Big scale thinking.
Harper pioneered the Microline™ concept based on the flexibility to change and modify for the needs of customers in research and development of advanced fiber processing techniques. Our system accommodates line speeds ranging from 0.1 m/min to over 1 m/min and tows from 10 filaments to 48000 filaments. Read about our recent contracts for Microlines for research institutions in the USA and South America, as well as our advanced piloting line at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, designed with flexibility to handle multiple precursor types with a unique material handling solution.
Our fully integrated and extensively outfitted Microlines are configured for customization with advanced performance equal to our production scale lines, but in a modest scale for research and development customers. Most lab-scale testing is performed in discontinuous batch processing steps; the Harper International system provides continuous conversion of filamentary material. The system is equally suited for both potential industry clients as well as national and academic research institutes.
Harper systems allow for maximum manipulation of key process parameters, including controlling tension after each unit operation and multiple zones of temperature control in oxidation, pre-carbonization and carbonization. Our drive systems are designed for precision control of the forces imparted to the fiber, allowing for flexibility in tow counting, loading, and drive position. This flexibility yields greater customization of oxidation, with adjustability zone by zone, pass by pass, and carbonization.
For investment and technical configuration considerations, the system can also be designed with:
- single or multiple dip systems for surface treatment
- advanced HT furnace designs for up to 1800°C
- optional UHT furnace for investigation of high modulus fibers up to 2800°C
- configuration of control system for preferences regarding remote access and data historian
- material handling for emerging precursors including those requiring belt transport
Additionally, Harper offers testing facilities for its customers if needed prior to equipment investment to assist with scale up and process development .
Our Microline system includes all of these highly customizable operations:
- Creel: Up to (8) positions
- Oxidation Oven: Up to 300°C, with multiple Zones of Control
- Drive Stands: Multiple locations throughout the system,
- Low minimum loading point to enable research on minimal filament counts
- LT & HT Furnace Pre-carbonization and Carbonization: Up to 1000°C and 1600°C respectively, with multiple Zones of Control, atmospherically controlled
- Optional Pretreatment System
- Optional Surface Treatment System
- Optional Sizing System
- Optional UHT Furnace for Carbonization: Up to 2800° C, atmospherically controlled
- Overall Plant Footprint approximately 40m L x 10m W x 4m H
Start up / Shut down
Start-up for Harper equipment from ambient conditions takes 8 – 12 hours. Shut down can occur in a shorter time frame. To optimize the life of the equipment and minimize thermal cycling, we recommend that the LT and HT furnaces be at idled at temperature for short downtime durations (i.e. over a weekend). This also optimizes power, when considering the requirements for heat-up.
Maintenance & Support
As always, Harper offers customized training, service and maintenance options based on the needs of the client. Beyond training, Harper’s commitment to ongoing and rapid response to keep the client and their operations running smoothly and meet evolving / emerging system requirements is well known in the industry.