Harper is a trusted expert in innovative carbon fiber processing equipment, including the carbonization and graphitization of a variety of fibrous and other filamentary materials.
Since the inception of the Carbon Fiber industry, Harper has enabled manufacturers to achieve newer and greater heights with custom engineered systems. Harper initially pioneered the development of commercial ultrahigh temperature (UHT) furnaces for the market in the 1970s, and now owns a worldwide reputation as a leader in delivering thermal processing solutions, including furnaces, oxidation ovens, and complete lines that meet the increasing production challenges of this growing market.
Although Carbon Fiber is predominantly produced from polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and pitch, there is an increasing necessity for alternative, low cost and renewable precursors. Harper has the unique ability to adapt our technology to process nontraditional precursors throughout the entire thermal process. By using nontraditional precursors such as lignin, rayon, polyethylene, and blends, customers have the ability to lower their operating costs and reduce the residence time in the oven.
We have designed our equipment to be able to produce these emerging precursors throughout all line sizes, from research to production scale. To custom engineer a furnace specifically for the customer’s needs we take into consideration the chemistry of the precursor to determine the materials of production. Whether the precursor is unsupported by its weight requiring a belt furnace or is a tow, Harper provides solutions for these emerging precursors throughout the full process.
Beyond Carbon Fibers, our progressive thermal technologies are utilized to produce materials such as SiC (Silicon Carbide) Fibers and Carbon Nanotubes. Harper’s decades of experience in the Carbon Fiber market supporting successful scale up from grams to tons per year is well translated to these growing areas. For example, with many thermal steps in SiC Fiber production, Harper has unique expertise both in Ceramics and Fibers to develop efficient and effective technologies to meet business and technical goals across the entire process.
Harper supports cutting edge global companies and research institutes in development of these advanced Fiber materials in the most comprehensive way possible, with technology, services, expertise from lab scale to large production, deep process and material science knowledge, and custom engineering support. Our multiple Research & Piloting Facility options provide a resource to support an R&D path to commercialization that no other can offer.