WO2007135557A1 - Method for manufacturing stoppers - Google Patents

Method for manufacturing stoppers Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2007135557A1
WO2007135557A1 PCT/IB2007/001353 IB2007001353W WO2007135557A1 WO 2007135557 A1 WO2007135557 A1 WO 2007135557A1 IB 2007001353 W IB2007001353 W IB 2007001353W WO 2007135557 A1 WO2007135557 A1 WO 2007135557A1
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WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
cavity
injection
characterized
method according
plug
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2007/001353
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2007135557A8 (en )
Inventor
Guarda Daniele Dalla
Guarda Corrado Dalla
Original Assignee
Main Group Corporation S.R.L.
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C45/00Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C45/16Making multilayered or multicoloured articles
    • B29C45/1635Making multilayered or multicoloured articles using displaceable mould parts, e.g. retractable partition between adjacent mould cavities
    • 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
    • B65D39/00Closures arranged within necks or pouring openings or in discharge apertures, e.g. stoppers
    • B65D39/0052Closures arranged within necks or pouring openings or in discharge apertures, e.g. stoppers made in more than one piece
    • B65D39/0058Closures arranged within necks or pouring openings or in discharge apertures, e.g. stoppers made in more than one piece from natural or synthetic cork, e.g. for wine bottles or the like
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29LINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASS B29C, RELATING TO PARTICULAR ARTICLES
    • B29L2031/00Other particular articles
    • B29L2031/56Stoppers or lids for bottles, jars, or the like, e.g. closures
    • B29L2031/565Stoppers or lids for bottles, jars, or the like, e.g. closures for containers
    • 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
    • B65D2539/00Details relating to closures arranged within necks or pouring openings or in discharge apertures, e.g. stoppers
    • B65D2539/001Details of closures arranged within necks or pouring opening or in discharge apertures, e.g. stoppers
    • B65D2539/008Details of closures arranged within necks or pouring opening or in discharge apertures, e.g. stoppers with coatings or coverings

Abstract

A method for manufacturing stoppers (1) comprising the operations of: preparing a mold (8) inside which there is a cavity (2) which is connected to the outside by means of a lateral hole (3); coupling to the mold (8) a plug (4), which is inserted in the cavity (2) for a predefined length (L) on the opposite side with respect to the lateral hole (3) and is allowed to slide within the cavity (2); and associating an injector with the mold (8) at the lateral hole (3). The method includes the operations of: forming a peripheral slot (6) of constant thickness between the inside wall (3 a) that delimits the cavity (2) and the outer wall (4a) of the plug (4); performing a first injection of plastic material within the peripheral slot (6) in order to obtain a perimetric layer (7) which extends over the predefined length (L); freeing the cavity (2) from the plug (4) by the length (L); and performing a second injection of plastic material in the volume (9) delimited by the perimetric layer (7) in order to obtain a contoured insert (10).

Description

METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING STOPPERS

Technical field

The present invention relates to a method for manufacturing stoppers, particularly suitable for bottles. Background art

It is known that bottles of wine, liqueur, brandy or others are closed by applying to the neck of such bottles stoppers which, depending on production requirements, are made of cork, plastics or composite material or are of the crown type. The most widespread stoppers made of cork or plastics or a specific combination thereof are inserted almost entirely in the neck of the bottle, from which they are extracted by means of corkscrews of the type known in the jargon as screw, spiral or worm.

Crown-type stoppers are instead applied to the top rim of the neck of the bottle, with respect to which they remain always external in order to be removed by means of so-called bottle openers, which are suitable for opening the bottle quickly and effectively.

Stoppers placed inside the neck of the bottle comprise a generally cylindrical contoured body, which in many cases is made entirely of cork or plastic material.

However, there are types of stopper which are composite, so to speak, and comprise both parts made of cork and parts made of synthetic material.

Further, exclusively synthetic stoppers in turn can be classified into stoppers made of a single plastic material and stoppers made of several plastic materials.

Among these last, there is a particular category of stopper in which each stopper comprises a main part made of a first plastic material and a remaining part made of a second plastic material which is different from the first one. The main part is the contoured body introduced above and has technical properties, such as mechanical strength, which are superior to those of the remaining part, which constitutes the outer layer of the stopper, a sort of polished and smooth enclosure which surrounds completely the contoured body. This embodiment has been studied both to provide extreme toughness to the region of the stopper that is subjected to compression during extraction from the neck of the bottle and to facilitate as much as possible the sliding of the stopper within the neck both during extraction and conversely during insertion. In any case, any synthetic stopper is formed by a mixture of petroleum-derived thermoplastic materials known as elastomers, which are aggregated by means of an injection-molding method.

Synthetic stoppers are preferable over cork stoppers, since they do not crumble, do not form dust, cannot be attacked by molds or bacteria, are absolutely immune to any kind of release and further offer an excellent and durable oxygen barrier, preserving over time the organoleptic characteristics of the liquid contained in the bottle.

In relation to cork stoppers, synthetic stoppers have the additional advantage of being customizable by coloring or by ink printing which applies for example trademarks or logos.

However, currently commercially available synthetic stoppers have some drawbacks, which are linked mostly to the method by means of which they are obtained.

A first drawback is that the thickness of the plastic enclosure that surrounds the contoured body of known stoppers is not uniform and constant, although specific variations of injection-molding methods have been devised which are known as sandwich methods; one of these variations is known from Italian patent ITl 316150.

These constructive variations allow to obtain a thickness of the outer layer which is more uniform than in previous stoppers but still not entirely constant.

Another drawback of the background art that most closely approximates the invention, given in the cited Italian patent, arises from the fact that the outer layer with lower mechanical strength completely covers the contoured body and therefore also covers the front parts that must bear the compression and traction stress during extraction of the stopper from the bottle.

This entails the obtainment of stoppers of less than optimum quality, in addition to an increase in the constructive complexity of the stopper which appears to be unjustified and useless in terms of its intended use, with the consequent cost increase. Disclosure of the invention

The present invention seeks to obviate the limitations noted above.

The aim of the present invention is to provide a method for manufacturing stoppers made of composite plastic material which provides a finished product which has an outer layer which is still suitable to facilitate the sliding of the stoppers on the neck of the bottle but has a more constant and uniform thickness than that ensured by known methods.

Within this aim, an object of the present invention is to provide a stopper which, with respect to the equivalent background art, has an embodiment that is more suitable and adequate for the stresses that it must withstand during extraction from the neck of the bottle.

Another object of the invention is to provide a method for manufacturing stoppers which is simpler to perform than known methods. Another object of the invention is to provide a method which can be performed at lower costs than the background art, all other factors involved being equal.

This aim and these and other objects which will become better apparent hereinafter are achieved by a method for manufacturing stoppers according to claim 1, to which reference is made for the sake of brevity. Other detail characteristics of the method according to the invention are provided in the corresponding dependent claims.

The stopper obtained with this method and whose essential characteristics are given in claim 15, to which reference is made again for the sake of brevity, is also an integral part of the present invention.

Advantageously, the method according to the invention provides stoppers made of composite synthetic material, suitable for bottles, which comprise an outer layer made of suitable plastic material which has a substantially constant thickness which is more regular and uniform than the one obtained in the background art.

Also advantageously, the invention provides a stopper made of plastic material which is more suitable than known types of stopper to bear the compression and traction stresses applied to it during extraction from the neck of the bottle by means of a corkscrew operated by the user. This is due to the fact that differently from known stoppers, the front surface to which these stresses are applied belongs to the contoured body made of plastic material with high mechanical strength instead of the outer layer made of a different synthetic material, which is inferior in this regard.

On the other hand, however, the outer layer of the stopper according to the invention is smooth and without porosity, thus facilitating the sliding of the stopper during insertion and extraction in and from the neck of the bottle.

Equally advantageously, the method according to the invention allows to obtain a quality final product with an addition of plastic material, which constitutes the outer layer of the stopper, which is smaller than in the background art, thus reducing production times and the associated costs.

Advantageously, moreover, the method according to the invention allows to obtain the outer layer of the stopper by providing the typical operations of the method for molding with two plastic components which is known in the field as sandwich method. Brief description of the Drawings

Further characteristics and advantages of the method claimed herein will become better apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, given by way of non-limiting example in relation to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of a step of the method according to the invention;

Figure 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of another step of the method according to the invention; Figure 2a is a longitudinal sectional view of the stopper according to the invention, obtained at the end of the method according to the invention. Ways of carrying out the invention

The method for manufacturing a stopper, suitable in particular for bottles containing wine and shown in Figure 2a, where it is generally designated by the reference numeral 1, comprises the following operations:

- preparing a mold 8 which is suitable to produce the stopper 1 and forms internally a cavity 2 which is connected to the outside environment by means of a lateral hole 3;

- coupling to the mold 8 a plug 4, which is inserted in the cavity 2 for a predefined length L on the opposite side with respect to the lateral hole 3 and is allowed to slide within the cavity 2;

- coupling an injector, not shown for the sake of simplicity, to the mold 8 at the lateral hole 3.

According to the invention, the method further includes the following operations:

- forming a peripheral slot 6 of substantially constant thickness between the inner wall 2a that delimits the cavity 2 and the outer wall 4a of the plug 4;

- performing a first injection of plastic material within the peripheral slot 6 in order to obtain a perimetric border 7 which extends over the predefined length L;

- freeing the cavity 2 from the plug 4 by an extent equal to the predefined length L, forming a volume which is delimited by the perimetric border 7, as shown in Figure 2; - performing a second injection of plastic material in the volume 9 delimited by the perimetric border 7 in order to obtain a contoured body 10 and ultimately the stopper 1 shown in Figure 2a once extraction from the mold 8 has occurred.

The cavity 2 divides the mold 8 into two mold parts 81, 82 and is closed at one end by the plug 4, which protrudes from the mold 8 by an extent which varies in length during the method.

The mold parts 81, 82 are mutually separated and are connected at one end by means of the plug 4 and at the opposite end by means of a lid 5.

According to other embodiments, not shown in the drawings of the present application, the mold parts can be formed monolithically with each other.

In the specific case, the predefined length L of the insertion of the plug 4 into the cavity 2 corresponds substantially to the entire length of the cavity 2, but it is evident that in other embodiments of the invention, not shown, said length may be shorter.

The peripheral slot 6 starts, preferably not exclusively, from the lateral hole 3 and has an annular shape, so that the contoured body 10 and therefore the stopper 1, at the end of the method according to the invention, have a circular shape. In practice, the peripheral slot 6 is formed by the fact that the plug 4, in the part inserted in the cavity 2, has a smaller diameter than the cavity 2 itself by an extent equal to the thickness that has been predefined for the outer layer 7 of the stopper 1.

The freeing of the cavity 2 from the plug 4 and the second injection occur simultaneously. Substantially, therefore, freeing the cavity 2 from the plug 4 consists in allowing the plug 4 to slide from the inside of the cavity 2 toward the outside during the second injection by means of the plastic material injected into the volume 9. The plug 4 exits from the cavity 2 by a maximum length which is equal to the value of the predefined length L and until it reaches, in a short time, the stroke limit position 11.

The stroke limit position 11 is located within the cavity 2 and comprises a step 12, which protrudes from the inner wall 2a that delimits the cavity 2, and a tooth 13, which protrudes from the outer wall 4a of the plug 4 proximate to the end 4b thereof which faces the lateral hole 3.

The first and second injections consist of an injection molding.

In a preferable but non-limiting manner, the plastic material injected during the first injection is different from the plastic material injected during the second injection.

In greater detail, the plastic material of the second injection has a higher mechanical compression strength than the plastic material of the first injection.

In any case, the synthetic materials used in the method according to the invention are of a type which is known to the person skilled in the art, in particular mutually different mixtures of thermoplastic materials known as elastomers.

According to the preferred embodiment described here of the method according to the invention, the injector comprises two injection nozzles 14 and 15 which are formed in the lid 5; the first nozzle is connected to the peripheral slot 6 formed in the cavity 2 and the second nozzle is functionally connected to the plug 4 and faces it.

The first injection nozzle 14 is used during the first injection, at the end of which it is no longer affected by the flow of plastic material, while the second injection nozzle 15 is used in the second injection. The method according to the invention further comprises an operation for reinserting the plug 4 into the cavity 2 by the predefined length L, which is performed after the second injection is completed and after the stopper 1 has been extracted from the mold 8. Reinsertion occurs automatically by way of actuation means, which are not shown for the sake of convenience in description and are associated with the end 4c of the plug 4.

Once the method according to the invention has ended, the stopper 1 shown in Figure 2a, which is the subject of the present invention, is thus obtained.

As can be seen, the stopper 1 comprises a contoured insert 10, which is made of a first plastic material and is suitable to be associated with a container, not shown, in order to close it; said insert has a lateral surface 10a and two front surfaces 10b, 10c which are mutually opposite and spaced by means of the lateral surface 10a.

According to the invention, the stopper 1 comprises an outer layer 7, which is made of a second plastic material which covers the lateral surface 10a of the contoured insert 10.

As already mentioned, the second plastic material is preferably but not necessarily different from the first plastic material.

It is specified that the coloring of the contoured insert 10 and of the outer layer 7 of the stopper 1 may be any and that the colorings may be mutually different or not.

From what has been described above it is therefore evident that the method for manufacturing stoppers and the corresponding stopper according to the invention achieve the previously mentioned aim and objects and provide the above mentioned advantages.

During production, it is possible to apply changes in application to the method according to the invention for manufacturing stoppers, said changes consisting for example of a different method of freeing the cavity from the plug.

In addition to this, the number of cavities formed inside the mold and accordingly the number of plugs and injectors can be more than one, and this does not compromise the advantage provided by the present invention. Further, there can be applicative solutions of the method according to the invention in which the profile of the cavity, and accordingly the profile of the plug shaped complementarily thereto, are different from the shape described previously, which as mentioned is circular.

Finally, it is evident that many other variations can be made to the method according to the present invention without thereby abandoning the principles of novelty that are inherent in the appended claims, and likewise it is evident that in the practical embodiment of the invention the materials, shapes and dimensions of the described details may be any according to requirements and can be replaced with other technically equivalent ones. The disclosures in Italian Patent Application No. VI2006A000156, from which this application claims priority, are incorporated herein by reference.

Claims

1. A method for manufacturing stoppers (1) comprising the following operations:
- preparing a mold (8) which is suitable to produce said stopper (1) and forms internally at least one cavity (2) which is connected to the outside environment by means of a lateral hole (3);
- coupling to said mold (8) at least one plug (4), which is inserted in said cavity (2) for a predefined length (L) on the opposite side with respect to said lateral hole (3) and is suitable to be allowed to slide within said cavity (2);
- associating at least one injector with said mold (8) at said lateral hole (3), characterized in that it comprises the following operations:
- forming a peripheral slot (6) of substantially constant thickness between the inner wall (2a) that delimits the cavity (2) and the outer wall
(4a) of said plug (4);
- performing a first injection of plastic material within said peripheral slot (6) in order to obtain a perimetric layer (7) which extends over said predefined length (L); - freeing said cavity (2) from said plug (4) by an extent equal to said predefined length (L), forming a volume (9) which is delimited by said perimetric layer (7);
- performing a second injection of plastic material in said volume (9) delimited by said perimetric layer (7) in order to obtain a contoured insert (10).
2. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that said freeing of said cavity (2) from said plug (4) and said second injection occur simultaneously.
3. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that said freeing of said cavity (2) from said plug (4) consists in allowing said plug (4) to slide from the inside of said cavity (2) toward the outside during said second injection of said plastic material into said volume (9).
4. The method according to claim 3, characterized in that said plug (4) protrudes from said cavity (2) by a maximum length equal to the value of said predefined length (L) and until it reaches a stroke limit position (11).
5. The method according to claim 4, characterized in that said stroke limit position (11) is located within said cavity (2) and comprises a step (12), which protrudes from said internal wall (2a) which delimits said cavity (2), and a tooth (13), which protrudes from said outer wall (4a) of said plug (4) proximate to the end (4b) of said plug (4) that faces said lateral hole (3).
6. The method according to claim 5, characterized in that said cavity (2) divides said mold (8) into two mold parts (81, 82) and is closed at one end by said plug (4) which protrudes from said mold (8).
7. The method according to claim 6, characterized in that said mold parts (81, 82) are mutually separated and are connected at one end by means of said plug (4) and at the opposite end by means of a lid (5).
8. The method according to claim 6, characterized in that said mold parts are foπned monolithically with each other.
9. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that said injections consist of an injection molding.
10. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that said plastic material injected during said first injection is different from said plastic material injected during said second injection.
11. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that said plastic material injected during said first injection is identical to said plastic material injected during said second injection.
12. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that said plastic material injected during said second injection has a higher compression strength than said plastic material injected during said first injection.
13. The method according to claim I5 characterized in that said peripheral slot (6) starts from said lateral hole (3).
14. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that said injector comprises two injection nozzles (14, 15) which are formed in a lid (5) which is associated with said mold (8), the first (14) of said nozzles being connected to said peripheral slot (6) formed in said cavity (2) and the second (15) of said nozzles being functionally connected to said plug (4) and facing it.
15. The method according to claim 14, characterized in that said first injection nozzle (14) is used during said first injection, at the end of which it is no longer affected by the flow of said plastic material, and said second injection nozzle (15) is used in said second injection.
16. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that it comprises a reinsertion of said plug (4) into said cavity (2) by said predefined length (L), which is performed to complete said second injection.
17. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that said reinsertion occurs automatically by way of actuation means.
18. A stopper (1) comprising a contoured insert (10), which is made of a first plastic material and is suitable to be associated with a container for closing it, in which there are at least one lateral surface (10a) and two front surfaces (10b, 10c) which are mutually opposite and spaced by means of said lateral surface (10a), characterized in that it comprises an outer layer (7), made of a second plastic material, which covers said lateral surface (10a) of said contoured insert (10).
PCT/IB2007/001353 2006-05-19 2007-05-15 Method for manufacturing stoppers WO2007135557A8 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
ITVI20060156 2006-05-19
ITVI2006A000156 2006-05-19

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WO2007135557A1 true true WO2007135557A1 (en) 2007-11-29
WO2007135557A8 true WO2007135557A8 (en) 2008-04-03

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2981556A1 (en) * 2011-10-25 2013-04-26 Oreal Method of manufacturing a product application member cosmetics, and associated set of manufacturing

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4803031A (en) * 1982-06-03 1989-02-07 Anchor Hocking Corporation Method and apparatus for molding a closure cap
JPH10329172A (en) * 1997-05-29 1998-12-15 Hitachi Maxell Ltd Multilayer dichroic molding and dichroic mold
EP0965534A1 (en) * 1994-11-23 1999-12-22 L'oreal Dispensing device provided with a closure system
WO2000056526A1 (en) * 1999-03-24 2000-09-28 Nomacorc, L.L.C. Synthetic closure
US6139934A (en) * 1998-03-13 2000-10-31 Hettinga; Siebolt Bottle closure
JP2001079894A (en) * 1999-09-13 2001-03-27 Mitsubishi Engineering Plastics Corp Injection mold apparatus and injection molding method for molded article
EP1208955A1 (en) * 2000-11-28 2002-05-29 Intercable Srl Injection moulding with variable cavity for making corks

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4803031A (en) * 1982-06-03 1989-02-07 Anchor Hocking Corporation Method and apparatus for molding a closure cap
EP0965534A1 (en) * 1994-11-23 1999-12-22 L'oreal Dispensing device provided with a closure system
JPH10329172A (en) * 1997-05-29 1998-12-15 Hitachi Maxell Ltd Multilayer dichroic molding and dichroic mold
US6139934A (en) * 1998-03-13 2000-10-31 Hettinga; Siebolt Bottle closure
WO2000056526A1 (en) * 1999-03-24 2000-09-28 Nomacorc, L.L.C. Synthetic closure
JP2001079894A (en) * 1999-09-13 2001-03-27 Mitsubishi Engineering Plastics Corp Injection mold apparatus and injection molding method for molded article
EP1208955A1 (en) * 2000-11-28 2002-05-29 Intercable Srl Injection moulding with variable cavity for making corks

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2981556A1 (en) * 2011-10-25 2013-04-26 Oreal Method of manufacturing a product application member cosmetics, and associated set of manufacturing
WO2013060730A1 (en) * 2011-10-25 2013-05-02 L'oreal Method for producing a member for applying cosmetic product, and associated assembly for the production thereof

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