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New system for testing child-resistant closures

Mecmesin has launched a new testing system which will be of considerable interest to the packaging industry.

A child-resistant package can be described as one sealed in such a manner that it can be opened only by a person with a combination of dexterity, co-ordination, strength and experience well within the capabilities of a ‘legitimate user’, but beyond the capacity of a small child. One example of such a package is a container with a ‘Type 1A’ closure (see ASTM D3472-97), i.e. a screw cap which requires a simultaneous `pushing and twisting` action before opening is possible. Closures of this type are in widespread use for protecting children from: paints, solvents, thinners, household chemicals, adhesives, cleaning fluids, garden chemicals and particularly pharmaceutical products.

The Mecmesin child-resistant closure tester is able simultaneously to measure the downward force and the release torque applied to a closure. This makes it a particularly suitable instrument for identifying designs (or batches) of closures which either present an insufficient challenge to a child, or too great a physical challenge to an elderly or infirm adult.

An operator may apply to a closure both a top-load of up to 500 N (110 lbf) and a torque of up to 10N.m (90 lbf.in). The CRC tester can also measure ‘reverse-ratchet torque’, i.e. the torque developed when rotating a closure in a counter-clockwise direction without any top-load being applied.

Peak values of force and torque can be downloaded via RS232 output to printers, dataloggers or PCs for subsequent archiving and analysis.