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Portable vaporizer

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20120325227 patent thumbnailZoom

Portable vaporizer


A vaporizer and method of vaporizing a botanical material is described. Embodiments of the apparatus include a self-contained, fully enclosed, battery operated vaporizer having an air inlet and a mouthpiece. The vaporizer includes a window for viewing a botanical material contained therein and a heating element that is also visible through the window and through an air inlet. The vaporizer also includes a push-button switch that rapidly provides power to heat air, which is then drawn through the botanical material by inhaling. Embodiments of the method include utilizing a push-button switch for heating vaporizer air and viewing the glow of the heating element as a signal that the vaporizer is ready for use.
Related Terms: Botanical

Inventors: Alexander Robinson, Joseph Taylor, Mark Williams
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120325227 - Class: 131328 (USPTO) - 12/27/12 - Class 131 
Tobacco > Making Or Using Tobacco Users' Appliance

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120325227, Portable vaporizer.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to the field of vaporizers for consuming botanical materials, and more particularly to an apparatus and method for using a portable, self-contained vaporizer for heating the materials to a temperature sufficient to release the volatile components without combustion.

2. Discussion of the Background

Devices for consuming botanical materials, including but not limited to tobacco, flowers, botanical blend, or aromatic herbs, commonly ignite the botanical materials, requiring that the consumer inhale products of combustion along with any volatile compounds that are present. For many botanical materials it is the volatiles, such as the nicotine present in tobacco, that provide a physiological response in the consumer, while the combustion products may actually be harmful.

Prior art vaporizers commonly employ a continuous heating source such as a butane-powered flame, a butane powered catalytic burner, or an electrical resistive heater. The heat source in many such devices is conductive as it is in direct contact with the material or the receptacle containing the material. This may result in high temperatures, leading to singing and charring of the botanical material near the heat source.

Further, many prior art vaporizers require several minutes of heat-up time as they need to heat both the mass of the botanical material and a holder of the material to a desired temperature before they can extract volatile vapors.

Further, since the heating is typically continuous, rather than on-demand, many existing vaporizers use their power inefficiently as they are often providing heat to maintain a steady state of elevated temperature that does not correspond to the user\'s intended duty-cycle of intermittent inhalation of the vapors produced.

BRIEF

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

One embodiment of the present invention overcomes the disadvantages of prior art by providing a vaporizer that entirely contains a botanical material to be consumed.

Another embodiment of the present invention overcomes the disadvantages of prior art by providing a vaporizer having an upper portion that may be removably placed on a lower portion to contain a botanical material to be consumed. In one embodiment, the upper and lower portions are held in place with magnets.

Yet another embodiment of the present invention overcomes the disadvantages of prior art by providing an enclosed vaporizer having a window for viewing a botanical material contained therein. In one embodiment, the window also allows the extracted vapor and glow from a heating element to be viewed.

One embodiment of the present invention overcomes the disadvantages of prior art by providing an enclosed vaporizer that allows the glow from a heating element to also be viewed through an air inlet.

Another embodiment of the present invention overcomes the disadvantages of prior art by providing a vaporizer having a heating element suspended in a transparent heating chamber that allows for the transmission of light generated by the heating element of the device.

Yet another embodiment of the present invention overcomes the disadvantages of prior art by providing an enclosed vaporizer having a heating element suspended in a transparent heating chamber that is integrated with and concentric to the material chamber.

One embodiment of the present invention includes a computer controlled temperature regulation system that allows for the proper vaporization temperatures for aromatic herbs, flowers, and tobacco.

Another embodiment of the present invention includes a vaporizer having rechargeable battery that is removable by the user.

It is one aspect of the present invention to provide vaporizer to provide a user with a vapor from a botanical material. The vaporizer includes a housing; a heater substantially within the housing including an electrical energy storage device, a user-operable switch, a heating element, and an electrical circuit including the electrical energy storage device, the user-operable switch, and the heating element, where the electrical circuit is adapted to provide energy from the electrical energy storage device to the heating element when the user-operable switch is actuated. The vaporizer further includes a passageway with the housing, the passageway including an air inlet, a heater section to provide thermal contact with air within the heater and the heating element, a receptacle for containing a botanical material, and an air outlet. The user may thus actuate the user-operable switch and inhale through the outlet to draw air external to the vaporizer to sequentially, heat air in contact with the heating element to a heated air temperature, at least partially vaporize the botanical material with the heated air, then provide at least a portion of the vaporized botanical material through the outlet to the user.

It is another aspect of the present invention to provide a method of providing a vapor of a botanical material using a vaporizer. The method includes manually actuating the vaporizer, where the vaporizer includes stored electric energy, a receptacle for containing the botanical material, and a flow passageway extending from an inlet, through a manually actuatible heater to accept the stored electric energy and heat air, through the receptacle, to an outlet; and inhaling through the outlet. Air is thus drawn external to the vaporizer into the passageway and sequentially, has the air temperature increased in the heater, heats and extracts a vapor from the botanical material, and provides the vapor to the user.

It is yet another aspect of the present invention to provide a vaporizer to provide a user with a vapor from a botanical material. The vaporizer includes a heating element, and a passageway including an air inlet; a heater section to provide thermal contact with air within the heater and the heating element; a receptacle for containing a botanical material; a window to transmit thermal radiation from the heater section to the user, and an air outlet. The user has a visual cue that inhaled air may be heated to a temperature sufficient to vaporize the botanical material.

It is one aspect of the present invention to provide a method of providing a vapor of a botanical material using a vaporizer, where the method includes manually actuating the vaporizer, where the vaporizer includes a receptacle for containing the botanical material, and a flow passageway extending from an inlet, through a heater to heat air, through the receptacle, to an outlet, and a window to allow a user to view thermal radiation from the heater; and when a user perceives a glow from the heater through the window, inhaling through the outlet. The user thus has a visual cue that inhaled air may be heated to a temperature sufficient to vaporize the botanical material.

a receptacle for containing the botanical material, and a flow passageway extending from an inlet, through a heater to heat air, through the receptacle, to an outlet, and a window to allow a user to view thermal radiation from the heater, the method comprising: manually actuating the heater; and when a user perceives a glow from the heater through the window, inhaling through the outlet. The user thus has a visual cue that inhaled air may be heated to a temperature sufficient to vaporize the botanical material.

These features together with the various ancillary provisions and features which will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, are attained by the vaporizer of the present invention, preferred embodiments thereof being shown with reference to the accompanying drawings, by way of example only, wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of one embodiment of a vaporizer;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the vaporizer of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a left side view of the vaporizer of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a distal end view of the vaporizer of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a proximal end view of the vaporizer of FIG. 1

FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of the vaporizer of FIG. 1 with the upper portion removed from the lower portion;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view 7-7 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view 8-8 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of one embodiment of a heater block;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a partially assembled heater block;

FIG. 11 is the view of FIG. 6 illustrating air flow through the vaporizer; and

FIG. 12 is a cut-away perspective sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 11

FIG. 13 is a schematic view of one embodiment of the electronics within the vaporizer.

Reference symbols are used in the Figures to indicate certain components, aspects or features shown therein, with reference symbols common to more than one Figure indicating like components, aspects or features shown therein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of one embodiment of a hand-held vaporizer 100, and FIGS. 2, 3, 4, and 5 are, respectively, views of a top side 106, a left side 202, a distal end 104, and a proximal end 102 of the vaporizer.

Vaporizer 100 includes a housing 101 having a mouthpiece 103 with an opening 311 into the vaporizer at proximal end 102, an air inlet 105 at distal end 104, and a window 107 on top side 106 through which one can view a botanical material placed within the vaporizer, and a push-button switch 109 on a right side 108. Left side 202 includes a power switch 201, a power connector 305, indicator lights 307, and a recess 309.

Housing 101 is formed from a rigid material, and may include one or more pieces or layers of metal or plastic. Thus, for example, sides 108, 202, and ends 102, 104 include a case 207 and a removable bottom panel 303, and top side 106 includes an elongated portion 205 and a bezel 203 protruding above and surrounding window 107.

Window 107 is preferably a scratch resistant material that is transparent to visible light, and may be, for example and without limitation, a glass, such as a borosilicate glass or a crystal quartz or fused quartz material.

Vaporizer 100 is preferably sized to be hand-held, and may have dimensions of a height, H, of from 20 to 30 mm, such as height H of 25 mm, a length, L, of from 110 to 170 mm, such as a length L of 140 mm, and a width, W, of from 40 mm to 60 mm, such as a width of 50 mm.

Indicator lights 307 may include one light, or several different color lights (such as red, green, and/or blue) to indicate if vaporizer 100 is being powered, temperature settings, and/or battery power remaining in the vaporizer.

In general, a user may open housing 101 utilizing recess 309 and place a botanical material in a bowl (described subsequently) below window 107, grasp case 207, and push push-button switch 109. In certain embodiments, within several seconds of pushing push-button switch 109 a heater (describe subsequently) within vaporizer 100 emits visible light through window 107 and through air inlet 105 to indicate that a proper temperature has been reached and that the user should inhale though opening 311 in mouthpiece 103. The action of inhaling causes air to be drawn in through air inlet 105 where it is first heated in the heater and then vaporizes the botanical material, the vapors of which are inhaled by the user through the mouthpiece. In addition, power switch 201 may include several settings, such as a power off setting, a low power setting and a high temperature setting for controlling a temperature of vaporizer 100, and power connector 305 allows for recharging of an internal battery.

FIG. 6 as a top perspective view of vaporizer 100 illustrating that the vaporizer includes an upper portion 210 and a lower portion 220. Upper portion 210 includes elongated portion 205, bezel 203, and window 107. In addition, elongated portion 205 forms surfaces 611, lip 613, recess 615, and includes magnets 621 and a window fixture 631. Window fixture 631 further includes include flat surfaces 633 and grooves 635, and is held onto elongated portion 205 with screws 637, as shown in more detail in FIG. 7.

Lower portion 220 includes case 207, bottom panel 303, mouthpiece 103, air inlet 105, push-button switch 109, power switch 201, power connector 305, indicator lights 307, and recess 309. As shown in FIG. 7, air inlet 105 is formed from a grill 703 that may be separate from case 207, and a wire mesh 705 to prevent contaminants from entering vaporizer 100. In addition, lower portion 220 includes a surface 601 and a ledge 603. Surface 601 includes openings into the interior of the housing, and specifically a first opening 607 and a second opening 605 exposing a recessed bowl 640 having an upper surface 604, which is contiguous with surface 601 and a bottom mesh 717.

Surface 601 is, or includes, a material that is attracted to magnets 621. When upper portion 210 is placed on lower portion 220, as in FIG. 1, magnets 621 are attracted to a top 601 such that lip 613 contacts ledge 603, surfaces 611 contact surface 601, surfaces 601 and 604 contact surface 633, and recess 615 and grooves 635 do not contact either surface 601 or 604, providing a gap that provides for air flow between opening 605 and 607.

A more detailed description of one embodiment of upper portion 210 and lower portion 220 are illustratively shown in FIG. 7, which is a sectional view 7-7 of FIG. 2, and FIG. 8, which is a sectional view 8-8 of FIG. 3.

Upper portion 210 includes window fixture 631, which is attached to elongated portion 205 with screws 637. Window fixture may also include gaskets or o-rings to provide a gas-tight seal for window 107.

Surface 601 of lower portion 220 is held onto case 207 using screws 701. Grill 703 forming air inlet 105 is attached to case 207, and a wire mesh 705 is placed against grill 703 and inside vaporizer 100 to prevent contaminants from entering the vaporizer.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120325227 A1
Publish Date
12/27/2012
Document #
13167968
File Date
06/24/2011
USPTO Class
131328
Other USPTO Classes
131329
International Class
24F47/00
Drawings
12


Botanical


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