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Claims for Patent: 6,007,676

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Claims for Patent: 6,007,676

Title: Atomizing nozzle and filter and spray generating device
Abstract:A nozzle assembly for use in atomizing and generating sprays from a fluid. The nozzle assembly includes two members, each with generally planar surfaces, that are joined together. A first set of channels is formed in the generally planar surface of a first one of the members to form, in cooperation with the generally planar surface of the second of the members, a plurality of filter passageways. A plenum chamber is formed in the first member. The plenum chamber is in fluid communication with and downstream of the plurality of filter passageways. A second set of channels is formed in the generally planar surface of the first member to form, in cooperation with the generally planar surface of the second member, a plurality of nozzle outlet passageways. These nozzle outlet passageways are in fluid communication with the plenum chamber. The nozzle outlet passageways include a plurality of nozzle outlets which are adapted to discharge a plurality of fluid jets that impinge on one another to thereby atomize a flow of fluid.
Inventor(s): Bartels; Frank (Waldbronn, DE), Bachtler; Wulf (Mainz, DE), Dunne; Stephen Terance (Suffolk, GB), Eicher; Joachim (Karlsruhe, DE), Freund; Bernhard (Gau-Algesheim, DE), Hart; William Barrie (Ipswich, GB), Lessmoellmann; Christoph (Karlsruhe, DE)
Assignee: Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (DE)
Application Number:09/303,670
Patent Claims: 1. A nozzle assembly for atomizing a flow of fluid, comprising:

a first member having a first generally planar surface;

a second member having a second generally planar surface, said first and said second generally planar surfaces being joined together;

a first set of channels formed in said first generally planar surface to form, in cooperation with said second generally planar surface, a plurality of filter passageways;

a plenum chamber formed in said first member, said plenum chamber in fluid communication with and downstream of said plurality of filter passageways; and

a second set of channels formed in said first generally planar surface to form, in cooperation with said second generally planar surface, a plurality of nozzle outlet passageways, said plurality of nozzle outlet passageways being in fluid communication with said plenum chamber,

wherein said plurality of nozzle outlet passageways includes a plurality of nozzle outlets, said plurality of nozzle outlets adapted to discharge a plurality of fluid jets that impinge on one another to thereby atomize said flow of fluid.

2. The nozzle assembly of claim 1, wherein one of said plurality of nozzle outlet passageways is formed from one of said first set of channels in said first generally planar surface and a corresponding one of said second set of channels in said second generally planar surface.

3. The nozzle assembly of claim 1, wherein said plurality of fluid jets impinge at an angle of approximately 20.degree. to 160.degree..

4. The nozzle assembly of claim 1, wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets comprises two nozzle outlets and said plurality of fluid jets comprises two fluid jets that impinge on one another at an angle of approximately 90.degree..

5. The nozzle assembly of claim 1, wherein each of said plurality of nozzle outlets includes a mouth region, and wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets is configured so that said plurality of fluid jets impinge on one another adjacent said mouth region.

6. The nozzle assembly of claim 5, wherein a cross-section of said plurality of nozzle outlets becomes smaller toward said mouth region.

7. The nozzle assembly of claim 1, further comprising:

an intake for receiving said flow of fluid, wherein a cross-sectional area of said intake is greater than said total cross-sectional area of said plurality of nozzle outlets.

8. The nozzle assembly of claim 1, wherein at least one of said first member and said second member is selected from a group consisting of at least one of the following: silicon, glass, gallium arsenide and metal.

9. A nozzle assembly for atomizing a flow of fluid, comprising:

a first member having a first generally planar surface;

a second member having a second generally planar surface, said first and said second generally planar surfaces being joined together;

a first set of channels formed in said first generally planar surface to form, in cooperation with said second generally planar surface, a plurality of filter passageways;

a plenum chamber formed in said first member, said plenum chamber in fluid communication with and downstream of said plurality of filter passageways;

an outlet channel formed in said first generally planar surface to form, in cooperation with said second generally planar surface, a nozzle outlet passageway, wherein said nozzle outlet passageway includes a nozzle outlet and said nozzle outlet passageway is in fluid communication with said plenum chamber; and

means for inducing secondary flow in said flow of fluid as it exits said nozzle outlet to thereby facilitate atomization.

10. The nozzle assembly of claim 9, wherein said means for inducing secondary flow comprises an impact element disposed in said nozzle outlet.

11. The nozzle assembly of claim 9, wherein said means for inducing secondary flow comprises a vortex-generating structure disposed in said nozzle outlet.

12. The nozzle assembly of claim 9, wherein at least one of said first member and said second member is selected from a group consisting of at least one of the following: silicon, glass, gallium arsenide and metal.

13. A nozzle assembly for use in a spray generating device for atomizing fluid under pressure, comprising:

a first member having a first surface;

a second member having a second surface, said first and said second surfaces being joined together;

a fluid inlet formed in one of said first and second members for receiving fluid medicament at a pressure of at least 50 bar; and

a channel in said first surface forming, in cooperation with said second surface, a nozzle outlet passageway, wherein said nozzle outlet passageway includes a nozzle outlet.

14. The nozzle assembly of claim 13, wherein said nozzle outlet passageway comprises a plurality of nozzle outlet passageways and said nozzle outlet comprises a plurality of nozzle outlets, and wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets are adapted to discharge a plurality of fluid jets that impinge on one another to thereby atomize the fluid medicament into droplets.

15. The nozzle assembly of claim 13, wherein said first surface and said second surface are substantially planar.

16. The nozzle assembly of claim 13, wherein said first surface and said second surface are curved.

17. The nozzle assembly of claim 13, further comprising:

a set of channels formed in said first surface to form, in cooperation with said second surface, a plurality of filter passageways.

18. The nozzle assembly of claim 14, wherein said plurality of fluid jets impinge at an angle of approximately 20.degree. to 160.degree..

19. The nozzle assembly of claim 14, wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets comprise two nozzle outlets and said plurality of fluid jets comprise two fluid jets that impinge at an angle of approximately 90.degree..

20. The nozzle assembly of claim 14, wherein each of said plurality of nozzle outlets includes a mouth region, and wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets is configured so that said plurality of fluid jets impinge on one another adjacent said mouth region.

21. The nozzle assembly of claim 20, wherein a cross-section of said plurality of nozzle outlets becomes smaller toward said mouth region.

22. The nozzle assembly of claim 13, wherein at least one of said first member and said second member is selected from a group consisting of at least one of the following: silicon, glass, gallium arsenide and metal.

23. A nozzle assembly for use in a spray generating device for atomizing fluid under pressure, comprising:

a first member having a first surface;

a second member having a second surface, said first and said second surfaces being joined together;

a fluid inlet formed in one of said first and second members for receiving fluid medicament at a pressure of at least 50 bar;

a channel in said first surface forming, in cooperation with said second surface, a nozzle outlet passageway, wherein said nozzle outlet passageway includes a nozzle outlet and said nozzle outlet passageway is in fluid communication with said fluid inlet; and

means for inducing secondary flow in the fluid medicament as it exits said nozzle outlet to thereby atomize the fluid medicament.

24. The nozzle assembly of claim 23, wherein said first surface and said second surface are substantially planar.

25. The nozzle assembly of claim 23, wherein said first surface and said second surface are curved.

26. The nozzle assembly of claim 23, wherein at least one of said first member and said second member is selected from a group consisting of at least one of the following: silicon, glass, gallium arsenide and metal.

27. The nozzle assembly of claim 23, wherein said means for inducing secondary flow comprises an impact element disposed in said nozzle outlet.

28. The nozzle assembly of claim 23, wherein said means for inducing secondary flow comprises a vortex-generating structure disposed in said nozzle outlet.

29. A nozzle assembly for use in a spray generating device for atomizing fluid under pressure, comprising:

a first member having a first surface;

a second member having a second surface, said first and said second surfaces being joined together;

a fluid inlet formed in one of said first and second members for receiving fluid medicament at a pressure of at least 50 bar; and

a channel in said first surface forming, in cooperation with said second surface, a nozzle outlet passageway, wherein said nozzle outlet passageway includes a nozzle outlet and said nozzle outlet passageway is in fluid communication with said fluid inlet.

30. The nozzle assembly of claim 29, wherein said first surface and said second surface are substantially planar.

31. The nozzle assembly of claim 29, wherein said first surface and said second surface are curved.

32. The nozzle assembly of claim 29, wherein at least one of said first member and said second member is selected from a group consisting of at least one of the following: silicon, glass, gallium arsenide and metal.
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