Imperial Brands has filed a patent for an aerosol delivery device that includes two aerosol generators. The first generator produces an aerosol for pulmonary penetration, while the second generator dispenses a liquid aerosol that is transmissible within the oral and nasal cavity. The device also features a mouthpiece, tapered flow pathway, flavor pod, and vibration unit. GlobalData’s report on Imperial Brands gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Imperial Brands, Fiber-reinforced material joining techniques was a key innovation area identified from patents. Imperial Brands's grant share as of September 2023 was 51%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Aerosol delivery device with removable flavor pod and vibration unit

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Imperial Brands Plc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230293833A1) describes an aerosol delivery device that aims to enhance the user experience of inhaling flavored aerosols. The device consists of a housing with a tapered flow pathway leading to a mouthpiece, and a flavor pod that can be inserted and removed from the housing. The flavor pod holds a flavor element, which is in contact with a vibration unit when inserted into the housing.

The vibration unit in the device is a piezo-electric vibration unit that is electrically connected to a switch and a battery. The flavor element is inserted into a cavity in the flavor pod, with one end of the flavor element in contact with the piezo-electric vibration unit. A spring is included to ensure continuous contact between the flavor element and the vibration unit.

The vibration unit includes a piezo-electric crystal that vibrates a membrane with perforations. These perforations are designed to create droplets with a mass median diameter ranging from 15 to 70 microns. The piezo-electric vibration unit can vibrate at frequencies of 108 kHz and 160 kHz.

Another embodiment of the aerosol delivery device described in the patent includes a hollow tubular section with capillary filaments extending from its inner wall. These capillary filaments are filled with a liquid flavor component and have open ends. When air flows through the tubular section, droplets of the liquid flavor component are drawn out from the open ends of the capillary filaments and mixed with the air flow.

The patent also describes an aerosol delivery device with a rotor attached to a spin motor. A nozzle connected to a liquid supply introduces liquid onto the spinning rotor. As the liquid moves radially outward under centrifugal force, it forms liquid ligaments or sheets that break up into droplets. The device includes a switch that is either operated by the user or configured to detect the user inhaling through the mouthpiece, which is electrically connected to the spin motor.

Overall, this patent presents various designs for aerosol delivery devices that aim to improve the delivery of flavored aerosols to users. These devices utilize vibration units, capillary filaments, and spinning rotors to create aerosol-sized droplets for inhalation.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.