Patents by Inventor Walter A. Nichols

Walter A. Nichols has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20030056790
    Abstract: A fluid vaporizing device useful for vaporizing fluid into an aerosol and includes first and second capillary tubes connected electrically in series by providing separate electrodes at the inlet ends of each capillary tube, and connecting the outlet ends of the capillary tubes by an electrical connection that connects the outlet ends both electrically and thermally. The capillary tubes are heated by the flow of electricity therethrough, and liquid flowing through the tubes is vaporized. The outlet ends of the capillary tubes are easily maintained at a temperature for optimizing aerosol generation since there is minimal heat loss through the connection connecting the outlet ends.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2001
    Publication date: March 27, 2003
    Inventors: Walter A. Nichols, Kenneth A. Cox, Tung Tien Nguyen
  • Publication number: 20030056791
    Abstract: A fluid vaporizing device useful for vaporizing fluid into an aerosol includes a capillary tube made from an electrically conductive material, an upstream electrode connected to the tube, and a downstream electrode connected to the tube and provided with an electrical resistivity sufficient to cause heating of the downstream electrode during operation to approximately the same temperature as the tube at the point of connection. The upstream and downstream electrodes connected to the capillary tube divide the tube into an initial feed section, a heated section, and a tip. A source of material to be volatilized is provided to the tube at the feed section, passes downstream into the heated section, is vaporized, and then exits from the tube through the tip. The temperature profile of the tube along the heated section is controlled by varying parameters to substantially eliminate any effect of the downstream electrode as a heat sink.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2001
    Publication date: March 27, 2003
    Inventors: Walter A. Nichols, Kenneth A. Cox, Douglas D. McRae, Tung Tien Nguyen
  • Patent number: 6516796
    Abstract: An aerosol generator includes a flow passage having an inlet and an outlet, a heater arranged relative to the flow passage for heating the flow passage, a source of material to be volatilized in communication with the inlet of the flow passage, a valve to open and close communication between the source of material and the inlet of the flow passage, and a pressurization arrangement for causing material in the source of material to be introduced into the flow passage when the valve is in an open position. The aerosol generator further includes a source of power for operating the heater and the valve, and a control device for controlling supply of power from the source of power to the heater and the valve. A metering device in an inhaler includes a pressurized source of medicated fluid and a metering chamber configured to deliver a predetermined volume of fluid to a heated flow passage in the inhaler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2003
    Assignee: Chrysalis Technologies Incorporated
    Inventors: Kenneth A. Cox, Timothy Paul Beane, William R. Sweeney, Walter A. Nichols, F. Murphy Sprinkel, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6501052
    Abstract: A temperature and flow rate controlled capillary aerosol generator includes two heating zones optionally separated by a region in which a pressure drop is induced. Power is metered or applied to the downstream, second zone to achieve a target resistance, and therefore a target temperature, while power is metered or applied to the upstream, first zone to achieve a target mass flow rate exiting the second zone. A target temperature is achieved in the second zone to generate an aerosol from the liquid flowing through the generator at the desired mass flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2002
    Assignee: Chrysalis Technologies Incorporated
    Inventors: Kenneth A. Cox, Walter A. Nichols, F. Murphy Sprinkel, Jr., Douglas D. McRae, William R. Sweeney
  • Patent number: 6491233
    Abstract: An aerosol generator includes a fluid supply which supplies fluid to a fluid passage, a main heater which heats the fluid into a gaseous state and a preheater which delivers a volume of fluid to the main heater. The preheater can be located in or adjacent a metering chamber which receives a predetermined volume of fluid, the preheater heating a portion of the fluid so as to form a vapor bubble which ejects the remaining fluid from the chamber. An outlet of the aerosol generator is arranged to receive the volatilized fluid formed by the main heater and direct the volatilized fluid out of the fluid passage. The aerosol generator can be used to generate aerosols containing medicated materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2002
    Assignee: Chrysalis Technologies Incorporated
    Inventor: Walter A. Nichols
  • Publication number: 20020174875
    Abstract: A cigarette includes an ignition element in contact with tobacco, surrounded by a composite outer wrapper. The outer wrapper is impervious to oxygen causing the tobacco to extinguish between puffs. The ignition element, however, has a longer static burn time than the tobacco and remains smoldering between puffs. Upon a subsequent puff, the smoldering ignition element re-ignites the tobacco. One or more initially-occluded perforations in the outer layer maintain the uniformity in combustion of the tobacco and ignition element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 21, 2002
    Publication date: November 28, 2002
    Inventors: Walter A. Nichols, John R. Hearn, F. Murphy Sprinkel, Jay A. Fournier, Jerry F. Whidby
  • Publication number: 20020078955
    Abstract: A disposable aerosol generator for use with an inhaler device which includes a heater adapted to volatilize fluid stored in the disposable aerosol generator and method of using the inhaler. The disposable body includes a sealed chamber and an outlet, the chamber being located between first and second layers of material. The chamber holds a predetermined volume of a fluid which is expelled through the outlet when the fluid in the chamber is volatilized by the heater. The disposable body can include a series of spaced apart aerosol generators, each of which can be advanced to a release position at which the heater can heat one of the fluid containing chambers. Prior to heating the fluid, the outlet can be formed by severing the first and/or second layer with a piercing element and the volatilized fluid can be expelled from the outlet into a passage of a dispensing member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2000
    Publication date: June 27, 2002
    Inventors: Walter A. Nichols, F. Murphy Sprinkel
  • Publication number: 20020078946
    Abstract: An aerosol generator includes a fluid passage arranged between a first and a second layer wherein the first and second layers at least partially define the fluid passage. A liquid supply is arranged to provide a fluid in liquid phase to the fluid passage. The aerosol generator also includes a heater arranged to volatilize the fluid in the fluid passage. An outlet of the aerosol generator is arranged to receive the volatilized fluid and direct the volatilized fluid out of the fluid passage. The aerosol generator can be used to generate aerosols containing medicated materials.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2000
    Publication date: June 27, 2002
    Inventors: F. Murphy Sprinkel, Walter A. Nichols, Kenneth A. Cox, Timothy S. Sherwood, Scott A. Sowers, Zelita R. Washington, Sirisha Reddy
  • Publication number: 20020079377
    Abstract: An aerosol generator includes a fluid supply which supplies fluid to a fluid passage, a main heater which heats the fluid into a gaseous state and a preheater which delivers a volume of fluid to the main heater. The preheater can be located in or adjacent a metering chamber which receives a predetermined volume of fluid, the preheater heating a portion of the fluid so as to form a vapor bubble which ejects the remaining fluid from the chamber. An outlet of the aerosol generator is arranged to receive the volatilized fluid formed by the main heater and direct the volatilized fluid out of the fluid passage. The aerosol generator can be used to generate aerosols containing medicated materials.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2000
    Publication date: June 27, 2002
    Inventor: Walter A. Nichols
  • Publication number: 20020078951
    Abstract: A disposable aerosol generator for use with an inhaler device which includes a heater adapted to volatilize fluid stored in the disposable aerosol generator and method of using the inhaler. The disposable body includes a sealed chamber and an outlet, the chamber being located between first and second layers of material. The chamber holds a predetermined volume of a fluid which is expelled through the outlet when the fluid in the chamber is volatilized by the heater. The disposable body can include a series of spaced apart aerosol generators, each of which can be advanced to a release position at which the heater can heat one of the fluid containing chambers. Prior to heating the fluid, the outlet can be formed by severing the first and/or second layer with a piercing element and the volatilized fluid can be expelled from the outlet into a passage of a dispensing member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 7, 2001
    Publication date: June 27, 2002
    Inventors: Walter A. Nichols, F. Murphy Sprinkel
  • Publication number: 20020079309
    Abstract: A temperature and flow rate controlled capillary aerosol generator includes two heating zones optionally separated by a region in which a pressure drop is induced. Power is metered or applied to the downstream, second zone to achieve a target resistance, and therefore a target temperature, while power is metered or applied to the upstream, first zone to achieve a target mass flow rate exiting the second zone. A target temperature is achieved in the second zone to generate an aerosol from the liquid flowing through the generator at the desired mass flow rate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2000
    Publication date: June 27, 2002
    Inventors: Kenneth A. Cox, Walter A. Nichols, F. Murphy Sprinkel, Douglas D. McRae, William R. Sweeney
  • Patent number: 6367481
    Abstract: A cigarette includes an ignition element in contact with tobacco, surrounded by a composite outer wrapper. The outer wrapper is impervious to oxygen causing the tobacco to extinguish between puffs. The ignition element, however, has a longer static burn time than the tobacco and remains smoldering between puffs. Upon a subsequent puff, the smoldering ignition element re-ignites the tobacco. One or more initially-occluded perforations in the outer layer maintain the uniformity in combustion of the tobacco and the ignition element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Assignee: Philip Morris Incorporated
    Inventors: Walter A. Nichols, John R. Hearn, F. Murphy Sprinkel, Jr., Jay A Fournier, Jerry F. Whidby
  • Patent number: 6311694
    Abstract: A smoking article comprises a smoking accessory and a cigarette. The smoking accessory includes a holder and a substantially air-impermeable sleeve which is coupled to a distal portion of the holder and is coaxial therewith. The cigarette is received in the smoking accessory such that a distal end of the cigarette is located substantially flush with a distal end of the sleeve. The cigarette includes a column of tobacco which is shorter than that used in conventional cigarettes, e.g., 20 mm in length or less. An air gap separates an outer surface of the cigarette from the sleeve, and plural openings are formed in the sleeve to supply air to the cigarette. In use, the sleeve restricts the flow of air to the cigarette, thereby slowing combustion and reducing sidestream smoke between puffs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Assignee: Philip Morris Incorporated
    Inventors: Walter A. Nichols, John R. Hearn, F. Murphy Sprinkel, Jr., Jay A. Fournier, Jerry F. Whidby
  • Patent number: 5799665
    Abstract: A process for expanding tobacco is provided which employs carbon dioxide gas. Tobacco temperature and OV content are adjusted prior to contacting the tobacco with carbon dioxide gas. The disclosed process is suitable for impregnating and expanding tobacco having a high bulk density. In order to achieve a high bulk density, the tobacco may be compacted or compressed to achieve an increased and more uniform bulk density prior to its impregnation with carbon dioxide. The process may be carried out with a short cycle impregnation in an apparatus according to the invention. A thermodynamic path is followed during impregnation which allows a controlled amount of the carbon dioxide gas to condense on the tobacco. This liquid carbon dioxide evaporates during depressurization helping to cool the tobacco bed uniformly. After impregnation, the tobacco may be expanded immediately or kept at or below its post-vent temperature in a dry atmosphere for subsequent expansion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 1, 1998
    Inventors: Kwang H. Cho, Thomas J. Clarke, Joseph M. Dobbs, Eugene B. Fischer, Diane L. Leister, Jose M. G. Nepomuceno, Walter A. Nichols, Ravi Prasad
  • Patent number: 5730405
    Abstract: A retainer for retaining cooking utensils, such as spoons, forks, ladles, spatulas and stirrers over open cookware. Any food residue on the utensil drips back into the cookware as the utensil is being retained. A person may easily grasp the utensil by its handle without disturbing the cookware. The retainer includes a clipping portion which comprises spaced leg or legs connected to a retainer portion. The retainer portion includes an upper plate and lower plate spaced apart by an arm. The retainer portion retains a cooking utensil between a location of contact on the upper plate and the lower plate to extend the cooking utensil over the rim of cookware.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1998
    Inventor: Charles Walter Nichols, IV
  • Patent number: 5649552
    Abstract: A process for expanding tobacco is provided which employs carbon dioxide gas. Tobacco temperature and OV content are adjusted prior to contacting the tobacco with carbon dioxide gas. The disclosed process is suitable for impregnating and expanding tobacco having a high bulk density. In order to achieve a high bulk density, the tobacco may be compacted or compressed to achieve an increased and more uniform bulk density prior to its impregnation with carbon dioxide. The process may be carried out with a short cycle impregnation in an apparatus according to the invention. A thermodynamic path is followed during impregnation which allows a controlled amount of the carbon dioxide gas to condense on the tobacco. This liquid carbon dioxide evaporates during depressurization helping to cool the tobacco bed uniformly. After impregnation, the tobacco may be expanded immediately or kept at or below its post-vent temperature in a dry atmosphere for subsequent expansion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 22, 1997
    Assignee: Philip Morris Incorporated
    Inventors: Kwang H. Cho, Thomas J. Clarke, Joseph M. Dobbs, Eugene B. Fischer, Diane L. Leister, Jose M. G. Nepomuceno, Walter A. Nichols, Ravi Prasad
  • Patent number: 5591368
    Abstract: A provided heater comprises a supporting hub and a plurality of electrically resistive heater blades defining a receptacle to receive an inserted cigarette. Each blade comprises a first heater blade leg having a first end and a second end and extending at the first end from the supporting hub, a second heater blade leg having a first end and a second end, and a connecting section connecting the second end of the first leg and the first end of the second leg. The second end of the second leg extends toward the supporting hub and is electrically insulated therefrom. A resistive heating circuit is formed to heat the electrically resistive heater blade which in turn heats the inserted cigarette. The first and second legs are separated by a gap to permit entrainment of flavor substances into the heated cigarette upon drawing by a smoker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1997
    Assignee: Philip Morris Incorporated
    Inventors: Grier S. Fleischhauer, Patrick H. Hayes, Constance H. Morgan, Mohammad R. Hajaligol, Michael L. Watkins, Walter A. Nichols, David E. Sharpe, Mary E. Counts
  • Patent number: 5468936
    Abstract: A heater having a multiple-layer ceramic substrate and a method for fabricating the heater are provided. The heater consists-of a plurality of ceramic layers which are laminated to form a single ceramic substrate. A plurality of resistive heating elements are deposited onto the multiple-layer ceramic substrate, which are connectable to a power source via conductive elements which extend through the substrate to the resistive heating elements. The heater may also include a terminal that allows for convenient electrical and mechanical interfacing to a smoking article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 21, 1995
    Assignee: Philip Morris Incorporated
    Inventors: Seetharama C. Deevi, Mohammad R. Hajaligol, Pamela D. Lieberman, Walter A. Nichols, Michael L. Watkins
  • Patent number: 5316827
    Abstract: An improved stuffer box used for crimping textile fibers, particularly fibrillated polyolefin films. The width of the stuffer box is related to the linear density of the fiber bundles to be crimped whereby there is one millemeter of width for each fiber bunder size in the range of from about 200 to about 750 denier. Pressure controlled hinged lid or fixed lid exit orifices may be employed. Also employed may be a distributing device for applying additive material to the textile fibers prior to crimping to enhance the crimping operation or to enhance the end use of the crimped fiber or both. Fibrillated polyolefin materials that are crimped in accordance with the invention are adapted for use as filter materials in smoking articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 31, 1994
    Assignee: Filter Materials Limited
    Inventors: Michael Hill, Walter A. Nichols
  • Patent number: 5249586
    Abstract: An article is provided in which a replaceable tobacco flavor medium is electrically heated by a set of permanent reusable heaters to evolve inhalable flavors or other components in vapor or aerosol form. Each heater heats only a portion of the available tobacco flavor medium so that a plurality of individual puffs of tobacco flavor substance can be delivered sequentially to the smoker. The tobacco flavor medium preferably contains tobacco materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1993
    Assignee: Philip Morris Incorporated
    Inventors: Constance H. Morgan, Walter A. Nichols