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Title:
CARTRIDGE FOR AN AEROSOL-GENERATING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/207195
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a cartridge for an aerosol-generating system. The cartridge comprises a liquid storage portion (10, 10.1), which comprises a housing (12, 12.1) holding a liquid aerosol-forming substrate. The housing (12, 12.1) has a first and a second opening (14, 14.1). The cartridge further comprises a first and a second permeable planar heater assembly (16, 6.1), wherein the first planar heater assembly (16) is fixed to the housing (12, 12.1) and extends across the first opening (14) of the housing (12, 12.1), and the second planar heater assembly (16.1) is fixed to the housing (12, 12.1) and extends across the second opening (14.1) of the housing (12, 12.1). The first and second permeable planar heater assemblies (16, 6.1) are arranged opposite each other such that they face each other and form an airflow channel (20) in between each other.

Inventors:
PATRICK CHARLES, Silvestrini (Chemin de Maujobia 145, 2000 Neuchâtel, 2000, CH)
IHAR NIKOLAEVICH, Zinovik (Rue du Chasselas 20a, 2034 Peseux, 2034, CH)
Application Number:
EP2017/060393
Publication Date:
December 07, 2017
Filing Date:
May 02, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PHILIP MORRIS PRODUCTS S.A. (Quai Jeanrenaud 3, Neuchâtel, CH-2000, CH)
International Classes:
A61M15/06; A24F47/00; A61M11/04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
REDDIE & GROSE LLP (The White Chapel Building, 10 Whitechapel High Street, London Greater London E1 8QS, E1 8QS, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . Cartridge for an aerosol-generating system, comprising:

a liquid storage portion (10, 10.1 ), comprising a housing (12, 12.1 ) holding a liquid aerosol-forming substrate, the housing (12, 12.1 ) having a first and a second opening (14, 14.1 ); and

a first and a second permeable planar heater assembly (16, 16.1 ), wherein the first planar heater assembly (16) is fixed to the housing (12, 12.1 ) and extends across the first opening (14) of the housing (12, 12.1 ), and the second planar heater assembly (16.1 ) is fixed to the housing (12, 12.1 ) and extends across the second opening (14.1 ) of the housing (12, 12.1 ),

wherein the first and second permeable planar heater assemblies (16, 16.1 ) are arranged opposite each other such that they face each other and form an airflow channel (20) in between each other.

2. Cartridge for an aerosol-generating system, comprising:

a first liquid storage portion (10), comprising a first housing (12) holding a liquid aerosol-forming substrate, the first housing (12) having a first opening (14);

a first permeable planar heater assembly (16), wherein the first planar heater assembly (16) is fixed to the first housing (12) and extends across the first opening (14) of the first housing (12);

a second liquid storage portion (10.1 ), comprising a second housing (12.1 ), the second housing (12.1 ) having a second opening (14.1 ); and

a second permeable planar heater assembly (16.1 ), wherein the second planar heater assembly (16.1 ) is fixed to the second housing (12.1 ) and extends across the second opening (14.1 ) of the second housing (12.1 ),

wherein the first and second permeable planar heater assemblies (16, 16,1 ) are arranged opposite each other such that they face each other and form an airflow channel (20) in between each other.

3. The cartridge according to claim 2,

wherein the first and second housing (12, 12.1 ) are provided as symmetrical half-cylinders and the airflow channel (20) in between the planar heater assemblies (16, 16.1 ) is provided as a central airflow channel (20).

4. The cartridge according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first planar heater assembly (16) is electrically connected to the second planar heater assembly (16.1 ) by an electrical bridging connection (30, 30.1 ), preferably by a soldered connection (30, 30.1 ).

5. The cartridge according to claim 2 or 3 and claim 4,

wherein the electrical connection (30, 30.1 ) is provided integrally with the first and second housing (12, 12.1 ) or with the first housing (12) or with the second housing (12.1 ).

6. The cartridge according to any one of claims 4 or 5,

wherein the soldered connection (30, 30.1 ) is provided on a side surface of the first planar heater assembly (16) directly adjacent to the liquid aerosol-forming substrate.

7. The cartridge according to any one of the preceding claims,

wherein the planar heater assemblies (16, 16.1 ) do not extend along the full length of the cartridge and preferably along 5 percent to 60 percent, preferably 10 percent to 40 percent, and most preferably about 20 percent of the full length of the cartridge.

8. The cartridge according to any one of the preceding claims,

wherein the planar heater assemblies are 0,25 millimeters to 2 millimeters, preferably 0,75 millimeters to 1 ,25 millimeters, and most preferably 1 millimeter, spaced apart from each other.

9. The cartridge according to any one of the preceding claims,

wherein the first and second planar heater assemblies (16, 16.1 ) each comprises a plurality of electrically conductive filaments (22).

10. Aerosol-generating system, comprising a main body with a power supply, electric circuitry and the cartridge of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cartridge is coupled, preferably replaceably coupled, to the main body, wherein the main body further comprises an air inlet such that air can be drawn through the air inlet and the airflow channel (20) of the cartridge to a mouthpiece.

1 1 . The aerosol-generating system according to claim 10,

wherein the electric circuitry is electrically connected to the power supply, and configured that when the cartridge is coupled to the main unit, to monitor the electrical resistance of the planar heater assemblies, and to control a supply of electric current from the power supply to the planar heater assemblies dependent on the electrical resistance of the planar heater assemblies.

12. Process for manufacturing a cartridge for an aerosol-generating system, comprising the following steps:

providing a liquid storage portion (10, 10.1 ), comprising a housing (12, 12.1 ) holding a liquid aerosol-forming substrate, the housing (12, 12.1 ) having a first and a second opening (14, 14.1 ),

fixing a first permeable planar heater assembly (16) to the housing (12, 12.1 ) so that the first permeable planar heater assembly (16) extends across the first opening (14) of the housing (12, 12.1 ),

fixing a second permeable planar heater assembly (16.1 ) to the housing (12, 12.1 ) so that the second permeable planar heater assembly (16.1 ) extends across the second opening (14.1 ) of the housing (12, 12.1 ), and

arranging the first and second permeable planar heater assemblies (16, 16.1 ) opposite each other such that they face each other and form an airflow channel (20) in between each other.

13. Process for manufacturing a cartridge for an aerosol-generating system, comprising the following steps:

providing a first liquid storage portion (10, 10.1 ), comprising a first housing (12) holding a liquid aerosol-forming substrate, the first housing (12) having a first opening (14), fixing a first permeable planar heater assembly (16) to the first housing (12) so that the first permeable planar heater assembly (16) extends across the first opening (14) of the first housing (12),

providing a second liquid storage portion (10, 10.1 ), comprising a second housing (12.1 ), the second housing (12.1 ) having a second opening (14.1 ),

fixing a second permeable planar heater assembly (16.1 ) to the second housing (12.1 ) so that the second permeable planar heater assembly (16.1 ) extends across the second opening (14.1 ) of the second housing (12.1 ), and

arranging the first and second permeable planar heater assemblies (16, 16.1 ) opposite each other such that they face each other and form an airflow channel (20) in between each other.

14. The process of claim 12 or 13,

wherein the process comprises the further step of connecting the planar heater assemblies (16, 16.1 ) electrically by a bridging connection (30, 30.1 ).

15. The process of claim 14, wherein the bridging connection (30, 30.1 ) is provided by soldering the first permeable planar heater assembly (16) to the second permeable planar heater assembly (16.1 ).

Description:
CARTRIDGE FOR AN AEROSOL-GENERATING SYSTEM

The present invention relates to a cartridge for an aerosol-generating system, such as a handheld electrically operated system and an aerosol-generating system comprising the cartridge.

Handheld electrically operated aerosol-generating systems are known that consist of a main body comprising a battery and electric circuitry and a cartridge comprising a supply of aerosol-forming substrate held in a liquid storage portion. In conventional aerosol-generating systems such as disclosed in WO 2015/1 17704 A1 , a heater assembly is disclosed to vaporise the liquid aerosol-forming substrate, wherein the heater assembly has the form of a flat mesh extending across an opening of the liquid storage portion. The flat mesh may be provided at a side surface of the liquid storage portion such that an airflow channel is created adjacent to the liquid storage portion with the flat mesh on one side of the airflow channel and the housing of the cartridge on the other side of the airflow channel. The air flowing through this channel is exposed to a hot side, where the flat mesh is arranged, and a cooler side, where the housing is arranged. Due to the large temperature difference between the two sides, an unwanted condensation of aerosol droplets may occur at the cartridge housing.

It is desirable to enhance this cartridge by providing an optimized airflow past the heating assembly and an optimized heating of the air flowing adjacent to the heating assembly. Also, it is desirable to prevent condensation of aerosol droplets on a cool or cooler side of the cartridge.

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a cartridge for an aerosol-generating system. The cartridge comprises a liquid storage portion, which comprises a housing holding a liquid aerosol-forming substrate. The housing has a first and a second opening. The cartridge further comprises a first and a second permeable heater assembly, wherein the first heater assembly is fixed to the housing and extends across the first opening of the housing, and the second heater assembly is fixed to the housing and extends across the second opening of the housing. The first and second permeable heater assemblies are arranged opposite each other such that they face each other and form an airflow channel in between each other.

The first and second heater assemblies are advantageously substantially flat or planar. As used herein, "substantially flat" means formed in a single plane and not wrapped around or other conformed to fit a curved or other non-planar shape. A flat heater assembly can be easily handled during manufacture and provides for a robust construction. A "substantially flat" heater assembly means an heater assembly that is in the form of a substantially two dimensional object. Thus, a substantially flat heater assembly extends in two dimensions substantially more than in a third dimension. In particular, the dimensions of the substantially flat heater assembly in each of the two dimensions is at least 5 times larger than in the third dimension.

Providing at least two heater assemblies which are facing each other has the advantage that air, flowing through the airflow channel, is not in contact with a hot side and a cold side, but is heated uniformly from two sides. Consequently, a more uniform aerosol will form in the airflow channel, since the air is not cooled on one side. In conventional cartridges, an aerosol is formed adjacent to the heater assembly and cooled at the opposite side of the heater assembly near the cartridge wall. At this cold side of the cartridge, undesired droplets may form on the cartridge wall, thereby decreasing the quality of the generated aerosol. Furthermore, in conventional cartridges, the quality of the generated aerosol may depend on the outside temperature, which in turn determines the temperature of the wall of the cartridge. The invention may overcome these disadvantages by providing a further heater assembly opposite the first heater assembly. The forming of an aerosol by vaporisation of the liquid aerosol-forming substrate from the liquid storage portion is therefore no longer deteriorated by the relatively cool side wall of the cartridge. Instead, by providing two heater assemblies facing each other, the droplet size of the generated aerosol as well as the temperature, to which the on-rushing air is heated, may be adjusted independent of the outside circumstances, i.e. independent of outside parameters.

The airflow channel is provided in the cartridge such that the first heater assembly is provided on one side of the airflow channel and the other heater assembly is provided on the other side of the airflow channel. Also, more than two heater assemblies may be provided. If more than two heater assemblies are provided, these heater assemblies are then fixed to the housing of the liquid storage portion and extend across respective openings of the housing. If more than two heater assemblies are provided, these heater assemblies may be arranged to form a triangle, wherein the airflow channel is provided in the middle of the triangle between the heater assemblies. More than three heater assemblies may be arranged forming an airflow channel between the heater assemblies.

The first heater assembly may electrically be connected to the second heater assembly by a bridging connection, preferably by a soldered connection. Thus, only one electrical connection is necessary between a power supply and the heater assemblies. Preferably, the first heater assembly comprises a first contact region and the second heater assembly comprises a second contact region to enable the flow of an electric current through the first and second heater assembly. If the heater assemblies are not electrically connected to each other, each heater assembly comprises two contact portions and two electrical connections are provided between the respective contact portions of the heater assemblies and a power supply.

The electrical connection may be provided integrally with the housing of the liquid storage portion. Thus, the costs of the cartridge may be reduced due to the cartridge comprising fewer components.

The soldered connection may be provided on a side surface of the first or second heater assembly directly adjacent to the liquid aerosol-forming substrate. By providing the soldered connection directly adjacent to the liquid aerosol-forming substrate, the soldered connection may aid the heating process. In more detail, providing the soldered connection near to the liquid aerosol-forming substrate may lead to the effect that the flow of electric current through the soldered connection heats the soldered connection, thereby heating the adjacent liquid aerosol-forming substrate.

Heating the adjacent liquid aerosol-forming substrate may enhance the performance of the assembly. This may reduce the viscosity of the liquid which may increase the flow of the liquid to the heater assembly, increasing the surface of heater assembly submerged into liquid, minimizing the risk of overheating. When the aerosol-generating system is not in use, the viscosity of the unheated liquid may advantageously reduce undesirable leakage to and through the heater assembly.

The heater assemblies may not extend along the full length of the cartridge and preferably along 5 percent to 60 percent, preferably 10 percent to 40 percent, and most preferably about 20 percent of the full length of the cartridge.

The cartridge thus comprises a first portion in which the heater assemblies are provided and in which liquid aerosol-forming substrate is vaporised by the heater assemblies, thereby generating an aerosol, and a second portion in which the generated aerosol can cool before it is inhaled by a user. The length of the first portion may be between 1 millimeter and 10 millimeters, preferably between 3 millimeters and 7 millimeters, most preferably around 5 millimeters. The length of the second portion may be chosen such that aerosol-droplets of desired size may form due to the cooling of the aerosol in the second portion. The length of the second portion may be between 1 centimeter and 5 centimeters, preferably between 2 centimeters and 4 centimeters, most preferably around 3 centimeters. Consequently, the first portion may have a length of between 10 percent to 30 percent, preferably 15 percent to 25 percent and most preferably about 20 percent of the length of the cartridge or the second portion. Thus, a homogeneous aerosol of consistent high quality may be generated in the airflow channel and the droplet size of the generated aerosol may be adjusted by the length of the subsequent second portion of the cartridge. Thus, a desired droplet size to be inhaled by the user may be generated. The droplet size may be smaller than 3 microns, preferably smaller than 2 microns, more preferably smaller than 1 micron, and most preferably about 0, 4 microns.

In exemplary embodiments, the heater assemblies are between 0,25 millimeters and

2 millimeters, preferably between 0,75 millimeters and 1 ,25 millimeters, and most preferably 1 millimeter, spaced apart from each other. The distance between the heater assemblies defines the diameter of the airflow channel. The above distances lead to the effect that a homogeneous aerosol is generated by the heater assemblies, while a sufficient amount of air per time can pass through the airflow channel.

The heater assemblies may comprise mesh heaters. The mesh heaters may be substantially flat or planar. In more detail, the heater assemblies may each comprise a plurality of electrically conductive filaments connected to first and second electrically conductive contact portions, the first and second electrically conductive contact portions may be positioned on opposite sides of the respective heater assembly. The first and second electrically conductive contact portions are configured to allow contact with an external power supply. The plurality of electrically conductive filaments may form a mesh or array of filaments or may comprise a woven or non-woven fabric.

The electrically conductive filaments may form a mesh of size between 160 and 600 Mesh US (+/- 10 percent) (i.e. between 400 and 1500 filaments per centimeter (+/- 10 percent)). The width of interstices is preferably between 75 microns and 25 microns. The percentage of open area of the mesh, which is the ratio of the area of the interstices to the total area of the mesh is preferably between 25 and 56 percent. The mesh may be formed using different types of weave or lattice structures. Alternatively, the electrically conductive filaments consist of an array of filaments arranged parallel to one another.

The mesh, array or fabric of electrically conductive filaments may also be characterised by its ability to retain liquid, as is well understood in the art.

The electrically conductive filaments may have a diameter of between 8 microns and 100 microns, preferably between 8 microns and 50 microns, and more preferably between 8 microns and 39 microns.

The area of the mesh, array or fabric of electrically conductive filaments may be small, preferably less than or equal to 25 square millimeter, allowing it to be incorporated in to a handheld system. The mesh, array or fabric of electrically conductive filaments may, for example, be rectangular and have dimensions of 6 square millimeter by 6 square millimeter, preferably 5 square millimeter by 5 square millimeter, more preferably 4 square millimeter by 4 square millimeter, more preferably 3 square millimeter by 3 square millimeter, more preferably 2 square millimeter by 2 square millimeter or combinations thereof.

The electrical resistance of the mesh, array or fabric of electrically conductive filaments of the heater assembly is preferably between 0.3 and 4 Ohms. More preferably, the electrical resistance of the mesh, array or fabric of electrically conductive filaments is between 0.5 and 3 Ohms, and more preferably about 1 Ohm. The electrical resistance of the mesh, array or fabric of electrically conductive filaments is preferably at least an order of magnitude, and more preferably at least two orders of magnitude, greater than the electrical resistance of the contact portions. This ensures that the heat generated by passing current through the heater assembly is localised at the mesh or array of electrically conductive filaments. It is advantageous to have a low overall resistance for the heater element if the system is powered by a battery. Minimizing parasitic losses between the electrical contacts and the mesh or the filaments is also desirable to minimize parasitic power losses. A low resistance, high current system allows for the delivery of high power to the heater element. This allows the heater element to heat the electrically conductive filaments to a desired temperature quickly.

The cartridge may comprise a mouthpiece. Alternatively, the cartridge may only be comprised of the liquid storage portion, the housing of the liquid storage portion and the heater assemblies.

The liquid storage portion is arranged on the inside of the cartridge such that the housing of the liquid storage portion may safely be store the liquid aerosol-forming substrate. The housing of the liquid storage portion may be a part of the housing of the cartridge. The heater assemblies are provided on openings of the liquid storage portion. Preferably, a capillary material having a spongy or fibrous structure is provided between the heater assemblies and the liquid storage portion such that the liquid aerosol-forming substrate may be conveyed from the inside of the liquid storage portion to the heater assemblies without leaking from the liquid storage portion. Thus, the heater assemblies are moistened with liquid aerosol-forming substrate.

According to a second aspect of the invention, the cartridge comprises two separate liquid storage portions. In this embodiment, the first liquid storage portion comprises a first housing with a first opening with the first heater assembly extending across the first opening of the first housing and the second liquid storage portion comprises a second housing with a second opening with the second heater assembly extending across the second opening of the housing. Similar to the first aspect of the invention, the first and second permeable heater assemblies are arranged opposite each other such that they face each other and form an airflow channel in between each other. All of the above described features also apply to this embodiment, the difference being a single liquid storage portion in the first aspect of the invention and two separate liquid storage portions in the second aspect of the invention.

By providing two separate liquid storage portions, two different liquid aerosol-forming substrates may be provided in the two liquid storage portions. Also, the separate liquid storage portions may be easily arranged in the cartridge opposite each other such that the first and second heater assembly face each other and form an airflow channel in between each other.

The first or second or both housing/s may hold any suitable liquid aerosol-forming substrate. The liquid aerosol-forming substrate may comprise glycerol, pyruvic acid, lactic acid, glycerine or any combination thereof. The aerosol-forming substrate may comprise other additives and ingredients, such as flavourings or tobacco or nicotine or combinations thereof. Preferably, the first housing contains a liquid aerosol-forming substrate with nicotine or tobacco but without flavourings and the second housing contains a liquid aerosol-forming substrate with flavourings but without nicotine or tobacco.

The first and the second housing may thus be utilized to hold different liquid aerosol- forming substrates. This may be used to separate ingredients such as nicotine or nicotine flavour from other substrates such as glycerol or pyruvic acid or lactic acid or glycerol and pyruvic acid or glycerol and lactic acid or pyruvic acid and lactic acid or glycerol and pyruvic acid and lactic acid.

The first and second housing may be symmetrical half-cylinders and the airflow channel in between the heater assemblies may be a central airflow channel.

Thus, a symmetric airflow channel is provided which facilitates that a homogeneous aerosol is generated during vaporisation of the liquid aerosol-forming substrates by the heater assemblies.

According to a third aspect of the invention, an aerosol-generating system is provided. The aerosol-generating system comprises a main body with a power supply, electric circuitry and the cartridge as described with reference to the first and second aspect of the invention. The cartridge is coupled, preferably replaceably coupled, to the main body. The main body further comprises an air inlet such that air can be drawn through the air inlet and the airflow channel of the cartridge to a mouthpiece.

Preferably, the air is ambient air and is drawn from the outside of the aerosol- generating system. When the air is drawn through the airflow channel, the user may activate the aerosol-generating system or a sensor may activate the aerosol-generating system such that the heater assemblies are heated. In order to heat the heater assemblies, the electric circuity may control a flow of electric current from the power supply through the heater assemblies. Then, liquid aerosol-forming substrate from the liquid storage portion is vaporised by the heater assemblies, thereby creating an aerosol in the airflow channel. The aerosol is subsequently inhaled by a user through the mouthpiece.

The electric circuitry may be electrically connected to the power supply. The electric circuitry may be configured to monitor the electrical resistance of the heater assemblies, when the cartridge is coupled to the main unit. The electric circuitry may furthermore be configured to control a supply of electric current from the power supply to the heater assemblies dependent on the electrical resistance of the heater assemblies.

The electric circuitry may optimize the control of the heater assemblies by measuring the electrical resistance of the heater assemblies and controlling the supply of electric current from the power supply to the heater assemblies dependent on the electrical resistance of the heater assemblies. Preferably, the material of the heater assemblies is an electrically conductive material satisfying the equation R(t) = R(t 0 )(l + a to (t - t 0 )) wherein a is the temperature coefficient of resistance, to is a fixed reference temperature, preferably room temperature, and R (t 0 ) is the resistance at temperature to. If the material of the heater assemblies is known, which is the case, and the electrical resistance is measured, the temperature t of the heater assemblies can be determined. The temperature of the heater assemblies may thus be optimally controlled such that a homogeneous aerosol of consistent quality may be produced by the heater assemblies in the airflow channel. Furthermore, a burning of the contents of the liquid storage portion(s) may be prevented. This may also prevent or reduce the thermal decomposition of the liquid.

According to a fourth aspect of the invention, a process for manufacturing a cartridge for an aerosol-generating system is provided. The process comprising the following steps: providing a liquid storage portion, comprising a housing holding a liquid aerosol- forming substrate, the housing having a first and a second opening,

fixing a first permeable heater assembly to the housing so that the first permeable heater assembly extends across the first opening of the housing,

fixing a second permeable heater assembly to the housing so that the second permeable heater assembly extends across the second opening of the housing, and

arranging the first and second permeable heater assemblies opposite each other such that they face each other and form an airflow channel in between each other.

According to a fifth aspect of the invention, a process for manufacturing a cartridge for an aerosol-generating system, comprising the following steps:

providing a first liquid storage portion, comprising a first housing holding a liquid aerosol-forming substrate, the housing having a first opening,

fixing a first permeable heater assembly to the first housing so that the first permeable heater assembly extends across the first opening of the first housing,

providing a second liquid storage portion, comprising a second housing, the second housing having a second opening,

fixing a second permeable heater assembly to the second housing so that the second permeable heater assembly extends across the second opening of the second housing, and arranging the first and second permeable heater assemblies opposite each other such that they face each other and form an airflow channel in between each other.

In exemplary embodiments, the process according to the fourth or fifth aspect of the invention comprises the further step of connecting the heater assemblies electrically by a bridging connection. Thus, the heater assemblies may be connected to a power supply with a single connection, thereby reducing the number of components required. The bridging connection may be provided by soldering the first permeable heater assembly to the second permeable heater assembly.

Features described in relation to one aspect may equally be applied to other aspects of the invention.

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

Figure 1 is a sectional view of an embodiment of a cartridge;

Figure 2 is a further sectional view of an embodiment of a cartridge; and

Figure 3 is an illustrative view of an embodiment of a first and second heater assembly.

Figure 4 is an illustrative view of an further embodiment of a first and second heater assembly.

Figure 1 shows an embodiment of a cartridge. The cartridge comprises a first liquid storage portion 10. Furthermore, Figure 1 shows a second liquid storage portion 10.1 . The first liquid storage portion 10 and the second liquid storage portion 10.1 are provided separate from each other such that each liquid storage portion separately encloses a liquid aerosol-forming substrate. The first liquid storage portion 10 holds aerosol-forming substrate comprising 40% by weight glycerine, 40% by weight propylene glycol, 20% by weight water and flavourings. The second liquid storage portion 10.1 holds aerosol-forming substrate comprising nicotine and no flavourings.

The first liquid storage portion 10 comprises a first housing 12 and the second liquid storage portion 10.1 comprises a second housing 12.1 . The first housing 12 comprises a first opening 14 and the first second 12.1 comprises a second opening 14.1. Through the openings 14, 14.1 , liquid aerosol-forming substrate can flow from the inside of the housings 12, 12.1 to the outside of the housings 12, 12.1. The openings 14, 14.1 are covered with permeable heater assemblies 16, 16.1. In other words, a first permeable heater assembly 16 extends across the first opening 14 and a second permeable heater assembly 16.1 extends across the second opening 14.1 .

The heater assemblies 16, 16.1 are provided to heat the liquid aerosol-forming substrate, thereby generating an aerosol. By providing two heater assemblies 16, 16.1 , double the amount of liquid aerosol-forming substrate can be vaporized. Adjacent to the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 inside the housings 12, 12.1 , capillary elements (not shown in the Figures) can be provided. The capillary elements can be provided to convey the liquid aerosol-forming substrate from the inside of the housings 12, 12.1 to the heater assemblies 16, 16.1.

In order to heat the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 , the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 are provided with contact portions 19, 19.1 . contact portions 19, 19.1 , an electric current can flow through the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 , thereby heating the heater assemblies 16, 16.1. Furthermore, the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 are provided as a mesh wherein the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 each comprise multiple electrically conductive filaments 22. The electrically conductive filaments 22 are provided to enable liquid aerosol-forming substrate to permeate through the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 . The surface of the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 , which can be utilized for vaporising the liquid aerosol-forming substrate, are thus enlarged. The electrically conductive filaments 22 run parallel to the side surfaces of the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 . The electrically conductive filaments 22 may also run diagonal to the side surfaces of the heater assemblies 16, 16.1.

The aerosol is generated adjacent to the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 in an airflow channel 20. The airflow channel 20 is arranged between the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 within the cartridge. Preferable, the airflow channel 20 is provided as a central channel within the cartridge.

Due to the airflow channel 20 being arranged between the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 , the liquid aerosol-forming substrate is heated and vaporised from two sides. Thus, a homogeneous aerosol is created in the airflow channel. To facilitate a homogeneous generation of aerosol, more than two heater assemblies 16, 16.1 can be provided. Exemplarily, three heater assemblies can be provided to form an airflow channel with a triangular shape.

In the embodiment of Fig. 1 , the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 do not extend along the full height of the cartridge. Thus, aerosol is created by the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 in a first portion 24 of the cartridge and the aerosol can cool while flowing through the rest of the cartridge, i.e. through a second portion 26 of the cartridge in the flow direction 28. While cooling, larger droplets form in the aerosol before the aerosol is inhaled by a user. The length of the first portion 24 cartridge is 5 millimeters and the length of the second portion 26 cartridge is 3 centimeters. The length of the first portion 24 is around 16 percent of the length of the second portion 26.

The heater assemblies 16, 16.1 are electrically connected to each other by means of an electrical connection 30. Thus, the first permeable heater assembly 16 and the second permeable heater assembly 16.1 need only each be connected at the first connection portion 19 to a power supply of an aerosol-generating system. The first connection portion 19 is connected to the power supply by means of electric connectors 18, 18.1 .

The electrical connection 30 is provided to preheat the flow of air, flowing through the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 in the direction 28. Thus, less air cools on the mesh of the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 , which in turn leads to a smaller temperature gradient along the mesh patches. Consequently, more uniform thermal conditions of vaporization and narrower droplet size distribution of the produced aerosol is/are achieved.

Depicted in Fig. 4 are two electrical connections 30, 30.1 . Multiple electrical connections may be provided between the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 . Thus, the preheating of the flow of air is optimized.

In the embodiment as depicted in Fig. 4, the first electrical connection 30 is provided with a first contact 32 and the second electrical connection 30.1 is provided with a second contact 32.1 . By the contacts 32, 32.1 and the voltage applied by means of the two contact portions 19, a wheatstone bridge is created. The wheatstone bridge is utilized to measure the electrical resistance of the heater assemblies 16, 16.1. In this regard, the voltage between the first contact 32 and the second contact 32.1 is measured. If a non-zero voltage is measured, a nonuniform resistance of the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 is detected. In other words, if a nonzero voltage is measured, the electrical resistance of the first heater assembly 16 is different from the electrical resistance of the second heater assembly 16.1. Consequently, also a different temperature of the two heater assemblies 16, 16.1 is detected, since a different electrical resistance leads to different temperatures during heating of the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 . Thus, by means of the contacts 32, 32.1 , the resistance and temperature of the two heater assemblies 16, 16.1 is monitored.

The cartridge is provided connectable to the aerosol-generating system. The cartridge is provided as a one-use cartridge, which is disposed once the liquid aerosol-forming substrate in the liquid storage portions 10, 10.1 is depleted.

During use, a user draws on the aerosol-generating system and activates the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 such that the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 vaporise liquid aerosol-forming substrate. A flow sensor is provided to sense that a user draws on the aerosol-generating system. Upon detection of the user drawing on the aerosol-generating system, electric circuitry controls a flow of electric current through the heater assemblies 16, 16.1 .

The exemplary embodiments described above illustrate but are not limiting. In view of the above discussed exemplary embodiments, other embodiments consistent with the above exemplary embodiments will now be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.

Reference signs

10 first liquid storage portion

10.1 second liquid storage portion

12 first housing

12.1 second housing

14 first opening

14.1 second opening

16 first permeable heater assembly

16.1 second permeable heater assembly

18 first connector

18.1 second connector

19 first contact portion

19.1 second contact portion

20 airflow channel

22 filaments/mesh

24 first portion of the cartridge

26 second portion of the cartridge

28 flow direction

30 first electrical connection

30.1 second electrical connection

32 first contact

32.1 second contact