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I'm translating a text about an antifungal cream sold in aluminum tubes. The plastic cap of each tube has a spike in it used to break the foil/seal in the neck of the tube.

I'm not sure what these spikes are usually called. I googled but failed to find a description. It is spike or some other term?

enter image description here

P.S. Original in Russian:

15 г крема в алюминиевой запечатанной тубе с белым полиэтиленовым колпачком, имеющим перфорационный пробойник.

Проколите запечатывающую мембрану при помощи острия на внешней стороне колпачка.

29

Spike, as you suggested, is a pretty clear term. Here is one source about eye ointment that uses this word:

Many tubes have a metal skin on the opening that must be pierced using the spike on the lid of the tube.

Here’s another source about Fucidine Ointment:

Then push the spike in the cap through the seal on the tube.

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  • Both point and spike are easily understandable in the context. – barbecue Apr 25 at 2:11
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The one tube I have handy says:

To Open: Remove cap, flip, and puncture safety seal.

So its completely possible to instruct in the use of the feature without having to name it directly. For example, one doesn't need to name the threads to describe "unscrewing the cap."

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    I know this is not directly addressing the question asked, but OP has said they're "translating instructions" and that's exactly what this does answer. – Criggie Apr 22 at 20:37
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    "Turn can upside down and place puncture tip onto tube." – Nystatin And Triamcinolone Acetonide I'd call the OP's picture a puncture cap. – Mazura Apr 22 at 23:52
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    @Mazura that's a good answer in its own right. – Criggie Apr 23 at 0:11
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    I think it's colloquial though. No definition for the noun means the thing that punctures things. Nobody wants to have to say puncturer or puncturing [thing]. – Mazura Apr 23 at 0:27
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    @Mazura - please post this version as an answer – CowperKettle Apr 23 at 9:48
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It can just be called a point.

An object having a sharp or tapered end.

Here are a couple of label examples:

[Label Instructions for using point in cap.[1]

enter image description here

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  • 1
    @Tim great punctuation there. – Will Crawford Apr 24 at 1:17
  • I find "point in top of cap"(first example) far better than "point on cap" (second example) which would lead me to expect a triangular shaped cap rather than having the point inside the cap rim – Dragonel Apr 24 at 15:00
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As an alternative to spike, you might want to consider punch (M-W):

punch: a tool usually in the form of a short rod of steel that is variously shaped at one end for different operations (such as forming, perforating, embossing, or cutting)

For present purposes, the key words here are tool, shaped at one end for different operations, and perforating, i.e., making a hole through.

With punch, @laurel's (excellent) examples would read:

Many tubes have a metal skin on the opening that must be pierced using the punch on the lid of the tube.

Then push the punch in the cap through the seal on the tube.

While I like spike, and might use it if I were writing instructions on how to use a tube of cream, it doesn't capture the intent of the feature under discussion as does punch.

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    'I'm not sure what these spikes are usually called.' Just 'spikes'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 22 at 15:00
  • It's a puncture. Because it's for puncturing things. It has a purpose, and therefore a name, it's not just 'spiky' shaped. – Mazura Apr 22 at 23:56
  • @Mazura I didn't say that it was 'spiky' shaped. Perhaps this comment belongs somewhere else. BTW, none of the dictionaries I've checked contain a definition of puncture as an object used for puncturing things. – Richard Kayser Apr 23 at 2:52
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    @Mazura I would have thought the puncture was the hole. So perhaps puncturer as in US Patent 6098795 or, as Richard Kayser suggests, simply punch – Henry Apr 23 at 11:06
  • The word is punch; the puncture is either the process or the result of using it ("punct" for point, as in punctuation). c.f. creator vs creature or eraser vs erasure. – Will Crawford Apr 24 at 1:15
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Via Twitter:

Ointments/creams in sealed tubes have a small cone in the top of the lid that can be used to puncture the seal.

enter image description here

Source: https://twitter.com/HarkerDavid/status/1153045376938717192

Elsewhere the “spike” is described as a piercer

Assists with grip and easy to apply from convenient screw cap (with piercer) tube.

A wholesaler that supplies screw caps with internal spikes describe them as a puncture top or piercer

Fez with puncture top (piercer) enter image description here

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Converting Mazura's comment into a community answer:

Turn can upside down and place puncture tip onto tube. – Nystatin And Triamcinolone Acetonide

I'd call the OP's picture a puncture cap.

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