News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Additive-Containing Member", for Approval

August 16, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Investment Weekly News -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Awty, Edward (London, GB); Nandra, Charanjit (London, GB); Nicholls, Jane (London, GB); Spencer, Alfred (London, GB); Russell, David (London, GB); Farenden, Paul (London, GB), filed on May 11, 2012, was made available online on July 31, 2014.

The patent's assignee is British American Tobacco (Investments) Limited.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Filter elements for smoking articles such as cigarettes typically comprise a plug of cellulose acetate material surrounded by a plugwrap wrapper. In cigarette manufacture, filter elements are aligned with tobacco rods and wrapped with a further wrapper known as a 'tipping paper' to join them together.

"It is known to provide a breakable menthol-containing capsule inside the plug of a cigarette filter. By applying pressure to the outside of the filter, the smoker may break the capsule, thereby releasing the flavourant so as to flavour the smoke drawn from the cigarette.

"WO2010/003899 describes a method of manufacturing capsule-containing cigarette filter rods in which an elongate tube containing a plurality of capsules is pulled from a reel into a flow of filter tow to form an elongate filter rod, which is then cut into segments to form individual capsule-containing filter rods."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In accordance with embodiments of the invention, there is provided an additive-containing member having first and second regions, the second region comprising a predetermined region having a reduced strength limit relative to the first region so that the predetermined region is caused to break when pressure is applied to the additive-containing member, thereby to release additive, wherein the predetermined region is at a seal between two parts of the additive-containing member.

"The two parts of the additive containing member may be substantially parallel planar parts.

"The predetermined region may be substantially linear.

"The predetermined region may be a corner region.

"The additive-containing member may be formed from a polymeric material such as polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) or polyethylene (PE).

"The seal may comprise a weld between the two parts.

"There may be provided an arrangement of smoking article additive-containing members, comprising a plurality of additive-containing members and an elongate connecting member connecting the additive-containing members together, wherein the plurality of additive-containing members comprises the above additive-containing member.

"In accordance with embodiments of the invention, there is provided an arrangement of smoking article additive-containing members, comprising a plurality of additive-containing members and an elongate connecting member connecting the additive-containing members together, wherein said plurality of additive-containing members comprises an additive-containing member having first and second regions, the second region comprising a predetermined region having a reduced strength limit relative to the first region so that the predetermined region is caused to break when pressure is applied to the additive-containing member, thereby to release additive.

"An edge of the additive-containing member may be formed at an acute angle to the length of the elongate member, thereby to define the predetermined region.

"The elongate member may comprise a tape.

"The elongate member may be formed of two layers sealed together to form pocket regions for containing additive.

"There may be provided a filter rod for use in the manufacture of smoking articles, comprising a segment of the above arrangement, wherein the segment includes one or more additive-containing members.

"There may be provided a smoking article filter having a mouth end and a tobacco end, comprising the above additive-containing member or the above arrangement thereof, wherein the predetermined region is formed to direct additive towards a predetermined region of the filter.

"The predetermined region may be formed to direct additive exclusively towards one of the tobacco end or the mouth end of the filter.

"The predetermined region may be formed so as to direct additive towards the side of the filter.

"The additive-containing member may be surrounded by filter material.

"The smoking article filter may comprise a first additive-containing member containing a first additive and a second additive-containing member containing a second additive different to the first additive.

"Preferably, the elongate member has a width of between 3 and 9 mm and the pocket regions have a width of between 1 and 6 mm.

"The additive-containing members preferably releasably contain one or more additives. Preferably, each additive-containing member comprises an outer wall encapsulating an inner space for additive.

"The elongate member preferably connects the additive-containing members together. The connection may be direct or indirect. The elongate connecting member may comprise a strip having two laterally extending surfaces defining first and second sides. The additive-containing members may comprise pockets formed in the strip.

"Preferably, the elongate member is formed from a polymeric material such as a PVOH, PE, SCMC or HPMC. Using a polymeric material leads to advantages in terms of long shelf life, low crush strength requirement, low cost, and robustness against freezing/thawing which may occur in the supply chain.

"Preferably, the elongate member is a continuous strip formed of two polymeric layers. Alternatively, starches may be used to form the strip.

"As used herein, the term 'smoking article additive' refers to any substance that may be suitably added to a smoking article. Many different additives are envisaged, including solid additive(s) such as tobacco (e.g.: ground fire-cured tobacco). However, fluid additive(s) are preferred. Possible additives include smoke-modifying agents such as flavourants, humectants or adsorbents. Preferably, each additive-containing member contains between 10 and 100 .mu.l of additive.

"As used herein the term fluid includes any substance which flows and therefore includes liquids, gases and solids (e.g. in powder or granule or grain form, or plastic solids or mixtures thereof) which are able to flow.

"As used herein, the terms 'flavour' and 'flavourant' refer to materials which, where local regulations permit, may be used to create a desired taste or aroma in a product. They may include extracts e.g., licorice, hydrangea, Japanese white bark magnolia leaf, chamomile, fenugreek, clove, menthol, Japanese mint, aniseed, cinnamon, herb, wintergreen, cherry, berry, peach, apple, Dramboui, bourbon, scotch, whiskey, spearmint, peppermint, lavender, cardamon, celery, cascarilla, nutmeg, sandalwood, bergamot, geranium, honey essence, rose oil, vanilla, lemon oil, orange oil, cassia, caraway, cognac, jasmine, ylang-ylang, sage, fennel, piment, ginger, anise, coriander, coffee, or a mint oil from any species of the genus Mentha, flavour masking agents, bitterness receptor site blockers, receptor site enhancers, sweeteners e.g., sucralose, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharine, cyclamates, lactose, sucrose, glucose, fructose, sorbitol, or mannitol, and other additives such aschlorophyll, minerals, botanicals, or breath freshening agents. They may be imitation, synthetic or natural ingredients or blends thereof. They may be in any suitable form, for example, oil, liquid, or powder.

"As used herein, the term 'smoking article' includes smokable products such as cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos whether based on tobacco, tobacco derivatives, expanded tobacco, reconstituted tobacco or tobacco substitutes and also heat-not-burn products. The smoking article may be provided with a filter for the smoke drawn from the smoking article. Various filter dimensions are possible. For example, typical filter sizes are a diameter of between 4 and 8 mm and a length of between 22 and 27 mm

"The invention also provides a filter rod for use in the manufacture of smoking articles, comprising a segment of any of the arrangements referred to herein.

"The invention also provides a filter rod comprising an additive-containing member to selectively release additive inside the filter, and an additive-transfer member to transfer additive released from the additive-containing member to the periphery of the filter to indicate that the additive has been released.

"The invention also provides an additive-containing member having first and second regions, the second region comprising a predetermined region having a reduced strength limit relative to the first region so that the predetermined region is caused to break when pressure is applied to the additive-containing member, thereby to release additive.

"The predetermined region may be formed to direct additive exclusively towards one of the tobacco end or the mouth end of the filter.

"Alternatively, or in addition, the predetermined region may be formed to direct additive towards the side of the filter. In this way, the additive, for example additive comprising a colourant, may reach the periphery of the filter so that a visual indication is provided to the user that the additive has been released.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"Embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

"FIG. 1 shows a tape having a plurality of sealed pockets having weakened regions spaced along its length;

"FIG. 2 is a schematic showing a filter cigarette having a cut section of the tape disposed inside the filter;

"FIG. 3 is a schematic illustrating rupturing of a pocket by squeezing the outside of the filter, wherein the weakened region directs additive towards the tobacco end of the filter cigarette;

"FIG. 4 is a schematic illustrating rupturing of a pocket by squeezing the outside of the filter, wherein the weakened region directs additive towards the mouth end of the filter cigarette;

"FIG. 5 is a schematic illustrating a method of manufacturing a tape having a plurality of sealed pockets with weakened regions spaced along its length;

"FIG. 6a is a schematic illustrating a further example of a section of tape inside a cigarette filter;

"FIG. 6b is a schematic illustrating rupturing of two pockets by squeezing the outside of the filter;

"FIG. 7 shows a further example of an additive release component having a weakened region;

"FIG. 8 shows a further example of an additive release component having a weakened region, wherein (a) is a perspective view, (b) is an end view, is a sectional view along the line AA' shown in (b) and (d) is a sectional view along the line BB' shown in (b)."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Awty, Edward; Nandra, Charanjit; Nicholls, Jane; Spencer, Alfred; Russell, David; Farenden, Paul. Additive-Containing Member. Filed May 11, 2012 and posted July 31, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=5997&p=120&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140724.PD.&OS=PD/20140724&RS=PD/20140724

Keywords for this news article include: Investment and Finance, British American Tobacco (Investments) Limited.

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Source: Investment Weekly News


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