersome and must be washed and treated before their refilling. This involves sanitary issues. New caps have also to be put on the refilled bottles.
  • Due to their frequent handling and to their storage conditions, they are submitted to scuffing, which gives them an unsightly aspect inappropriate to the marketing.
  • Insofar as these jugs are rigid, each sampling of liquid (e.g. water) involves an intake of ambient air to compensate for the sampled volume. In doing so, the compensating ambient air contaminates the liquid (e.g. water). This contamination comes to a head as the thin-walled bottle is almost empty. This is a noteworthy sanitary drawback.
  • To sum up, these jugs are expensive, heavy, difficult to handle and to market, and tricky with respect to sanitary issues.
  • Thin-walled PET containers for beverages (e.g. water) made by Injection moulding of a preform, as well as Stretching, Blowing and Moulding (ISBM), are also known.
  • EP1436203B1 discloses a PET container including walls made of flexible PET plastic and comprising a 30-100µm-walled body (1) with greater section of dimension (d1) and neck (2) with internal diameter (d2), closed by a closing-off member (3). The wall(s) (4) forming the body of the container is made of flexible plastic which can be deformed for constant surface area, particularly under the weight of the flowable product contained in the container when the wall(s) encounter a point or bearing surface, so as to form, non-planar wall portion (5). The ratio of d2 on d1 is 1:3-1:10. These containers however are unpractical for example due to a bad resistance and/or low compactability.
  • EP1468930B1 concerns a container having a body (1) formed by a wall (4) with a diameter S1 and at least a neck (2) with a diameter S2, made from a semi-crystalline PET, having a wall thickness of less than 100 µm, substantially in the middle of its body and having a complex, three dimensional shape (3) convenient for gripping, this part having diameter S3. These containers however are unpractical for example due to a bad resistance and/or low compactability.
  • EP1527999B1 describes a container comprising a body formed by walls and a bottom having in his greater section a dimension d1 and a neck with an internal diameter d2 , said container being made from a semi-crystalline PET , the body of said container comprising at its bottom at least three feet spaced from each other and being integral with said body, wherein for the body, the ratio weight of the walls on weight of the bottom is comprised between 3 and 4 and wherein the ratio volume, in ml of the body of the container per gram of PET of the body is comprised between 80 and 120, and wherein the walls of the body have a thickness of less than 100 µm, and the bottom has a thickness between 100 µm and 200 µm, and each foot has
    a wall thickness of 50 µm to 150 µm. These containers however are unpractical for example due to a bad resistance and/or low compactability.
  • Nevertheless, such arrangements are not compatible with large volumes because the thus produced containers cannot be handled except to increase the amounts of material.
  • JP2001122237 discloses a PET thin-walled bottle including a neck segment 1, a shoulder 2, a barrel segment 3 is formed into a thin-walled segment. The shoulder 2 is formed to have a wall thickness of 0.2 to 0.3 mm. A segment ranging from an interface 5 of the shoulder 2 to a part lower than the barrel 3 is formed to have an ultrathin wall of 0.02 to 0.05 mm in such a way that the shoulder can be pushed into the barrel after use of the thin-walled bottle, to enable the thin-walled bottle to be scrapped. A deformation strength of the barrel 3 is increased by notch of a lateral rib 6 of optional shape. These containers are however unpractical.
  • US2010206876A1 pertains to a PET disposable thin-walled high-capacity container is obtained by blowing a preformed shape 10 that has a collar 12 and a neck 14 designed to receive a plug 16 and is able to exhibit residual stresses after its shaping to the desired volume. The container has a material weight/developed surface ratio of said container of between 150 g/m2 and 250 g/m2. The container is filled with water under cold conditions and without pressure, and then sealed using a plug that can be pierced. This container 18, after filling, undergoes a peripheral heating that is designed to release residual stresses that are stored in the material. These released stresses have a tendency to bring the container back to its initial shape before the blowing process, i.e., that of the preformed shape. Because of this tendency toward a reduction of volume of the container and because the liquid that is contained, in this case water, is incompressible, a pressurization of the liquid by the container occurs, which makes this container 20 essentially compact and therefore easy to handle.
  • This compact container can be set upside down in a dispenser, including a trocard which pierces the plug and depressurizes the container which becomes soft and must be held by receiving means thereof. The dispensing of water is facilitated by a ballast 32 which is not convenient. These containers are however unpractical, due the need of a ballast for compacting efficiently. Moreover, these containers are not adapted to be stored easily in a minimum of space.
  • US5632397 discloses a bottle according to the preamble of claim 1.
  • Objectives of the invention
  • In the above recalled background, the invention aims at fulfilling at least one of the following objectives:
  1. 1. Providing (blow) mold plastic thin-walled bottles, which can be used in servicing of beverages (e.g. water) units, which have relatively high volumetric capacity, for instance greater than 2.0 liters, which overcome the drawbacks of the prior art.
  2. 2. Providing (blow) mold plastic thin-walled bottles, which are food compatible, single use, and so environment-friendly, cost effective.
  3. 3. Providing (blow) mold plastic thin-walled bottles, which requires less plastic raw material as possible, while they are waterproof and airtight and they can be easily handled, stored and stacked.
  4. 4. Providing (blow) mold plastic thin-walled bottles, which can be used in liquid (e.g water) dispenser, without being subjected to air contamination at each sampling.
  5. 5. Providing (blow) mold plastic thin-walled bottles, which could have high volumetric capacity (e.g. between 2 liters up to 50 liters) while having high resistance to shock (drop).
  6. 6. Providing (blow) mold plastic thin-walled bottles, which fulfil at least one of the objectives 1 to 5 and which are compactable which is a substantial advantage in the management of wastes.
  7. 7. Providing (blow) mold plastic thin-walled bottles, which fulfil at least one of the objectives 1 to 6 and which can be easily pressurized after filling with a liquid, just thanks to their structure.
  8. 8. Providing (blow) mold plastic thin-walled bottles, , which fulfil at least one of the objectives 1 to 7 and which can self stand upright as they rest on a (flat) support, or in other words which are self-supported.
  9. 9. Providing (blow) mold plastic thin-walled bottles, , which fulfil at least one of the objectives 1 to 8 and which can be used in liquid (e.g water) dispenser wherein they are self-supported (no need of guide) and also self-collapsable during spilling in an upside down position, till full emptying of the containers.
  10. 10. Providing (blow) mold plastic thin-walled bottles, which fulfil at least one of the objectives 1 to 9 and which have an attractive appearance during its shelf life.
  11. 11. Providing a moulded plastic preform for the manufacture by (blow) molding of thin-walled bottles, as referred to in at least one of the objectives 1 to 10.
  12. 12. Providing a cost effective and high-performance method for the manufacture by (blow) molding of thin-walled bottles, as referred to in at least one of the objectives 1 to 10.
  13. 13. Providing a mold for the manufacture by (blow) molding of thin-walled bottles, as referred to in at least one of the objectives 1 to 10.
Description of the Invention
  • The above objectives, among others, are fulfilled by the present invention which concerns, in a first aspect, a plastic thin-walled bottle according to claim 1. The thin-walled bottle, according to the invention is endowed with the required properties: food compatible, single use, environment-friendly, waterproof and airtight, easy handling, storing and stacking up, non subjected to air contamination at each sampling in a dispenser, good mechanical properties (shocks & scuffing strength), lightness, attractive appearance, and best balance of properties and cost/performance ratios deemed necessary to plastic containers.
  • And above all, the fact that its top and/or its bottom is (are) retractable enables the pressurization of the bottle filled with a liquid and facilitates the storage by stacking. These thin-walled bottles can be pressurized simply by piling up, for the storage and the transportation.
  • Such ability of pressurization of the liquid-filled container according to the invention just through the retractation of the top part and/or the bottom, gives mechanical holding to the container, which is so self supported and tough.
  • The self-collapsibility of the container during its emptying, without any guide (the container is self-supported) and/or any additional force (ballast), is also a noteworthy attractive feature. Additionnally, having been filled with a liquid, closed with a cap, set upside down, and connected by piercing of the cap to a dispenser, without retaining means, said thin-walled bottle can be emptying by sampling of the liquid, without contamination of the liquid by the ambient air, the succession of samplings involving an auto-collapsing of the bottle, which finally a compacted recyclable waste, that highly facilitates the storage and the transportation of this waste. A moulded plastic preform for the manufacture by blow molding of the thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, is disclosed, sail preform comprising from the top to the base:
    • a neck finish including a neck end and a neck support ring
    • a neck;
    • a transition zone;
    • and a closed tubular body portion.
    A method for the manufacture by blow molding of the thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, is disclosed. Said method comprises the steps of:
    1. A. moulding a plastic preform;
    2. B. possibly heat conditioning and preblowing the preform obtained in step A;
    3. C. stretch blow moulding of the preform of step A and possibly step B, in a mould the cavity of which being the thin-walled container, preferably a bottle;
    4. D. taking out of the thin-walled containers, preferably bottles.
    A mold for the manufacture by blow molding of the thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, is disclosed. A method of bottling is disclosed, wherein the thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, is filled with a liquid which is intended to put the thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, under pressure and gives it a mechanical holding/resistance to deformation. A method for dispensing a liquid contained in the thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, is disclosed, wherein:
    1. 1. a filled thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, is set up-side down on a dispenser comprise at least a valve for controlling the flowing of the liquid;
    2. 2. the valve for controlling the dispensing of the liquid is opened;
    3. 3. the liquid flows out and the thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, self collapses;
    4. 4. the valve for controlling the flowing of the liquid is closed to stop the flowing and the self-collapse;
    5. 5. the collapsed thin-walled bottle is withdrawn of the dispenser and replaced by a filled thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, as soon as the collapsed thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, does not dispense liquid any longer.
    A dispenser for implementing the method of dispensing is disclosed, comprising a base including in its top a seating designed to receive the top part of the thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, said bottle being set up-side down, said seating comprising connecting means between the inside of the thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, and a conduct linked to an outlet, where the liquid coming from the thin-walled container, preferably a bottle, can be dispensed, the flowing of the liquid through the conduct being controlled by at least one valve. The invention also relates to a method for packing in view of storage and transportation, the thin-walled bottles, according to the invention, wherein the thin-walled bottles are stacked on a pallet on several levels, preferably by intercalating at least a plate between two successive levels, each level is strapped, and a axial pressure is exerted on the top of the pallet so as to retract the tops and/or the bottoms of the palletized thin-walled bottles, to increase their non-deformability properties. Preferences
  • Some of the remarkable features of the container (e.g. the bottle) stem from the fact said container is characterized by the following stretching ratios :
    • ▪ hoop stretch ratio : 4.0 - 6.5 ; preferably 4.2 - 6.0
    • ▪ axial stretch ratio: 2.8 - 5.0 ; preferably 3.0 - 4.5
    • ▪ overall stretch ratio : 11.20 - 32.5 ; preferably 12.6 - 27.0
  • According to a favourite embodiment of the invention, the thin-walled container is manufactured by Blow Moulding processes, preferably Injection Stretch Blow Moulding processes. Such processes are known by the one skilled in the art. They typically involve making a plastic preform by an injection process and then heating and blowing the preform, optionally with stretching.
  • The plastic preform, and de facto the container obtained therefrom, is preferably made of a (thermo)plastic material chosen preferably among the polymers which exhibit strain hardening when they are elongated, and, more preferably among the polymers which exhibit strain hardening when they are elongated, and, more preferably among the polyesters, particularly the aromatic polyesters, more particularly chosen in the group comprising, and even more particularly consisting in : PolyEthylene Terephtalate (PET) and/or PolyEthyleneNaphtalate(PEN) or PolyEthylene Furanoate (PEF), PolyPropylene Terephtalate (PPT).
  • In a preferred embodiment, the thin-walled container according to the invention is preferably a bottle wherein the top part includes:
    • ▪ a neck finish including a neck end (preferably designed in order to receive a screwed cap or a snap cap) and a neck support ring,
    • ▪ a neck
    • ▪ and a shoulder joining the neck to the tubular body portion.
  • The plastic thin-walled container according to the invention, has a volume, typically when filled, of at least -given in liters and in an increasing order of preference- 2 ; 3 ; 5 ; and more preferably comprised in a range of 2-20 liters, preferably of 7.5-12.5 liters The (moulded) plastic thin-walled bottle of the invention includes at least one terminal retractable part, which is in the top part and/or in the bottom structure of the thin-walled bottle.
  • When the thin-walled container (bottle) includes at least one terminal retractable part of its bottom:
    • ▪ said bottom is retractable under the effect of the thin-walled bottle's own weight, when said thin-walled container contains a liquid and when the bottom's thin-walled container rests on a (flat) support;
    • ▪ said terminal retractable part is preferably a bulge when the thin-walled container is filled with a liquid and when its bottom does not rest on a (flat) support.
    • ▪ and the bottom structure comprises:
      • a terminal curved portion
      • and at least one retractation starter joining the terminal curved portion to the bulge which is an annular groove.
  • When the thin-walled container includes at least one terminal retractable part in its top area, said part is preferably the neck finish, the neck and at least a part of the shoulder, and its top is retractable under the effect of an axial force which is applied in order to stack the thin-walled container(s) -e.g. bottle(s)- and/or by the thin-walled container(s) -e.g. bottle(s)- laid above. The terminal retractable part in the top area comprises at least one retractation starter, which is an annular rib on the shoulder. Such a retractation of the top and/or the bottom of the container -e.g. bottle-contributes to the pressurization of the bottle filled with a liquid.
  • According to another preferable feature of the (moulded) plastic thin-walled bottle of the invention, each transversal groove or rib comprises at least 2, preferably at least 4, and more preferably between 4 and 8 collapse/fold starters.
  • The collapse starters preferably extend inwardly -recess- or outwardly -pin- with respect to the axis of the thin-walled bottle.
  • For example, at least one transversal groove or rib:
    1. a) has two coplanar edges and an intermediate portion between the two edges, said intermediate portion presenting an apex inwardly (groove) or outwardly (rib) shifted with respect to the two edges;
    2. b) and presents a width (w) measured between the two edges and a maximum height (h) measured between the edges and the apex.
  • For example, said collapse/fold starters have at least one of the following features:
    1. i) they extend advantageously inwardly -recess- or outwardly -pin- with respect to the axis of the thin-walled bottle;
    2. ii) and they are uniformly distributed and angularly offset around the axis of the thin-walled bottle from one groove or rib to another, the outward or inward extent λ of each of said collapse/fold starters -recess/pin- in the midplane of said groove or rib being preferably about h/2.
  • The transversal groove or rib preferably fulfils to at least one of the following specifications:
    1. i) its width (w) and its maximum height (h) are such that the ratio of the maximum height to the width (h/w) is - in an increasing order of preference - greater than or equal to 0.8; 1.0; 1.2; and preferably comprised between 1.2 and 200; 1.2 and 50; 1.2 and 20;
    2. ii) it has a shape in straight longitudinal section chosen in the group comprising -still better composed of- : U-shape ; V-shape and combinations thereof.
  • According to a preferred feature of the (moulded) plastic thin-walled bottle of the invention, its tubular body portion is substantially cylindrical, polyhedral or comprised substantially plane face(s) and curved face(s), preferably substantially plane face(s) linked by curved face(s).
  • Advantageously, the transversal grooves and/or ribs of the plastic thin-walled bottle, can be continuous or discontinuous.
  • According to an interesting possibility, the container according to the invention can be free from one or several vertical groove(s) and/or folding line(s) and/or rib(s).
  • Definitions
  • According to the terminology of this text, the following non limitative definitions have to be taken into consideration:
    • Every singular designates a plural and reciprocally.
    • "thin-walled container or bottle" refers to any container for liquids,; said container being in particular adapted for beverage dispensers (Home & Office Delivery HOD), the capacity of which being, for instance, between 2 and 50 liters.
    • "liquid" refers to any liquid which is intended to be contained in the thin-walled container or bottle according to the invention, especially a beverage like water or a non-food liquid such as a home care product or a personal care product, preferably a beverage
    • "plastic" refers to mouldable thermoplastic homopolymer or copolymer which preferably exhibits strain hardening when they are elongated.
    • "moulded" refers to any forming technique of thermoplastic raw materials, such as extrusion blow moulding, extrusion profiles & sheet, injection blow moulding, injection moulding (gas assisted), injection stretch blow moulding insert moulding, rotational moulding.
    • "substantially" means at least 80%, preferably at least 90%, more preferably at least 95%.
    • "circa" or "around" means with a tolerance of +/- 10%.
    Detailed description of the invention
  • The following description of a preferred embodiment of the thin-walled bottle according to the invention, will make it possible to well understand the invention and to emphasize all its advantages and variants.
  • Brief description of the drawings
  • This description is made in reference to the enclosed drawings wherein:
    • Figure 1A is a front view of an empty and non-capped thin-walled bottle according to the invention, the bottom of which is non-retracted;
    • Figure 1A' is a view on a larger scale showing a detail in circle A' of figure 1A;
    • Figure 1A" is a view on a larger scale showing a view in longitudinal section of a detail in circle A" of figure 1A;
    • Figure 1B is a perspective view from the bottom of the thin-walled bottle of figure 1A;
    • Figure 1C is a reduced scale-diagram showing the shape of the collapse starters of a groove of the thin-walled bottle according to the invention, as seen from above;
    • Figure 1D is a view that corresponds to Figure 1C, but for a variant embodiment;
    • Figure 2 comprises a partial longitudinal section of an thin-walled bottle according to the invention, which is filled with water and capped as the bottle of Figure 5C, which rests on a flat support, and the bottom of which is retracted;
    • Figure 3 is a graph showing the mean wall thickness Tmean of the thin-walled bottle of the present embodiment made from the PET W170;
    • Figure 4 comprises a front view, with a partial longitudinal section, of a preform of a bottle according to the present embodiment.
    • Figure 5A shows a filled thin-walled bottle according to the present embodiment set upside down and connected to a dispenser.
    • Figure 5B shows an empty non-capped thin-walled bottle according to the present embodiment, and also shown on Figures 1A & 1B,
    • Figure 5C shows a bottle filled with water and closed thin-walled bottle according to the present embodiment;
    • Figures 5D to 5I show the thin-walled bottle of Figure 5C set upside down and connected to a dispenser, in different successive stages of the emptying of the thin-walled bottle on the dispenser,
    • Figure 5J shows the collapsed and emptied thin-walled bottle removed from the dispenser.
    • Figures 6A-6C shows respectively the stacking of the filled thin-walled bottles according to the present embodiment (6A), the pressurization of a stacked thin-walled bottles by retractation of the bottles' tops (6C), and a top view of a retracted bottle (6B).
  • The thin-walled bottle shown on the enclosed drawings, especially figures 1A-1B-2 is a biaxial stretched blowed molded thin-walled bottle (1), which has a general cylindrical shape and which is made of PET, without being limited to this specific substance, it being also possible to make the bottle out of a material that is simple or composite, multilayer or compound, such as PVC or a polyolefin or a polyester. This thin-walled bottle (1) has a large-sized (e.g 20 liters) and is notably intended to contain water and to be set upside down on dispenser unit for Home and Office Delivery (HOD) as shown on figure 5A.
  • This thin-walled bottle (1) is composed, from the top to the base, of the following parts:
    • ▪ a neck end (2),
    • ▪ a neck support ring (3),
    • ▪ a neck (4),
    • ▪ a shoulder (5) joining comprising one retractation starter (51), which is a rib in this example -see figures 1A,2-,
    • ▪ a tubular body portion (6) which is imprinted with several continuous transversal grooves (61) and with several collapse/fold starters (62) located in the grooves (61),
    • ▪ and an integral bottom structure (7) including:
      • a terminal curved portion (8)
      • an outwardly axially extended terminal retractable bulge (9)
      • and at least one retractation starter (71) which joins the terminal curved portion (8) to the bulge (9), and which is a groove in this example -see figures 1A,1A",1B-.
  • In the thin-walled bottle (1) shown on the enclosed drawings, the neck end (2) is threaded to receive a screwed cap 2' as shown on figures 5C ; 5J ; 6A ; 6B. In a variant, the cap 2' can be a snap cap which is fitted by force on an adapted neck finish composed of a neck end (2) and of a neck support ring (3). Classically, the bottom of the screwed cap 2' is linked to a tamper-proof ring which lies on the neck support ring (3) which separates the neck end (2) and the neck (4).
  • The rib (5 1 ) of the shoulder (5) which acts as a retractation starter of the top of the thin-walled bottle (1) is shown in detail on figure 2. Said rib (51) behaves as a reinforcement which makes it possible the thrusting of the upper part of the shoulder (5) and of the neck end (2), when a downward force is applied on the neck end (2) and /or when a upward force is applied on the bottom (7) of the thin-walled bottle (1).The retractation of the upper part of the shoulder (5) together with the neck end (2) of a water-filled and stacked thin-walled bottle (1) according to the invention is shown on Fig.6B.
  • The width of the rib (51) is, for instance, comprised between 1-30 mm, preferably between 7-20 mm, more preferably equal to circa 12 mm.
  • The height of the rib (51) is, for instance, comprised between 0.5-20 mm, preferably between 2-10 mm, more preferably equal to circa 6 mm.
  • The tubular body portion (6) is imprinted with e.g. 9 transversal continuous grooves (61), each of them comprising 4 or 6 collapse/fold starters (6 2 ), which are angularly offset around the axis.
  • In the embodiment shown on the enclosed figures, especially on figure 1A', the grooves (61) of the thin-walled bottle (1) have each a V-shaped cross-section, and more particularly two coplanar edges (58) and an intermediate portion between the two edges (58), said intermediate portion presenting an apex (56) inwardly shifted with respect to the two edges. These latter are two straight branches (58) of the V-shape connected via circular arcs 60 to the substantially cylindrical side wall of the thin-walled bottle (1). Each groove (61) presents a width (w) measured between the two edges and a maximum height (h) measured between the edges and the apex. In this embodiment, each groove (61) includes collapse (or fold) starters (62) which are bosses angularly distributed uniformly about the longitudinal axis (64) of the bottle (1) and which project outwardly from the bottoms of the grooves (61). Said grooves (61) are of constant height h apart from the collapse starters (62). The shape of the fold starters (62) can be defined as follows. In the plan view of figures 1C&1D (variant), they are respectively curved and circumflex, with an outwardly projecting apex. Each starter (62) has a midplane of symmetry (66) that includes the axis (64) of the bottle (1). The midplanes 66 of two consecutive collapse starters in the same groove (61) form an angle between them of 2.π/n, where n is the number of collapse starters (62) per groove (61). The angular extent ε of each collapse starter (62) about the bottle axis (64) lies in the range about 0.2 radians to 2.π/n; in its midplane of symmetry (66) that includes the axis of the bottle, each collapse starter (62) is defined by a generator line or ridge line (68) which extends between the two branches (58) of the groove (62) and which is connected to one of said branches by a circular arc 70 whose concave side faces towards the outside and has a radius lying in the range about 0.5 mm to the radius of the circular arc that is tangential to the generator line (68) and to the branch (58) of the groove; the generator line or ridge line (68) is a straight line connected to the other flank (58) of the groove via a rounded portion (72) of minimum radius of curvature, the connection line being curved in shape in a plane that is perpendicular to the axis of the bottle; the generator line or ridge line (68) is inclined relative to the longitudinal axis (64) of the bottle (1) by an angle y lying in the range 0 to about 45°; and the radial extent λ of the collapse starter (62) in the midplane (74) of the groove (61) is substantially equal to or slightly less than half the maximum height (h) of the groove (61). The radial extent λ is the distance between the bottom (56) of the groove (61) and the point of intersection between the ridge line (68) and the midplane (74) of the groove (61). From one groove (61) to the next, the collapse starters (62) are offset angularly through an angle equal to π/n, where n is the number of collapse starters (62) per groove (61). The number n lies typically in the range 3 to 20. n = 4 or 6 in the present examples, wherein the ridge lines (68) of the collapse starters (62) are also inclined to slope downwards and outwards. However, it is also possible to use an orientation that is symmetrical to that shown about a perpendicular to the axis (64) of the bottle (1).
  • In the embodiment herein described as non limiting example, the mean wall thickness (T mean ) of the tubular body portion (6) is comprised between 100 and 140 µm In order to assess the wall thickness, a generatrix G of the thin-walled bottle (1) is graduated from (0) to (440).
    The origin (0) is placed at the center of the bulge (9).
    The graduation (440) is placed at the end of the shoulder (5) and at the beginning of the neck (4).
    The tubular body portion (6) is comprised between the graduations circa 100 mm and circa 300 mm.
    Figure 3 shows the wall thickness along the generatrix G for a bottle according to the present embodiment and made from PET W170, the intrinsic viscosity of which is circa 0.74 dl/g.
  • The integral bottom structure (7)
  • The retractation starter (71) joining the terminal curved portion (8) to the bulge is an annular groove or a folding line shown in details on the figure 2. Said annular groove (71) makes it possible the retractation of the bulge (9), when a upward force is applied on the bottom (7) and /or a downward force is applied on the neck end (2) of the thin-walled bottle (1), as this latter rests on a flat support. This is what is shown on figures 2, 5C, and also on the figures 6A & 6C corresponding to the stacking.
  • The width of the groove (71) is, for instance, comprised between 1-15 mm, preferably between 2-8 mm, more preferably equal to circa 4 mm.
  • The height of the groove (71) is, for instance, comprised between 0.1-10 mm, preferably between 0.5-4 mm, more preferably equal to circa 2 mm.
  • The center of the bulge (9) comprises an inwardly extended dome (10).
  • The retractation of the top (2,3,4,5) and/or of the bottom (9) of the liquid-filled bottles (1) put(s) these latter under pressure and gives them mechanical holding and toughness, which makes it possible to easily handle and stack these so self-supported bottles (1).-see figures 5C, 6A, 6B, 6C-.
  • Figure 4 represent a moulded plastic preform (11) for the blow molding manufacture of the thin-walled bottle (1) as above described.
    Said preform (11) includes from the top to the bottom:
    • a neck end (20) which is threaded and intended to cooperate with a screw cap;
    • a neck support ring (30);
    • a transition zone (40) which will form the neck (4) of the bottle after blow molding;
    • and a closed tubular body portion (50).
    The neck end (20) and the neck support ring (30) form together the neck finish.
    The ratio between the minimum external diameter (Dtz) of the transition zone (40) on the maximum external diameter (Dtb) of the closed tubular body portion (50) is for instance: Dtz / Dtb is between 1.8 and 0.3, preferably between 1.4 and 0.5 mm, more preferably for instance equal to 36.5/ 39.5 = 0.92.
  • Advantageously the wall thicknesses of the preform (11) is between 1 and 10 mm, preferably between 2 and 7 mm, more preferably for instance equal to 3.25 mm.
  • Advantageously the ratio weight (g) of the preform (11) /capacity (liters) of the bottle (1), is between 1 and 10, preferably 4 and 7, for instance equal to 5.5.
  • The blow moulding manufacturing method of the thin-walled bottle /jug (1) as defined above can be illustrated by the example as follows.
  • 20 litres bottles (1) as above defined are manufactured by injection and blowing with a a standard blow molding device including a shell mold in aluminium with an IR oven composed of 3 ovens and a shaft.
  • The thermoplastic raw material is a PET resin W170 of NOVAPET and a PET resin Xtreme of VORIDIAN. The intrinsic viscosity of these PET (IV) = 0.74 dl/g.
  • Heat conditioning and preblow step B are implemented. The parameters of this example are given hereafter:
    • Blowing parameters:
    - Power of the ovens % oven 1 oven 2 oven 3 0 % 75 % 100 % 0 % 0 % 0 % 0 % 55 % 45 % 0 % 0 % 0 % 0 % 45 % 50 % 0 % 0 % 0 % 0 % 45 % 50 % 0 % 5 % 5 % 0 % 45 % 42.5 % 0 % 0 % 0 %
    • diameter of the shaft: 16mm
    • speed: 1.9 m/s
    • flow control: 22%
    • For the blowing: opening 150mm / closing: 362mm
    The dimensions of the preform and the bottles are as follows: Preform (injection step A) Thin-walled bottle (blowing step C) Mean Diameter (mm) 35.65 209 Height without neck finish (mm) 112 350 Total weight (g) 55.43 55.43 Neck weight (g) 4.48 4.48 Body weight (g) 50.95 50.95
  • The bottles have a good appearance after blowing
  • The thickness distribution (Tmean) of the bottles is given on figure 3
  • The stretching ratios of the thin-walled bottle (1) of the example are as follows:
    • ▪ hoop stretch ratio : 209/35.65 = 5.86
    • ▪ axial stretch ratio: 3.95
    • ▪ overall stretch ratio : 23.15
  • The method of bottling a liquid into the of the thin-walled bottle (1) as defined above, consists in filling the thin-walled bottle (1) with a liquid (e.g water) on bottling line, wherein the thin-walled bottle is put under pressure by means of the filled liquid (e.g water) which gives to the thin-walled bottle (1) a mechanical holding/resistance to deformation.
  • Conventional bottling lines can be adapted to this bottling method.
  • The method for packing in view of storage and transportation of the thin-walled bottles (1) as defined above, essentially consists in taking advantage of the fact that the upper part of the shoulder (5) together with the neck (4) and the neck finish (2,3) and the lower part of the integral bottom structure (7) of the thin-walled bottle (1), are retractable under the effect of coaxial forces.
  • Therefore, it possible to pile the water-filled bottles (1), closed with screwed caps (2'), which are resistant to deformation and which have a self mechanical holding, on top of each other on several levels (100), on a pallet (110).
  • Figures 6A-6B-6C show how the bottles (1) are placed side by side on different superposed levels (100), between which a plate (120) is intercalated. At least some of the bottles' rows are strapped with bands (130). And if need be (see figure 6C), an axial pressure is exerted on the top of the top row so as to retract the tops and/or the bottoms of at least some of the palletized thin-walled bottles (1).
  • The plates (120) can be possibly pierced of holes which are intended to leave the bottles' necks of the lower go through.
  • It must be emphasized that the remarkable features of the bottles (1) enable a new and efficient way of storage of these bottles (1). Such storage is compact and optimized in terms of transportation.
  • The method for dispensing a liquid contained in the thin-walled bottle (1) as defined above, as well as the dispenser are described hereinafter in reference to the figures 5A-5J.
  • The dispenser (500) shown on figure 5A comprises a base (510) including in its top a seating (520) designed to receive the top part [neck end (2)-neck support ring (3)-neck (4)-shoulder (5)] of the thin-walled bottle (1), which is set up-side down.
  • The cap (2') of the bottle (1) is classically perforated by a tip (not shown) which is connected to an inlet pipe (not shown), which is linked to one or several outlets, by which the liquid (e.g.water) coming from the thin-walled bottle (1) can be dispensed. The outlets are each equipped with valves (530) for controlling the flowing of the liquid (e.g.water).
  • The setting of the filled bottle (1) up-side down on the seating (520) of the dispenser (500) concomitantly with the perforation the cap (2') of the bottle (1) is the first step of the method for dispensing the liquid (e.g. water).
    It is noteworthy that this first step does not involve entering of ambient air which could have contaminated the liquid (e.g. water). Moreover, the bottle (1) set up-side down keeps its mechanical holding (self supporting) and self collapses as the liquid (e.g. water) is sampled from the dispenser (500) by opening of the valve (530) as shown on figure 5A.
    The closing of this valve (530) stops the sampling of liquid (e.g. water) as well as the self collapsing of the bottle (1).
    The emptying and the self collapsing of the bottle (1) occur till said bottle is (almost) empty and entirely self collapsed. In this state, the bottle (1) forms a waste which not cumbersome (see figure 5J) and which can be easily transported and recovered.
    The dispenser (500) is a Home Office Dispenser (HOD) which can be equipped either with a manual pump or to an electric pump, and/or with means for refrigerating the water, one of the valve (530) dispensing refrigerated water and the other non-refrigerated water.
  • Claims (6)

    1. Plastic thin-walled bottle (1) having:
      ▪ a top part (2,3,4,5) including:
      - a neck finish including a neck end (2) and a neck support ring (3);
      - a neck (4);
      - a shoulder (5);
      ▪ a tubular body portion (6) joined to the neck (4) by the shoulder (5), the body portion (6) comprising at least two transversal grooves (6.1) or ribs and having a mean wall thickness (Tmean) - in an increasing order of preference - less than or equal to 200 ; 180 ; 160 ; 150 µm; preferably comprised between 65 and 150; and more preferably comprised between 90 and 130 µm;
      ▪ and a bottom structure (7) opposite to the top part (2,3,4,5), the bottom structure (7) including:
      - a terminal curved portion (8),
      - a bulge (9);
      wherein at least one of the top (2,3,4,5) and bottom structure (7) is retractable;
      the plastic thin-walled bottle (1) being characterized in that it includes at least one terminal retractable part, said at least one terminal retractable part being at least one of:
      - a terminal retractable part in its top part, said terminal retractable part being retractable under the effect of an axial force, said at least one terminal retractable part in the top part comprising the neck finish (2,3), the neck (4) and at least a part of the shoulder (5), said terminal retractable part comprising at least one retractation starter (5.1) formed by an annular rib on the shoulder, or
      - the bulge (9), the bulge (9) being an outwardly axially extended terminal retractable part in the bottom structure (7), said bulge (9) being retractable under the effect of the own weight of the thin-walled bottle (1), when said thin-walled bottle (1) contains a liquid and when the bottom structure (7) of the thin-walled bottle (1) rests on a support, said bulge (9) comprising at least one retractation starter (7.1) formed by an annular groove that joins the terminal curved portion (8) to the bulge (9).
    2. Plastic thin-walled bottle (1) according to claim 1 characterized by the following stretching ratios :
      ▪ hoop stretch ratio : 4.0 - 6.5 ; preferably 4.2 - 6.0
      ▪ axial stretch ratio: 2.8 - 5.0 ; preferably 3.0 - 4.5
      ▪ overall stretch ratio : 11.20 - 32.5 ; preferably 12.6 - 27.0
    3. Plastic thin-walled bottle (1) according to claim 1 or 2 characterized in that it is manufactured by a Blow Moulding process, preferably Injection Stretch Blow Moulding process.
    4. Plastic thin-walled bottle (1) according to at least any of the preceding claims, having a volume, typically when filled, of at least -given in liters and in an increasing order of preference- 2 ; 3 ; 5 ; and more preferably comprised in a range of 2-20 liters, preferably of 7.5-12.5 liters.
    5. Plastic thin-walled bottle (1) according to at least one of the preceding claims characterized in that it is self-collapsable as it is set upside down during its emptying and in that at least some of transversal grooves and/or ribs (6.1) are equipped with at least 2, preferably at least 4, and more preferably between 4 and 8 collapse starters (6.2).
    6. Method for packing in view of storage and transportation, the thin-walled bottles (1) according to at least one of the claims 1 to 5, wherein the thin-walled bottles (1) are stacked on a pallet (110) on several levels (100), preferably by intercalating at least a plate (120) between two successive levels (100), each level (100) is strapped (130), and an axial pressure is exerted on the top of the pallet (110), so as to retract the tops (2,3,4,5) and/or the bottom structures (7) of at least some of the palletized thin-walled bottles (1).
    EP12816478.7A 2012-12-28 2012-12-28 Retractable blow moulded plastic thin-walled container Active EP2938547B1 (en)

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    WO2016044305A1 (en) * 2014-09-16 2016-03-24 The Coca-Cola Company Methods for processing and plasticizing poly(ethylene furanoate) preforms by water sorption
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    CN106043879A (en) * 2016-08-11 2016-10-26 农夫山泉股份有限公司 Disposable barrelled water for water dispenser and production method of water
    FR3079503B1 (en) 2018-04-03 2020-03-06 Societe Anonyme Des Eaux Minerales D'evian Et En Abrege "S.A.E.M.E" Thin wall bottle to contain a food liquid
    FR3079502A1 (en) 2018-04-03 2019-10-04 Societe Anonyme Des Eaux Minerales D'evian Et En Abrege "S.A.E.M.E" Bottle with thin walls to contain a food liquid

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    CN105008229B (en) 2017-09-26
    ES2644249T3 (en) 2017-11-28
    EP2938547A1 (en) 2015-11-04
    MX361594B (en) 2018-12-10
    PL2938547T3 (en) 2018-01-31
    MX2015008453A (en) 2015-12-15
    WO2014101957A1 (en) 2014-07-03
    AR094282A1 (en) 2015-07-22

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