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Claims for Patent: 6,503,362

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Claims for Patent: 6,503,362

Title: Atomizing nozzle an 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 Terence (Suffolk, GB), Eicher; Joachim (Karlsruhe, DE), Freund; Bernhard (Gau-Algesheim, DE), Hart; William Barrie (Suffolk, GB), Lessmoellmann; Christoph (Karlsruhe, DE)
Assignee: Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (DE)
Application Number:09/472,169
Patent Claims: 1. A nozzle assembly for atomizing a flow of fluid supplied at a pressure into fine droplets, comprising: a first member having a first surface, said first surface having a plurality of grooves formed therein; a second member having a second surface, requiring said first and said second surfaces to be joined together to form a plurality of passageways; and a plurality of nozzle outlets disposed at one end of said plurality of passageways, wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets are configured to discharge a plurality of fluid jets, so that said jets impinge on one another to thereby atomize the flow of fluid.

2. The nozzle of claim 1, further comprising a filter disposed at one end of said plurality of passageways.

3. The nozzle of claim 1, wherein said plurality of passageways are substantially rectangular in cross-section.

4. The nozzle of claim 1, wherein said plurality of jets impinge at an angle of approximately 60 degrees to approximately 150 degrees.

5. The nozzle of claim 1, wherein said plurality of jets impinge at an angle of approximately 90 degrees to approximately 120 degrees.

6. The nozzle of claim 1, herein said plurality of jets impinge at an angle of approximately 90 degrees.

7. The nozzle of claim 1, further comprising a plenum chamber formed in said first member, wherein said plenum chamber is in fluid communication with said plurality of passageways.

8. The nozzle of claim 1, wherein said plurality of passageways are substantially parallel to each other.

9. The nozzle of claim 1, further comprising a fluid inlet means.

10. The nozzle of claim 9, wherein said fluid inlet means is disposed substantially at a right angle to said first member.

11. The nozzle of claim 10, further comprising a fluid inlet chamber into which fluid is received from said fluid inlet means, wherein said fluid inlet chamber is in fluid communication with said plurality of passageways.

12. The nozzle of claim 1, wherein said plurality of passageways are configured to receive a flow of fluid supplied at a pressure of at least 50 bar.

13. The nozzle of claim 1, wherein said plurality of passageways are configured to receive a flow of fluid supplied at a pressure of approximately 50 bar to approximately 400 bar.

14. The nozzle of claim 1, wherein said plurality of passageways are configured to impose a pressure drop of approximately 0.2 bar to approximately 25 bar to the flow of fluid.

15. The nozzle of claim 1, wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets have a total cross-sectional area of approximately 25 to approximately 500 square micrometers.

16. The nozzle of claim 1, wherein said plurality of nozzle outlets have a total cross-sectional area of approximately 30 to approximately 200 square micrometers.

17. The nozzle of claim 1, wherein said first member comprises silicon.

18. The nozzle of claim 17, wherein said first member further comprises glass.

19. The nozzle of claim 1, wherein said second member comprises silicon.

20. The nozzle of claim 19, wherein said second member further comprises glass.
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