GB2531739A - Electronic smoking device - Google Patents

Electronic smoking device Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2531739A
GB2531739A GB1419165.4A GB201419165A GB2531739A GB 2531739 A GB2531739 A GB 2531739A GB 201419165 A GB201419165 A GB 201419165A GB 2531739 A GB2531739 A GB 2531739A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
contact
members
operating
storage
electrical contacts
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
GB1419165.4A
Other versions
GB201419165D0 (en
Inventor
Fung Wong Hing
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
CIGTRONICA Ltd
Original Assignee
CIGTRONICA Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by CIGTRONICA Ltd filed Critical CIGTRONICA Ltd
Priority to GB1419165.4A priority Critical patent/GB2531739A/en
Publication of GB201419165D0 publication Critical patent/GB201419165D0/en
Publication of GB2531739A publication Critical patent/GB2531739A/en
Pending legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M15/00Inhalators
    • A61M15/06Inhaling appliances shaped like cigars, cigarettes or pipes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SIMULATED SMOKING DEVICES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24FSMOKERS' REQUISITES; MATCH BOXES; SIMULATED SMOKING DEVICES
    • A24F40/00Electrically operated smoking devices; Component parts thereof; Manufacture thereof; Maintenance or testing thereof; Charging means specially adapted therefor
    • A24F40/40Constructional details, e.g. connection of cartridges and battery parts
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M11/00Sprayers or atomisers specially adapted for therapeutic purposes
    • A61M11/04Sprayers or atomisers specially adapted for therapeutic purposes operated by the vapour pressure of the liquid to be sprayed or atomised
    • A61M11/041Sprayers or atomisers specially adapted for therapeutic purposes operated by the vapour pressure of the liquid to be sprayed or atomised using heaters
    • A61M11/042Sprayers or atomisers specially adapted for therapeutic purposes operated by the vapour pressure of the liquid to be sprayed or atomised using heaters electrical
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/36General characteristics of the apparatus related to heating or cooling
    • A61M2205/3653General characteristics of the apparatus related to heating or cooling by Joule effect, i.e. electric resistance
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/82Internal energy supply devices
    • A61M2205/8206Internal energy supply devices battery-operated

Abstract

A mechanism for use in an aerosol dispensing device 100 comprises: a first member 191 for supporting a power supply 192; a second member 120 for supporting an aerosol generator 130; and a resilient biasing member 150. The first member 191 is provided with electrical contacts for the power supply 192 and the second member 120 is provided with electrical contacts for the aerosol generator 130. The second member 120 is connected to the first member 191 such that the second member is movable relative the first member between at least one operating position and a storage position. The resilient biasing member 150 is arranged to bias opposed surfaces of the first and second members together; and/or bias the second member towards either the operating or storage position. Preferably the aerosol dispensing device 100 is an electronic cigarette. Also claimed is a mechanism wherein when the second member is disposed in the at least one operating position an electrically conducting portion of the first contact surface contacts an electrically conducting portion of the second contact surface. In another embodiment the mechanism comprises a locking mechanism having open and locked configurations.

Description

Electronic Smoking Device The present invention relates to an apparatus suitable for use in an aerosol dispensing device such as, for example, an electronic smoking device.

Electronic smoking devices provide an alternative to traditional tobacco based products such as cigarettes, cigars and pipes. An electronic smoking device comprises an atomizer and a power supply (such as a battery). The atomizer is provided with a heating element, which is arranged to vaporize a liquid solution to produce an aerosol.

The aerosol may be inhaled by a user through a mouthpiece.

Other aerosol dispensing devices include nebulizers, which are operable to produce a fine mist of medication that can be inhaled into the lungs of a patient.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus suitable for use in an aerosol dispensing device that at least partially addresses one or more problems or disadvantages present in the prior art, whether identified herein or elsewhere. It is another object of the present invention to provide an alternative aerosol dispensing device to those known in the prior art.

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a mechanism for use in an aerosol dispensing apparatus, the mechanism comprising: a first member for supporting a power supply, the first member being provided with electrical contacts for the power supply; a second member for supporting an aerosol generator, the second member being provided with electrical contacts for the aerosol generator, the second member being connected to the first member such that the second member is movable relative the first member between at least one operating position and a storage position; and a resilient biasing member arranged to: bias opposed surfaces of the first and second members together; and/or bias the second member towards either the at least one operating position or storage position.

In use, the first member may form a main body of an aerosol dispending apparatus (for example an electronic cigarette) and may house a power supply (for example a battery). The second member may support an aerosol generator, for example via a screw fitting or similar. During use of the aerosol dispensing apparatus, the second member (and aerosol generator) may be disposed in the operating position, for example extending away from the first member. When the aerosol dispensing apparatus is not in use, the second member can be disposed in the storage position, which may for example be a more compact configuration. Advantageously, the provision of a resilient biasing member between opposed contact surfaces of the first and second members may reduce any play between the first and second members and/or may enhance an electrical connection between the first and second members. Advantageously, the provision of a resilient bias arranged to bias the second member to either the operating or storage position facilitates movement towards the operating position or storage position respectively, making said transition easier for a user.

The second member may be connected to the first member such that the said movement of the second member relative to the first member is a rotation about a pivot.

The second member may be connected to the first member such that the said movement of the second member relative to the first member is a simultaneously linear motion along an axis and a rotation about said axis.

Alternatively, the second member may be connected to the first member such that the said movement of the second member relative to the first member is a linear motion.

The resilient biasing member may provide an electric connection between one of the electrical contacts of the first member and one of the electrical contacts of the second member, such that the resilient biasing member is configured to provide an electrical connection between an aerosol generator supported by the second member and a power supply supported by the first member. Advantageously, the use of a single element to serve as both a resilient bias and an electrical contact reduces the number of parts in the aerosol dispensing apparatus.

For embodiments wherein the resilient biasing member is arranged to bias opposed surfaces of the first and second members together, the opposed surfaces of the first and second members that are biased together by the resilient biasing member may provide an electric connection between one of the electrical contacts of the first member and one of the electrical contacts of the second member, such that said opposed surfaces and said electrical contacts form at least part of an electrical connection between an aerosol generator supported by the second member and a power supply supported by the first member.

The first member may be provided with a first contact surface. The second member may be provided with a second contact surface. The first and second members may be arranged such that the first contact surface is opposed to the second contact surface and is movable relative thereto as the second member undergoes said movement relative to the first member. When the second member is disposed in the at least one operating position an electrically conducting portion of the first contact surface may contact an electrically conducting portion of the second contact surface thereby providing at least part of an electrical connection between at least one of the electrical contacts for the power supply and at least one of the electrical contacts for the aerosol generator via the first and second contact surfaces. When the second member is disposed in the storage position the electrically conducting portion of the first contact surface may be isolated from the electrically conducting portion of the second contact surface, thereby electrically isolating said at least one of the electrical contacts for the power supply from said at least one of the electrical contacts for the aerosol. This provides an electrical connection between the first and second members, wherein movement of the second member between the operating and storage positions serves to switch said electrical connection between an on state and an off state. Advantageously, this can prevent the aerosol dispensing apparatus from being accidentally switched between the on and off states. For example, it could prevent the device from being switched on when in the storage position.

The first contact surface and the second contact surface may be the opposed surfaces of the first and second members that are biased together by the resilient biasing member.

The mechanism may further comprise a locking mechanism having open and locked configurations, wherein in the open configuration the locking mechanism is configured to permit said relative movement between first and second members; and in the locked configuration the locking mechanism is configured to resist said relative movement between the first and second members when the second member is disposed in either the storage position or the at least one operating position. Advantageously, the locking mechanism locks the second member in the storage position or the operating position, which prevents the second member (and attached aerosol generator) from being unintentionally moved between the storage position and the at least one operating position and/or switched on during storage or switched off during use.

For embodiments wherein the resilient biasing member is arranged to bias opposed surfaces of the first and second members, the opposed surfaces of the first and second members that are biased together by the resilient biasing member may be generally flat and the locking mechanism may comprise a protrusion associated with one of the first and second members and two or more recesses associated with the other one of the first and second members. Said two or more recesses may be generally complementary in size and shape to said protrusion. The protrusion and two or more recesses may be arranged for releasable mutual engagement so as to provide the locking mechanism.

The mechanism may further comprise an unlocking mechanism operable to disengage the protrusion and the two or more recesses.

The second member may be provided with a threaded connector for releasable engagement with an aerosol generator. The connector may be provided with an external thread and/or an internal thread. Alternatively, the second member may be provided with any other type of connector for releasable engagement with an aerosol generator such as, for example, a bayonet connector.

The aerosol generator supported by the second member may extend away from the connection between the first and second members to form a mouthpiece. Optionally, when the second member is disposed in the operating position the mouthpiece of the aerosol generator may extend away from the first member such that the mouthpiece may be inserted into the mouth of a user.

When the second member is disposed in the storage position, the second member and the aerosol generator supported thereby may be at least partially received within a recess in the first member.

The resilient biasing member may comprise a compression spring that is arranged to bias the opposed surfaces of the first and second members together. Additionally or alternatively, the resilient biasing member may comprise a torsion spring that is arranged to bias the second member towards at least one operating position and/or the storage position.

In an embodiment, the resilient biasing member may comprises a single resilient biasing member which acts both to bias the opposed surfaces of the first and second members together and to bias the second member towards the operating position. For such embodiments, the resilient biasing member may comprise a single spring which acts both as: a compression spring that is arranged to bias the opposed surfaces of the first and second members together; and a torsion spring that is arranged to bias the second member towards the operating position. The spring may, for example, comprise a portion that generally has a shape of a conical helix and a tangentially extending leg.

According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a mechanism for use in an aerosol dispensing apparatus, the mechanism comprising: a first member for supporting a power supply, the first member being provided with a first contact surface; and a second member for supporting an aerosol generator, the second member being provided with a second contact surface; wherein the second member is connected to the first member such that the second member is movable relative the first member between at least one operating position and a storage position, the first and second members being arranged such that the first contact surface is opposed to the second contact surface and is movable relative thereto as the second member undergoes said movement relative to the first member; and wherein when the second member is disposed in the at least one operating position an electrically conducting portion of the first contact surface contacts an electrically conducting portion of the second contact surface; and when the second member is disposed in the storage position the electrically conducting portion of the first contact surface is isolated from the electrically conducting portion of the second contact surface.

The second aspect provides an electrical connection between the first and second members, wherein movement of the second member between the operating and storage positions serves to switch said electrical connection between an on state and an off state. Advantageously, this can prevent an aerosol dispensing apparatus which uses this mechanism from being accidentally switched between the on and off states. For example, it could prevent the aerosol dispensing apparatus from being switched on when in the storage position.

The first member may be provided with electrical contacts for the power supply. The second member may be provided with electrical contacts for the aerosol generator. When the second member is disposed in the at least one operating the contact between the electrically conducting portions of the first and second contact surfaces may provide at least part of an electrical connection between at least one of the electrical contacts for the power supply and at least one of the electrical contacts for the aerosol generator via the first and second contact surfaces. When the second member is disposed in the storage position the said at least one of the electrical contacts for the power supply may be electrically isolated from said at least one of the electrical contacts for the aerosol.

In use, the first member may form a main body of an aerosol dispending apparatus (for example an electronic cigarette) and may house a power supply (for example a battery). The second member may support an aerosol generator, for example via a screw fitting or similar. When not in use, the aerosol dispensing apparatus may be placed in the storage position and may be stored (for example in a pocket or bag of a user). The second aspect of the invention may be used to prevent accidental actuation of the aerosol generator whilst the second member is disposed in the storage position.

The mechanism may comprise a resilient biasing member. The resilient biasing member may be arranged to bias the first and second contact surfaces together. Advantageously, the provision of a resilient biasing member between opposed contact surfaces of the first and second members may reduce any play between the first and second members and/or may enhance an electrical connection between the first and second members. Additionally or alternatively, the resilient biasing member may be arranged to bias the second member towards either the at least one operating position or storage position. Advantageously, the provision of a resilient bias arranged to bias the second member to either the operating or storage position facilitates movement towards the operating position or storage position respectively, making said transition easier for a user.

The mechanism of the second aspect of the present invention may comprise any or all of the features of the mechanism of the first aspect of the invention as appropriate.

According to a third aspect of the present invention there is provided a mechanism for use in an aerosol dispensing apparatus, the mechanism comprising: a first member for supporting a power supply, the first member being provided with electrical contacts for the power supply; a second member for supporting an aerosol generator, the second member being provided with electrical contacts for the aerosol generator, the second member being connected to the first member such that the second member is movable relative the first member between at least one operating position and a storage position; and a locking mechanism having open and locked configurations, wherein in the open configuration the locking mechanism is configured to permit said relative movement between first and second members; and in the locked configuration the locking mechanism is configured to resist said relative movement between the first and second members when the second member is disposed in either the storage position or the at least one operating position.

Advantageously, the locking mechanism of the third aspect of the invention locks the mechanism in the storage position or the operating position, which prevents the aerosol dispensing apparatus from being unintentionally moved between the storage position and the at least one operating position.

In use, the first member may form a main body of an aerosol dispending apparatus (for example an electronic cigarette) and may house a power supply (for example a battery). The second member may support an aerosol generator, for example via a screw fitting or similar. When not in use, the aerosol dispensing apparatus may be placed in the storage position and may be stored (for example in a pocket or bag of a user). The second aspect of the invention may be used to prevent accidental movement of the second member (and any attached aerosol generator) between the storage position and the at least one operating position.

The locking mechanism may comprise a protrusion associated with one of the first and second members and two or more recesses associated with the other one of the first and second members. Said two or more recesses may be generally complementary in size and shape to said protrusion. The protrusion and two or more recesses may be arranged for releasable mutual engagement so as to provide the locking mechanism.

The mechanism may comprise a resilient biasing member. The resilient biasing member may be arranged to bias the first and second contact surfaces together.

Advantageously, the provision of a resilient biasing member between opposed contact surfaces of the first and second members may reduce any play between the first and second members and/or may enhance an electrical connection between the first and second members. The opposed surfaces of the first and second members that are biased together by the resilient biasing member may be generally flat. The protrusion may be provided on one of the opposed surfaces and the two or more recesses may be provided on the other of the opposed surfaces.

Additionally or alternatively, the resilient biasing member may be arranged to bias the second member towards either the at least one operating position or storage position.

Advantageously, the provision of a resilient bias arranged to bias the second member to either the at least one operating position or the storage position facilitates movement towards the operating position or storage position respectively, making said transition easier for a user.

The mechanism may further comprise an unlocking mechanism operable to disengage the protrusion and the two or more recesses.

The mechanism of third aspect of the present invention may comprise any or all of the features of the mechanisms of the first and second aspects of the invention as appropriate.

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention there is provided an electric cigarette comprising the mechanism of any of the first, second or third aspects of the invention.

An embodiment of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying Figures, of which: Figure 1 shows an electronic cigarette according to an aspect of the present invention disposed in a storage position; Figure 2 shows the electronic cigarette of Figure 1 disposed in an operating position; Figure 3 shows a cut away portion of the electronic cigarette of Figure 1, showing an atomizer support and a spring; Figure 4 shows a portion of the electronic cigarette of Figure 1, showing a side view of the atomizer support, spring and sides of the body; Figure 5 shows a portion of the electronic cigarette of Figure 1, showing an end view of the atomizer support and spring; Figure 6A is a side view of a portion of the atomizer support and body of the electronic cigarette of Figure 1 when the atomizer support is disposed in a storage position; Figure 6B is an end view of the atomizer support of the electronic cigarette of Figure 1 when the atomizer support is disposed in a storage position, with the position of a first contact surface of the body indicated schematically; Figure 7A is a side view of a portion of the atomizer support and body of the electronic cigarette of Figure 1 when the atomizer support is disposed between a storage position and an operating position; Figure 7B is an end view of the atomizer support of the electronic cigarette of Figure 1 when the atomizer support is disposed between a storage position and an operating position, with the position of a first contact surface of the body indicated schematically; Figure 8A is a side view of a portion of the atomizer support and body of the electronic cigarette of Figure 1 when the atomizer support is disposed in an operating position; Figure 8B is an end view of the atomizer support of the electronic cigarette of Figure 1 when the atomizer support is disposed in an operating position, with the position of a first contact surface of the body indicated schematically; and Figure 9 is a cross sectional view of a first contact surface of the body and a second contact surface of the atomizer support of the electronic cigarette of Figure 1.

Figures 1 and 2 show an electronic cigarette 100 incorporating a mechanism according to the present invention. The electronic cigarette 100 comprises a body 110 and an atomizer support 120.

The body 110 comprises a recess 191 for receipt of a battery 192 (indicated by dashed lines on Figures 1 and 2). The recess 191 may be provided with a removable battery cover in a known fashion. The body 110 may therefore be considered to be a first member for supporting a power supply (in the form of a battery). The body 110 is provided with two electrical contacts for a battery 192 disposed in the recess 191.

Body 110 is generally cuboidal in shape, comprising opposed upper and lower walls 111, 112. Extending between the upper and lower surfaces are three generally rectangular sides (only one shown 113). A fourth side 116 is provided with a recess 118. The recess 118 is generally semi-cylindrical in shape, with its axis extending between the upper and lower surfaces 111, 112.

The atomizer support 120 is provided with a threaded connector 122. An atomizer 130 may be connected to the atomizer support 120 via connector 122. Threaded connector 122 allows the atomizer 130 to be removably connected to the atomizer support 120, for example to allow the atomizer 130 to be replaced. In alternative embodiments, the atomizer 130 may be integrally formed with the atomizer support 120. Threaded connector 122 may comprise a standard threaded connector as known in the art such as, for example, a 510, eGo, 808 or 901 connector. The atomizer support 120 may be considered to be a second member for supporting an aerosol generator (in the form of an atomizer 130). The connector 122 provides two electrical contacts for the atomizer 130.

The atomizer support 120 is rotatably connected to the body 110. In particular, the atomizer support 120 is rotatable about a pivot relative to the body 110 about a rotation axis 140 between at least one operating position (as shown in Figure 2) and a storage position (as shown in Figure 1). Rotation axis 140 extends between side 113 and an opposing side, adjacent to the intersection between the upper surface 111 and side 116. Additional operating positions may be provided between the storage position of Figure 1 and the operating position of Figure 2.

During use of the electronic cigarette 100, the atomizer support 120 (and attached atomizer 130) may be disposed in the operating position. The atomizer 130 extends away from the rotation axis 140 to form a mouthpiece. When the atomizer support 120 is disposed in the operating position, the atomizer 130 extends away from the body 110 so that the mouthpiece can be inserted into the mouth of a user. When the electronic cigarette 100 is not in use, the atomizer support 120 (and attached atomizer 130) may be disposed in the storage position. In the storage position, the atomizer support 120 and attached atomizer 130 are at least partially received within recess 118. Therefore, when disposed in the storage position the electronic cigarette 100 is in a more compact configuration than when disposed in the operating position.

The mechanism that facilitates movement between the storage and operating positions is now described with reference to Figures 3 to 5.

The atomizer support 120 comprises a generally cylindrical portion 123 and a shaft 124 extending therefrom, which are both coaxial with rotation axis 140. Opposed ends of shaft 124 are received within opposed recesses or apertures (not shown) in the body 110 so as to form a bearing. The atomizer support 120 is supported by the body 110 via said bearing. It will be appreciated that the atomizer support 120 may alternatively be supported for rotation about rotation axis 140 using other types of bearing.

Connector 122 extends from cylindrical portion 123 in a direction that is generally perpendicular to the rotation axis 140.

Cylindrical portion 123 extends along the rotation axis 140 from a first surface 163 to a second surface 164. The normal to each of the surfaces 163, 164 is generally parallel to rotation axis 140. The body 110 is provided with a first contact surface 162, the normal of which is generally parallel to the rotation axis 140. Surface 164 forms a second contact surface, provided on the atomizer support 120. The atomizer support 120 and the body 110 are arranged such that the first contact surface 162 is opposed to the second contact surface 164. As the atomizer support 120 rotates relative to the body 110 about rotation axis 140, the first contact surface 162 moves relative to the second contact surface 164.

The electronic cigarette 100 further comprises a resilient biasing member in the form of a spring 150. The spring 150 comprises a portion that generally has a shape of a conical helix or conical spiral. That is, it spirals about an axis, the distance from the axis decreasing generally linearly with axial length from a wide end 152 to a narrow end 154. At the wide end 152 the spring further comprises a tangentially extending leg 156. Spring 150 acts both as a compression spring (biasing the first and second contact surfaces 162, 164 together) and a torsion spring (biasing the atomizer support into the operating position), as now described.

The spring 150 is disposed such that its axis is parallel to rotation axis 140. The narrow end 154 is attached to the atomizer support 120 and the wide end 152 is in contact with an inner surface of the body 110 that is opposed to surface 163 of the atomizer support 120. The spring 150 is under compression and therefore biases the atomizer support 120 away from said inner surface of the body 110 which is opposed to surface 163, and hence biases the second contact surface 164 towards the first contact surface 162. Advantageously, the biasing of the second contact surface 164 towards the first contact surface 162 may reduce any play between the atomizer support 120 and the body 110 and/or may enhance an electrical connection between the atomizer support 120 and the body 110.

As best seen in Figure 3, the leg 156 is in contact with an inner surface of the upper wall 111 of body 110. When the atomizer support 120 is disposed in the closed position, the spring 150 is under torsion such that it applies a torque to the atomizer support 120, biasing it towards the operating position. Advantageously, the biasing of the atomizer support 120 to the operating position facilitates movement towards the operating position, making said transition easier for a user to effect.

Therefore spring 150 may be considered to be a resilient biasing member that is arranged to: bias opposed surfaces of the body 110 and atomizer support 120 together; and bias the atomizer support 120 towards the operating position relative to the body 110. In other embodiments the resilient biasing member may either be arranged to bias opposed surfaces of the body 110 and atomizer support 120 together; or bias the atomizer support 120 towards the operating position relative to the body 110.

Although the described embodiment includes a resilient member which biases the atomizer support towards the operating position, in other embodiments the resilient member may additionally or alternatively bias the atomizer support towards the closed position.

As described above, the body 110 is provided with two electrical contacts for the battery and connector 122 provides two electrical contacts for the atomizer 130. The electronic cigarette 100 is further provided with: a first electrical connection between a first one of the contacts for the battery and a first one of the electrical contacts for the atomizer 130; and a second electrical connection between a second one of the contacts for the battery and a second one of the electrical contacts for the atomizer 130, as now described.

Spring 150 is formed from a conducting material. In electronic cigarette 100, the spring 150 provides an electric connection between the first one of the electrical contacts of the body 110 and the first one of the electrical contacts of the atomizer support 120.

That is, spring 150 may form the whole or a part of the first electrical connection between the battery and the atomizer 130. Advantageously, the use of a single element to serve as both a resilient bias and an electrical contact reduces the number of parts in the aerosol dispensing apparatus.

The first and second contact surfaces 162, 164 provide an electric connection between the second one of the electrical contacts of the body 110 and the second one of the electrical contacts of the atomizer support 120. That is, first and second contact surfaces 162, 164 may form the whole or a part of the second electrical connection between the battery and the atomizer 130.

To facilitate the second electrical connection, each of the first and second contact surfaces 162, 164 comprises an electrically conducting portion. In the present embodiment, each of the first and second contact surfaces 162, 164 comprises a plate of conducting material. For example, each of the first and second contact surfaces 162, 164 may comprise a generally circular metal plate. Alternatively, since the angular range of rotation of the atomizer support 120 relative to the body 110 is limited to approximately 180 degrees, each of the first and second contact surfaces 162, 164 may comprise a generally semi-circular metal plate. When the atomizer support 120 is disposed in the operating position an electrically conducting portion of the first contact surface 162 is in contact with an electrically conducting portion of the second contact surface 164 thereby providing an electrical connection between the second one of the contacts for the battery from the second one of the electrical contacts for the atomizer 130.

In the present embodiment, to allow the second electrical connection to be broken, at least one of the first and second contact surfaces comprises an electrically insulating portion. The or each electrically insulating portion is arranged such that when the atomizer support 120 is disposed in the storage position the electrically conducting portion of the first contact surface 162 is isolated from the electrically conducting portion of the second contact surface 164. This electrically isolates the second one of the contacts for the battery from the second one of the electrical contacts for the atomizer 130. Such an arrangement provides an electrical connection between the atomizer support 120 and the body 110, wherein movement of the atomizer support 120 between the operating and storage positions serves to switch said electrical connection between an on state and an off state. Advantageously, this can prevent the atomizer from being accidentally activated during storage.

The body 110 is further provided with control electronics 193 and an actuation switch 194, as known in the art. The actuation switch 194 may be used by a user to actuate the atomizer 130 when the atomizer support 120 is disposed in the operating position.

The control electronics may control the power supplied to the atomizer 130 when it is so actuated.

The body 110 may further comprise a display (not shown), which may be used to display information regarding the status of the electronic cigarette (such as, for example, remaining battery life and/or atomizer life). The display may be controlled by control electronics 193.

The body 110 may further comprise a universal serial bus (USB) port (not shown), which may be used to supply power to, or scavenge power from, the electronic cigarette 100.

The second contact surface 164 is generally flat but is provided with a protrusion 171. The first contact surface 162 is generally flat but is provided with two recesses 175, 176. The recesses 175, 176 in the first contact surface 162 are generally complementary in size and shape to the protrusion 171 on the second contact surface 164. At certain relative positions of the body 110 and the atomizer support 120, the protrusion 171 of the second surface is received within one of the recesses 175, 176 in the first contact surface. These relative positions correspond to the storage position and an operating position. Although this embodiment only has two recesses which correspond respectively to the storage position and an operating position, in other embodiments may include more than two recesses, the recesses corresponding to the storage position and each of a plurality of operating positions.

The combination of biasing the first and second contact surfaces 162, 164 together and the complementary protrusion 171 and recesses 175, 176 may be considered to form a locking mechanism having open and locked configurations. The open and locked configurations correspond to the complementary protrusion 171 and recesses 175, 176 being disengaged or engaged respectively. In the open configuration the locking mechanism is configured to permit relative movement between the atomizer support and the body 110. In the closed configuration the locking mechanism is configured to resist relative movement between the atomizer support 120 and the body 110. The closed configuration may be achieved when the atomizer support 120 is disposed in either the storage position or the operating position. Advantageously, such a locking mechanism locks the apparatus in the storage position or the operating position, which prevents the apparatus from being unintentionally switched on during storage or switched off during use. Again, in other embodiments the locking mechanism may lock the apparatus in the storage position and in a plurality of operating conditions.

A pin 182 extends through the first contact surface 162 and through the side 113 of the body 110. A button in connected to the pin and is received in a recess 113A on the outer surface of side 113. By depressing the button 180 into the recess, the pin can be used to act against the spring 150 and move the second contact surface 164 along the rotation axis and away from the first contact surface 162. The button 180 and pin 182 may be considered to be an unlocking mechanism.

The movement between the storage and operating positions will now be described further with reference to Figures 6 to 8. As shown in Figure 6, when the atomizer support 120 is disposed in the storage position, protrusion 171 is received within a first recess 175. Spring 150 applies a torque to the atomizer support 120 to urge it towards the operating position, as indicated by arrow A. However, the spring 150 also acts as a compression spring and urges the second contact surface 164 into contact with the first contact surface 162. This force, along with the engagement of protrusion 171 with recess 175 is sufficient to prevent the atomizer support 120 from moving from the storage position to the operating position. As explained above, in order to allow the second electrical connection to be broken, at least one of the first and second contact surfaces 162, 164 comprises an electrically insulating portion. In the present embodiment, an area of the first contact surface 162 surrounding the first recess 175 may be formed from an electrically insulating material such as, for example, plastics.

This may ensure that there is no electrical contact between the first and second contact surfaces 162, 164 while the atomizer support 120 is disposed in the storage position.

The area of the first contact surface 162 which is insulating may be raised relative to the conducting portion of the first contact surface 162. This may be achieved, for example, by forming the insulating portion from a layer of insulating material and the conducting portion from a layer of conducting material, the layer of insulating material being thicker than the layer of conducting material. This ensures that no part of the conducting portion of the first contact surface 162 can contact the conducting portion of the second contact surface 164 when the atomizer support 120 is disposed in the storage position.

In order for a user to move the atomizer support 120 from the storage position to the operating position, the button 180 is depressed in the direction of arrow B by applying a force. Once the button has been depressed sufficiently for the protrusion 171 to exit the recess 175, the spring 150 will apply a torque to the atomizer support 120, biasing it towards the operating position. Further, once the button 180 has been depressed sufficiently for the protrusion 171 to exit the recess 175, the force may be removed from the button 180.

In between the storage and operating positions, the protrusion 171 is not engaged with either of the recesses 175,176 and may be in contact with a flat portion of the first contact surface 162 (see Figure 7). When the atomizer support 120 reaches the operating position, the protrusion 171 will be aligned with a second recess 176 and the spring 150 will urge the protrusion 171 into the recess, locking the atomizer support 120 in the operating position (see Figure 8).

In order to move the atomizer support back to the storage position, a user may depress the button 180 to disengage the protrusion 171 from recess 176 and may then apply a torque to the atomizer support 120 (and/or an attached atomizer 130) to overcome the torque provided by spring 150. Once the protrusion 171 is aligned with recess 175, the spring 150 will urge it into the recess 175, locking the atomizer support 120 in the storage position.

Alternatively, the protrusion 171 and/or recess 176 may be shaped so that the application of a torque alone is sufficient to disengage the protrusion 171 from recess 176. For example, referring to Figure 9, in cross section the protrusion 171 may have two different shaped edges 171A, 171B. In Figure 9, the direction in which the cylindrical portion 123 is biased by spring 150 is shown as arrow C. A first edge 171A of the protrusion 171, which is biased against an inner surface of the recess 175, 176 by the spring 150, is flat and generally perpendicular to the second contact surface 164. A second edge 171B of the protrusion 171, which is opposite the first edge 171A, is inclined at an oblique angle to the second contact surface 164. The second edge 171B may be flat or may be curved. Even if an additional torque is applied in the direction of arrow C, spring 150 will continue to hold the protrusion 171 in the recess 175, 176. However, if a sufficiently large torque is applied in the opposite direction to arrow C then the inclined second surface 171B will slide over an edge 178 of the recess, lifting the protrusion 171 out of the recess 175, 176.

In the above embodiment, the atomizer support acts as a second member for supporting an atomizer suitable for an electronic smoking device. Alternative embodiments may comprise a second support that is suitable for supporting other types of aerosol generator such as, for example, a vaporizer or a nebulizer.

The above embodiment relates to an electronic cigarette. However, alternative embodiments may relate to other types of apparatus for dispensing an aerosol.

In the above embodiment, the atomizer support and the body form first and second members that are arranged for relative rotation to move between a storage position and an operating position. However, an alternative embodiment comprises first and second members that are arranged for relative linear motion to move between a storage position and an operating position. A further embodiment comprises first and second members, wherein the second member is arranged to simultaneously move linearly along an axis and rotate about said axis relative to the first member, in the manner of a screw being engaged or disengaged from a threaded bore or a lipstick holder.

In the above embodiment, a protrusion is formed on the second contact surface (on the atomizer support) and two recesses are formed on the first contact surface (on the body). However, in an alternative embodiment, the protrusion may be provided on the first contact surface (on the body) and the recesses may be provided on the second contact surface (on the atomizer support).

The embodiment of the invention above includes a locking mechanism which includes a protrusion formed on the second contact surface, two recesses formed on the first contact surface and a push button type actuator to move the locking mechanism between locked in open configurations. In other embodiments any appropriate locking mechanism may be use providing it has open and locked configurations, wherein in the open configuration the locking mechanism is configured to permit said relative movement between first and second members; and provided that in the locked configuration the locking mechanism is configured to resist said relative movement between the first and second members when the second member is disposed in either the storage position or at least one operating position.

In some embodiments, the electronic cigarette may comprise a storage position and more than one operating position. This may be achieved, for example, by providing additional recesses in the first contact surface which the protrusion of the second contact surface can engage with.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been described above, it will be appreciated that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as described. The descriptions above are intended to be illustrative, not limiting. Thus it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that modifications may be made to the invention as described without departing from the scope of the claims set out below.

One or more features of any of the above described embodiments may be combined with one or more features of any other of the above described embodiments.

Claims (16)

  1. CLAIMS: 1. A mechanism for use in an aerosol dispensing apparatus, the mechanism comprising: a first member for supporting a power supply, the first member being provided with electrical contacts for the power supply; a second member for supporting an aerosol generator, the second member being provided with electrical contacts for the aerosol generator, the second member being connected to the first member such that the second member is movable relative the first member between at least one operating position and a storage position; and a resilient biasing member arranged to: bias opposed surfaces of the first and second members together; and/or bias the second member towards either the at least one operating position or storage position.
  2. 2. The mechanism of claim 1, wherein the second member is connected to the first member such that the said movement of the second member relative to the first member is a rotation about a pivot.
  3. 3. The mechanism of claim 1, wherein the second member is connected to the first member such that the said movement of the second member relative to the first member is a simultaneously linear motion along an axis and a rotation about said axis.
  4. 4. The mechanism of claim 1, wherein the second member is connected to the first member such that the said movement of the second member relative to the first member is a linear motion.
  5. 5. The mechanism of any preceding claim, wherein the resilient biasing member provides an electric connection between one of the electrical contacts of the first member and one of the electrical contacts of the second member, such that the resilient biasing member is configured to provide an electrical connection between an aerosol generator supported by the second member and a power supply supported by the first member.
  6. 6. The mechanism of any preceding claim, wherein the resilient biasing member is arranged to bias opposed surfaces of the first and second members together and wherein the opposed surfaces of the first and second members that are biased together by the resilient biasing member provide an electric connection between one of the electrical contacts of the first member and one of the electrical contacts of the second member, such that said opposed surfaces and said electrical contacts form at least part of an electrical connection between an aerosol generator supported by the second member and a power supply supported by the first member.
  7. 7. The mechanism of any preceding claim, wherein: the first member is provided with a first contact surface; the second member is provided with a second contact surface; the first and second members are arranged such that the first contact surface is opposed to the second contact surface and is movable relative thereto as the second member undergoes said movement relative to the first member; and when the second member is disposed in the at least one operating position an electrically conducting portion of the first contact surface contacts an electrically conducting portion of the second contact surface thereby providing at least part of an electrical connection between at least one of the electrical contacts for the power supply and at least one of the electrical contacts for the aerosol generator via the first and second contact surfaces; and when the second member is disposed in the storage position the electrically conducting portion of the first contact surface is isolated from the electrically conducting portion of the second contact surface, thereby electrically isolating said at least one of the electrical contacts for the power supply from said at least one of the electrical contacts for the aerosol.
  8. 8. The mechanism of claim 7, wherein the first contact surface and the second contact surface are the opposed surfaces of the first and second members that are biased together by the resilient biasing member.
  9. 9. The mechanism of any preceding claim, further comprising a locking mechanism having open and locked configurations, wherein in the open configuration the locking mechanism is configured to permit said relative movement between first and second members; and in the locked configuration the locking mechanism is configured to resist said relative movement between the first and second members when the second member is disposed in either the storage position or the at least one operating position.
  10. 10. The mechanism of claim 9, wherein the resilient biasing member is arranged to bias opposed surfaces of the first and second members together and wherein the opposed surfaces of the first and second members that are biased together by the resilient biasing member are generally flat and the locking mechanism comprises a protrusion associated with one of the first and second members and two or more recesses associated with the other one of the first and second members, wherein said two or more recesses are generally complementary in size and shape to said protrusion, the protrusion and two or more recesses being arranged for releasable mutual engagement so as to provide the locking mechanism.
  11. 11. The mechanism of claim 10, further comprising an unlocking mechanism operable to disengage the protrusion and the two or more recesses.
  12. 12. The mechanism of any preceding claim, wherein the second member is provided with a threaded connector for releasable engagement with an aerosol generator.
  13. 13. The mechanism of any preceding claim, wherein the aerosol generator supported by the second member extends away from the connection between the first and second members to form a mouthpiece, and, optionally, wherein when the second member is disposed in the operating position, the mouthpiece of the aerosol generator extends away from the first member such that the mouthpiece may be inserted into the mouth of a user.
  14. 14. The mechanism of any preceding claim, wherein, when the second member is disposed in the storage position, the second member and the aerosol generator supported thereby are at least partially received within a recess in the first member.
  15. 15. The mechanism of any preceding claim, wherein the resilient biasing member comprises a compression spring that is arranged to bias the opposed surfaces of the first and second members together
  16. 16. The mechanism of any preceding claim, wherein the resilient biasing member comprises a torsion spring that is arranged to bias the second member towards at least one operating position and/or the storage position.17 The mechanism of any preceding claim, wherein the resilient biasing member comprises a single resilient biasing member which acts both to bias the opposed surfaces of the first and second members together and to bias the second member towards the operating position.18. The mechanism of claim 17, wherein the resilient biasing member comprises a single spring which acts both as: a compression spring that is arranged to bias the opposed surfaces of the first and second members together; and a torsion spring that is arranged to bias the second member towards the operating position.19. The mechanism of claim 18, wherein the spring comprises a portion that generally has a shape of a conical helix and a tangentially extending leg.20. A mechanism for use in an aerosol dispensing apparatus, the mechanism comprising: a first member for supporting a power supply, the first member being provided with a first contact surface; and a second member for supporting an aerosol generator, the second member being provided with a second contact surface; wherein the second member is connected to the first member such that the second member is movable relative the first member between at least one operating position and a storage position, the first and second members being arranged such that the first contact surface is opposed to the second contact surface and is movable relative thereto as the second member undergoes said movement relative to the first member; and wherein when the second member is disposed in the at least one operating position an electrically conducting portion of the first contact surface contacts an electrically conducting portion of the second contact surface; and when the second member is disposed in the storage position the electrically conducting portion of the first contact surface is isolated from the electrically conducting portion of the second contact surface.21. A mechanism for use in an aerosol dispensing apparatus, the mechanism comprising: a first member for supporting a power supply, the first member being provided with electrical contacts for the power supply; a second member for supporting an aerosol generator, the second member being provided with electrical contacts for the aerosol generator, the second member being connected to the first member such that the second member is movable relative the first member between at least one operating position and a storage position; and a locking mechanism having open and locked configurations, wherein in the open configuration the locking mechanism is configured to permit said relative movement between first and second members; and in the locked configuration the locking mechanism is configured to resist said relative movement between the first and second members when the second member is disposed in either the storage position or the at least one operating position.22. An electric cigarette comprising the mechanism of any preceding claim.
GB1419165.4A 2014-10-28 2014-10-28 Electronic smoking device Pending GB2531739A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1419165.4A GB2531739A (en) 2014-10-28 2014-10-28 Electronic smoking device

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1419165.4A GB2531739A (en) 2014-10-28 2014-10-28 Electronic smoking device

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB201419165D0 GB201419165D0 (en) 2014-12-10
GB2531739A true GB2531739A (en) 2016-05-04

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Family Applications (1)

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GB1419165.4A Pending GB2531739A (en) 2014-10-28 2014-10-28 Electronic smoking device

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GB (1) GB2531739A (en)

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN103380952A (en) * 2013-07-08 2013-11-06 深圳市合元科技有限公司 Non-cotton atomizer and electronic cigarette
CN203353686U (en) * 2013-07-16 2013-12-25 刘秋明 Electronic cigarette
CN203378559U (en) * 2013-07-22 2014-01-08 刘秋明 Electronic cigarette
CN203435686U (en) * 2013-08-29 2014-02-19 刘秋明 Electronic cigarette
CN203505590U (en) * 2013-10-29 2014-04-02 深圳市康尔科技有限公司 Atomizer with gas flow regulating function
CN103908019A (en) * 2014-03-18 2014-07-09 深圳市合元科技有限公司 Electronic cigarette with folding structure
CN203762302U (en) * 2014-03-24 2014-08-13 温州市力博电子有限公司 Electronic cigarette

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN103380952A (en) * 2013-07-08 2013-11-06 深圳市合元科技有限公司 Non-cotton atomizer and electronic cigarette
CN203353686U (en) * 2013-07-16 2013-12-25 刘秋明 Electronic cigarette
CN203378559U (en) * 2013-07-22 2014-01-08 刘秋明 Electronic cigarette
CN203435686U (en) * 2013-08-29 2014-02-19 刘秋明 Electronic cigarette
CN203505590U (en) * 2013-10-29 2014-04-02 深圳市康尔科技有限公司 Atomizer with gas flow regulating function
CN103908019A (en) * 2014-03-18 2014-07-09 深圳市合元科技有限公司 Electronic cigarette with folding structure
CN203762302U (en) * 2014-03-24 2014-08-13 温州市力博电子有限公司 Electronic cigarette

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