Title of Invention

DEVICE FOR PRODUCING CONTAINERS.

Abstract Device for producing containers (19), with an interior which is divided by at least one partition (21) into separate container chambers (23, 25), with an extruder means (1) to extrude a tube (3) of plasticized synthetic material from the annular gap (37) between the outer nozzle ring (27) and the inner nozzle core (31) which has a guide means (41, 43, 53) for the synthetic material branched off out of the annular gap (37) and at least one end-side outlet slot (45) from which the branched-off synthetic material emerges as a partitions (21) which extends continuously within the extruded tube (3), and with a welding and molding means (5, 7, 13) by means of which the end of the tube (3) is closed by welding and by producing a pneumatic pressure gradient which acts on the tube the tube is expanded and is placed against the molding wall of the molding means to form the container (19), with the guide means (41, 43, 53) for the branched-off synthetic material being placed in the area of the annular gap (37) which is located upstream at a distance from the outlet end of the outlet slot (45), characterized in that the nozzle core (31) has a care tip (33) which is screwed to it on the end side with a central screw union (40),in which the outlet slot (45) is formed, and wherein the surfaces of the core tip (33) and of the fallowing part of the nozzle care (31) facing one another form a funnel surface (41) and conical surface (43) which surrounds the central screw union (40) and are located at a distance from one another and form an inlet area which runs obliquely to the lengthwise axis (29) of the nozzle and which surrounds the screw union core as the guide means for the synthetic material which is to be branched off from the annular gap (37).
Full Text Device for Producing Containers
The invention relates to a device for producing containers in accordance with the features of the preamble of claim 1.
A device of this type is already known from DE-A-1 179 356. As the guide means for the synthetic material which forms the inner partition, in the known device there is a direct connection between the downstream outlet opening of the annular gap and the outlet slot of small depth which extends diametrically in the nozzle core. Even if the friction conditions which prevail in the end area of the annular gap are kept within narrow limits to a corresponding setpoint, a uniform, desired material thickness of the partition formed can hardly be maintained in operation. When to improve the flow conditions the outlet slot is formed with an enlarged cross section from its middle to both ends, therefore to the branching sites on the annular gap, there is the danger that the partition formed in the central area has a smaller thickness than in the edge areas.
A multipart annular nozzle for extruding synthetic material is known from US-A-4,655,987 with an external nozzle ring of cylindrical design surrounding an inner nozzle core along the outer periphery of the inner nozzle core. Four mold shells are arranged diametrically to each other between the outer nozzle ring and the inner nozzle core;

[2]
the mold shells with their lateral surfaces facing each other delimiting longitudinal walls while maintaining a distance, which filled with synthetic material, divide during the molding process into individual chambers between a cylindrical outer and inner limiting wall of a synthetic material end product that is obtained in the shape of a cable.
Due to the mostly concentric arrangement and the concomitant defined distance between the outer nozzle ring and the inner nozzle core the state-of-the-art mold device adjusts to various conditions only with difficulty and hence an independent mold nozzle is required for each application function and every type of application.
Proceeding from the state-of-the-art, the object of the invention is to devise a device of the indicated type which is characterized by improved operating behavior and which also easily facilitates improved adjustment to the various types of application.
In a device of the initially mentioned type this object is achieved as claimed in the invention in that the nozzle core has a core tip screwed to it on the inner end side with a central screw union in which the outlet slot is formed and the surfaces of the core tip and of the following part of the nozzle core facing one another form a funnel surface and conical surface which surrounds the central screw union, and they are located at a distance from one another and form an inlet area which runs obliquely to the lengthwise axis of the nozzle and which surrounds the screw union core as the guide means for the synthetic material which is to be branched off from the annular gap. Adaptation to different circumstances hence is made especially simple by only the core tip being replaced or its being screwed to the

[3]
following part of the nozzle core, such that the desired change of the cross section of the inlet area arises between the funnel surface of the core tip and the opposite conical surface.
Additionally, by simple selection of the distance between the branching site and the outlet opening, the desired optimum flow conditions are established for the synthetic material entering the slot. The plastic column moving towards the downstream outlet opening has a considerable pressure gradient and by making use of the higher pressure level the desired supply of the outlet slot for the partition to be formed can thus be guaranteed for the respective viscosity properties of the extruded synthetic material.
In one advantageous embodiment the nozzle core as the guide means for the branched-off synthetic material which is to be supplied to the outlet slot can have at least one transverse hole as a connection between the annular gap which surrounds the nozzle core and the respective outlet slot so that to adapt to the different conditions, simply nozzle cores with differently arranged and dimensioned transverse holes need to be prepared in order to satisfy the different material properties.
The invention is explained below with reference to the drawings, wherein :
Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a two-chamber container produced by means of the device as claimed in the invention without the contents added;

Figure 2 shows a schematically simplified lengthwise section of a nozzle
arrangement of an extruder unit of one embodiment of the device as claimed in the invention;
Figure 3 shows an opened and schematically simplified view of the nozzle core of a modified example of an extruder means for the device as claimed in the invention;
Figure 4 shows a side view of a two-chamber container in which a closure for both chambers is molded onto the container neck and can be opened by means of a twist-off lock;

Figure 5 shows a partially open plan view of the container from Figure 4;
Figure 6 shows a schematically simplified representation of one embodiment of the device as claimed in the invention for forming a two-chamber container, the blow mold being shown open, and
Fig. 7 to 9 show representations of the device corresponding to Figure 6, the blowmold being closed and different process steps in the formation, filling and closing of the container being shown.
Figure 1 shows in schematic form a container 19 which has been produced by means of the device as claimed in the invention and which has a continuous inner partition 21 which divides the interior of the container 19 into two chambers 23 and 25 which are separated fluid-tight from one another. Figures 2 and 3 show the important parts of an extruder means 1 which in interaction with a blow mold which is not shown in these figures form embodiments of the device as claimed in the invention, by means of which a container 19 which can be produced which, as shown in Figure 1, has a inner partition 21.
Figure 2 shows the end of the extruder means 1 facing a blow mold which is not shown, with a nozzle ring 27 in which there is a nozzle core 31 located coaxially to the lengthwise axis 29 of the nozzle; the tip 33 of the nozzle core with the end area of the nozzle ring 27 defines an annular outlet 35 from which extruded synthetic material emerges in the form of a tube. The molten synthetic material reaches the outlet 35 via an annular gap 37 which is formed between the nozzle ring 27 and the nozzle core 31. As can be seen from Figure 2, this annular gap 37 narrows at the transition between the core tip 33 and the part of the nozzle core 31 which follows upstream so that a retaining area 39 for the supplied synthetic material results.
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The core tip 33 is screwed to the following, upstream part of the nozzle core 31 via a pin which an outside thread 40 such that the surfaces of the core tip 33 facing one another and the following part of the nozzle core 31 are located at a distance from one another. The corresponding surface of the core tip 33 forms a funnel surface 41, while the facing surface of the remaining nozzle core 31 defines a conical surface 43. These surfaces 41 and 43 which in the example shown include an angle of incline of 65┬░ or 60┬░ to the lengthwise axis 29 of the nozzle form between themselves a guide means for the synthetic material which is branched off from the annular gap 37 and which enters at the branch site formed on the retaining area 39 between the surfaces 41 and 43. Through the holes in the pin of the core tip 33 which has an outside thread 40 this branched-off synthetic material travels into an outlet slot 45 formed on the front side of the core tip 33. From there the branched-off synthetic material emerges as a web which runs crosswise within the extruded tube and which after expansion of the tube forms the partition 21 in the container 19 which has been molded in doing so (Figure 1). On either side next to the outlet slot 45, i.e. on both sides of the plastic web emerging from the outlet slot 45, in the end surface of the core tip 33 there is one outlet opening 47 each for support air, the openings being connected to a central air channel 51 via branch lines 49 which are made in the pin which has the outside thread 40.
The air supplied from the air channel 51 via the outlet openings 47 is intended as support air which simply prevents the collapse of the extruded tube and its being cemented to the web which forms the partition 21. The container is expanded in the blow mold in an additional working step by means of a blowing and filling mandrel which in an analogous arrangement to the outlet openings 47 of the core tip 33 has blow openings for supply of expanding, preferably sterilized blowing air. These blow openings can then also be used as fill openings for supply of contents to the container chambers 23, 25.
Figure 3 shows the front end section of a modified nozzle core 31 without the nozzle ring 27 which surrounds it. In contrast to the above described example, the nozzle core 31
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does not have a front core tip which has been screwed on in order to form a guide means for the synthetic material to be branched off in cooperation with the following part of the nozzle core. Rather, in the embodiment from Figure 3, as the guide means there is a direct connection between the end-side outlet slot 45 and the annular gap which surrounds the nozzle core 31 via transverse holes 53 which extend in the nozzle core 31 transversely to the lengthwise axis and are connected to the inner, i.e. upstream, end of the outlet slot 45. The number and cross section of the transverse holes 53 are chosen such that the desired amount of synthetic material which has been branched off from the outer annular gap emerges from the outlet slot 45 as the web which runs crosswise within the tube and which forms the partition 21. As in the above described embodiment, on either side next to the outlet slot 45 there are outlet openings 47 for the support air which is supplied from the central air channel 51.
In both embodiments as shown in Figures 2 and 3 the thickness of the web emerging from the outlet slot 45 can be adjusted by choosing the ratio between the nozzle gap, i.e. the width of the annular gap 37 formed within the nozzle ring, and the width of the outlet slot 45. In the example from Figure 2 moreover the distance between the funnel surface 41 and the conical surface 43 can be varied for this adjustment, likewise the amount of narrowing of the gap on the retaining area 39.
Reference is made to Figures 6 to 9. The container 19 which has been produced using the device as claimed in the invention can, if so desired, be filled like conventional single-chamber containers still within the blow mold 5 before the head-side, top welding jaws 13 are moved together on the blow mold in order to mold the container neck 57 on the end side and optionally close it by welding. As indicated above, the two-chamber container 19 can be filled by a combined blowing and filling mandrel or by a filling mandrel which performs only the filling function and which for each of the container chambers 23 and 25 has an outlet opening for the contents, the output openings being arranged offset in the same

way to the lengthwise axis of the filling mandrel, as is the case for the outlet openings 47 for support air on the nozzle cores 31 of the extruder means 1 which are described here, where the outlet openings 47 discharge on either side next to the outlet slot 45 which forms the partition 21.
As mentioned above, the shaping of the neck of the container produced using the process as claimed in the invention is done by means of top movable welding jaws 13 on the pertinent blow mold, see Figures 6 to 9. In the example of the container 19 shown in Figure 1, the outside thread 17 for a closure by a screw cap which is not shown and which closes both container chambers 23 and 25 is produced.
Instead of making one such screw closure, a different type of closure can be made by the upper welding jaws 13 in the shaping of the container neck as is known in the pertinent technology for single-chamber containers, for example according to the bottelpack® system. Thus, as is shown in Figures 4 and 5, a rotary lock closure can be molded on the container neck 57, for example. Here the welding process is carried out such that the two chambers 23 and 25 are closed by a twist-off lock 59 which can be separated at a disconnect 63 made as a scored site by its being turned using its molded-on handle piece 61.
Figures 6 to 9 show in a highly simplified schematic the progression of the process steps from the initial extrusion process of the synthetic material to complete production of a two-chamber plastic container, with two chambers 23 and 25 filled and hermetically closed by means of a rotary lock closure 73 (Figure 9). Figures 6 and 7 show the extrusion of the tube 3 with the inner partition 21 into the opened blow mold 5 or expansion into a container 19 by means of blowing air which is blown in by the blowing mandrel 11 on either side of the partition 21 after (see Figure 7) the blow mold 5 has been closed and thus the bottom-side weld edges 7 have carried out a hot-wire welding process by which the tube 3 is closed on the lower end and is joined to the end of the partition 21 on a weld seam 9.
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After withdrawing the blowing mandrel 11 and inserting the filling mandrel 71 which has one fill opening each for each container chamber 23 and 25 separated by the partition 21, the two chambers 23 and 25 are now filled while the container 19 is still located within the blow mold 5 (Figure 8).
After completed filling, the filling mandrel 71 is withdrawn and the top welding jaws 13 are moved together in order to carry out another welding process on the container neck 57, in which the container neck 57 is finally molded and in the example shown here is provided at the same time with a closure means which hermetically closes both chambers 23 and 25. In the example shown in Figure 9 a rotary lock closure 73 is formed so that the container neck is made in the manner as shown in Figures 4 and 5, where a twist-off lock 59 with a handle piece 61 is shown which makes it possible to twist off the lock 59 at a disconnect 63, by which the two chambers 23 and 25 of the container 19 are opened.
After filling the container and withdrawing the filling mandrel 71, if so desired, insert parts can be placed in the container neck 57 before hermetically sealing the container. They can be functional parts such as a drop insert, a rubber plug, a hollow needle or other foreign part which can be inserted by means of a vacuum gripper before the welding jaws are moved together in order to weld around the insert pare and at the same time form a hermetic closure.
While the invention is described above based on the production of a two-chamber container, it goes without saying that on the nozzle core 31 of the extruder means 1 there could be more than one outlet slot 45 in order to extrude more than one plastic web. Within the plastic tube thus several partitions can be formed, to either side of which blowing air is supplied in order to mold a multichamber container in the pertinent blow mold.
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In the final execution of the container neck 57 the two chambers 23 and 25 can each have their own closure.
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[11] WE CLAIM
1. Device for producing containers(19), with an interior which is
divided by at least one partition (21) into separate container
chambers(23, 25), with an extruder means (1) to extrude a tube (3)
of plasticized synthetic material from the annular gap (37)
between the outer nozzle ring (27) and the inner nozzle core (31)
which has a guide means (41,43,53) for the synthetic material
branched off out of the annular gap (37) and at least one end-
side outlet slot (45) from which the branched-off synthetic
material emerges as a partitions (21) which extends continuously
within the extruded tube (3), and with a welding and molding
means (5, 7, 13) by means of which the end of the tube (3) is
closed by welding and by producing a pneumatic pressure gradient
which acts an the tube the tube is expanded and is placed against
the molding wall of the molding means to form the container (19),
with the guide means (41, 43, 53) for the branched-off synthetic
material being placed in the area of the annular gap (37) which
is located upstream at a distance from the outlet end of the
outlet slat (45), characterized in that the nozzle core(31) has a
core tip (33) which is screwed to it on the end side with a
central screw union (40), in which the outlet slot (45) is formed,
and wherein the surfaces of the core tip (33) and of the follow
ing part of the nozzle core (31) facing one another form a funnel
surface (41) and conical surface (43) which surrounds the central
screw union (40) and are located at a distance from
one another and form an inlet area

[12]
which runs obliquely to the lengthwise axis (29) of the nozzle and which surrounds the screw union core as the guide means for the synthetic material which is to be branched off from the annular gap (37).
2. Device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the nozzle core (31) as the guide means
for the branched-off synthetic material which is to be supplied to the outlet slot
(45) has at least one transverse hole (53) as a connection between the annular
gap (37) which surrounds the nozzle core (31) and the respective outlet slot
(45).
3. Device as claimed in claims 1 and 2, wherein the synthetic material to branch
off from the annular gap (37) emerges via assigned passages in the core of the
screw union (40) of the outlet slot (45).
4. Device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the core tip (33) in its
upstream end area has a somewhat larger diameter than the following part of
the nozzle core (31), so that a narrowed area (39) is formed in the annular gap
(37) at the entry site of the synthetic material which is to be branched off.
5. Device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the nozzle core (31) has
outlet openings (47) for support air on either side next to the outlet slot (45).
6. Device as claimed in claim 5, wherein the screw union (40) of the
core tip (33) has branch lines (49) for

[13]
connecting the central air supply channel (51) to the outlet openings (47).
Device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 6, wherein there is a blow mold (5, 7, 13) as the welding and molding means, wherein the tube (3) can be extruded by an extruder means (1) from the top into the opened blow mold (5), wherein the end of the tube (3) which is the front end during extrusion and the front end of each inner partition (21) when the blow mold (5) is being closed are welded by bottom-side welding jaws (7) of the mold to each partition (21) in order to close the container bottom which is connected to each partition, and wherein on the blow mold (5) there are top movable welding jaws (13) to mold finished the container neck (57) which is formed when the blow mold (5) is being closed on its upper end and optionally to seal the neck by welding.
Dated this 27th day of NEVEMBER 2001.
Device for producing containers (19), with an interior which is divided by at least one partition (21) into separate container chambers (23, 25), with an extruder means (1) to extrude a tube (3) of plasticized synthetic material from the annular gap (37) between the outer nozzle ring (27) and the inner nozzle core (31) which has a guide means (41, 43, 53) for the synthetic material branched off out of the annular gap (37) and at least one end-side outlet slot (45) from which the branched-off synthetic material emerges as a partitions (21) which extends continuously within the extruded tube (3), and with a welding and molding means (5, 7, 13) by means of which the end of the tube (3) is closed by welding and by producing a pneumatic pressure gradient which acts on the tube the tube is expanded and is placed against the molding wall of the molding means to form the container (19), with the guide means (41, 43, 53) for the branched-off synthetic material being placed in the area of the annular gap (37) which is located upstream at a distance from the outlet end of the outlet slot (45), characterized in that the nozzle core (31) has a care tip (33) which is screwed to it on the end side with a central screw union (40),in which the outlet slot (45) is formed, and wherein the surfaces of the core tip (33) and of the fallowing part of the nozzle care (31) facing one another form a funnel surface (41) and conical surface (43) which surrounds the central screw union (40) and are located at a distance from one another and form an inlet area which runs obliquely to the lengthwise axis (29) of the nozzle and which surrounds the screw union core as the guide means for the synthetic material which is to be branched off from the annular gap (37).

Documents:


Patent Number 207489
Indian Patent Application Number IN/PCT/2001/01253/KOL
PG Journal Number 24/2007
Publication Date 15-Jun-2007
Grant Date 14-Jun-2007
Date of Filing 27-Nov-2001
Name of Patentee HANSEN BERND
Applicant Address TALSTRASSE 22-30 D-74429 SULZBACH-LAUFEN,
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 HANSEN BERND TALSTRASSE 22-30 D-74429 SULZBACH-LAUFEN,
PCT International Classification Number B 29 C 49/00
PCT International Application Number PCT/EP00/05224
PCT International Filing date 2000-06-07
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 19926329.9 1999-06-09 Germany