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1. WO1991006272 - APPLICATEURS DE TAMPONS EN DEUX ELEMENTS

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. A tampon applicator comprising an inner tube for storing a tampon therein, an outer tube slidably disposed over the inner tube and having a distal discharge end for insertion into the body of a user and means for resisting movement of the tampon towards the proximal end of the outer tube when the inner tube is partially withdrawn from the outer tube, which outer tube has a first projection
extending into a first longitudinal slot in the inner tube for limiting the sliding movement of the inner tube and resisting complete withdrawal of the inner tube from the outer tube wherein the inner tube and outer tube are provided with means such that when the inner tube is withdrawn and the applicator is primed for use the distal end of the inner tube is deformed slightly when the inner tube is pushed back into the outer tube to prevent the tampon from re-entering the distal end of the inner tube during expulsion of the tampon from the applicator.

2. An applicator as claimed in Claim 1 in which the compressing means comprises a second longitudinal slot in the inner tube extending from the distal end along part of its length and means provided between inner and outer tubes to deform the inner tube during the expulsion of the tampon from the applicator.

3. An applicator as claimed in Claim 2 wherein the second longitudinal slot in the inner tube comprises first and second longitudinal portions circumferentially displaced from each other, the first and second longitudinal portions being linked by a transverse slot and the means to deform the distal end of the inner tube is a second projection of the outer tube which extends into the slot during the initial part of the withdrawal movement, the tranverse slot being configured to force the
projection between the inner and outer tubes for the latter part of the withdrawal movement and the
initial part of the expulsion movement.

4. An applicator as claimed in Claim 2 wherein the second longitudinal slot in the inner tube is a diagonal slot and the means to deform the distal end of the inner tube is a second projection of the outer tube which extends into the slot during the initial part of the withdrawal movement and is forced out of the slot and between the inner and outer tubes for the latter part of the withdrawal movement and the initial part of the expulsion
movement.

5. An applicator as claimed in any preceding claim in which the first projection is formed by taking a discontinuous cut in the side wall of the outer tube and folding the cut material about a line extending in a substanially circumferential direction between the end portions of the cut such that the cut material extends in a substantially radially inward direction with respect to the outer tube.

6. An applicator as claimed in any preceding claim in which a part of the first projection is wider as viewed in axial projection than the width of the first slot adjacent the distal end of the inner tube to thereby captively retain the inner tube.

7. An applicator as claimed in Claim 3 in which the second projection is formed by making a discontinuous cut in the side wall of the outer tube and folding the cut material along a substantially axially extending line extending between the end portions of the cut such that the cut material
projects substantially radially inwardly with respect to the outer tube.

8. An applicator as claimed in any preceding claim in which the first longitudinal slot has a flared portion adjacent its proximal end.

9. An applicator as claimed in Claim 8 in which the flared portion includes a proximal end portion of reduced width, a shoulder being defined between said end portion and a wider part of the flared portion.

10. An applicator as claimed in any preceding claim in which the ends of the first longitudinal slot are "squared".

11. An applicator as claimed in Claim 2 wherein the first longitudinal slot in the inner tube comprises a wider portion near the distal end and a wider portion at the middle region and the first projection is formed by taking a discontinuous cut in the side wall of the outer tube and folding the cut material along a substantially axially extending line between the end portions of the cut such that the cut material projects substantially radially inwardly with respect to the outer tube.

12. An applicator as claimed in Claim 11 wherein the second longitudinal slot in the inner tube comprises a wider portion at the distal end and there is a second projection which extends into the second slot formed by taking a discontinuous cut in the side wall of the outer tube and folding the cut material along a substantially axially extending line between the end portions of the cut such that cut material projects substantially radially inwardly with respect to the outer tube, the second projection being folded inwardly in the opposite sense to the first projection.

13. An applicator as claimed in Claim 12 wherein the means to deform the distal end of the inner tube is either the first or the second
projection, which, in use, performs its deforming function during twisting of the inner tube in either direction within the outer tube when the inner is withdrawn to its fullest extent thereby forcing one of the projections to lie between the inner and outer tubes.

14. An applicator as claimed in Claim 13 wherein the first projection is a square tab and the second projection is a rectangular tab.

15. An applicator as claimed in any of Claims

11 to 14 in which the distal end of the outer tube is provided with petal ends.

16. An applicator as claimed in Claim 2 wherein the second longitudinal slot in the inner tube comprises a first longitudinal portion extending from the distal end of the inner tube to a widened portion and the means to deform the inner tube is a second projection of the outer tube formed by taking a discontinuous cut in the outer tube and folding the cut material about a line extending in a circumferential direction between the end portions of the cut such that the cut material is able to extend in a substantially radially inward direction with respect to the outer tube.

17. An applicator as claimed in Claim 16 wherein the second projection folds back flush with the outer tube during withdrawal of the inner tube until the distal end of the inner tube passes the second projection at which point the second
projection will project back into the outer tube such that when the inner tube is pushed back into the outer tube to expel the tampon the second projection will be forced to fold back on itself to lie between the inner and outer tubes thus deforming the distal end of the inner tube.

18. An applicator as claimed in Claims 16 or 17 wherein the junction of the first longitudinal portion and the widened portion of the second
longitudinal slot acts as a shoulder which urges the second projection to lie flush with the outer tube during withdrawal of the inner tube.

19. An applicator as claimed in any of Claims

16 to 18 in which the first projection is formed by taking a discontinuous cut in the side wall of the outer tube and folding the cut material in the
opposite sense to the second projection about a line extending in a substantially circumferential
direction such that the cut material extends in a substantially radially inward direction with respect to the outer tube.

20. An applicator as claimed in Claim 19 in which a part of the first projection is wider as viewed in axial projection than the width of the first slot adjacent the distal end of the inner tube to thereby captively retain the inner tube.

21. An applicator as claimed in Claim 19 or Claim 20 in which the first projection is axially spaced from the second projection and is closer to the proximal end of the outer tube.

22. An applicator as claimed in any of Claims

16 to 21 in which the first longitudinal slot has a flared portion adjacent its proximal end.

23. An applicator as claimed in Claim 22 in which the flared portion includes a proximal end portion of reduced width, a shoulder being defined between said end portion and a wider part of the flared portion.

24. An applicator as claimed in any of Claims

16 to 23 in which the ends of the first longitudinal slot are "squared".

25. An applicator as claimed in any of Claims 16 to 24 in which the sides of the second projection flare outwardly from the line in the outer tube about which the projection is folded.

26. An applicator as claimed in Claim 25 in which the widened portion of the second longitudinal slot is substantially octagonal in shape.

27. An applicator as claimed in any preceding claim in which the movement resisting means for the tampon comprises the inter-engagement of a distal end portion of the tampon with the open distal end of the outer tube.

28. An applicator as claimed in any preceding claim in which the outer surface of the outer tube is coated to provide increased lubricity of the outer tube.

29. An applicator as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the length of the inner tube is less than 63mm and the length of the outer tube is less than 60mm.

30. A tampon applicator substantially as herein described and as illustrated in the
accompanying drawings.