Fiber processing equipment ceramic carbon thermal processingHarper is a trusted expert in innovative carbon fiber processing equipment, including complete process lines for 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 thermal processing 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 fiber processing equipment 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 fiber processing equipment to meet business and technical goals across the entire process.

Harper supports cutting-edge global companies and research institutes in the 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.

Technology Solutions for Fibers

Slot Furnace SystemsHarper is a world leader in Slot Furnaces, offering advanced design features in terms of element and muffle design, materials platform, and atmospheric considerations. Our experience in carbon fiber spans a variety of precursors including PAN, pitch, nonwoven mat, or discontinuous, loose fiber form, as well as sizes from research system to full scale production lines. Additionally, Harper combines its experience in carbon fiber and ceramics to provide solutions ideal for Silicon Carbide (SiC) fibers.

Harper is constantly innovating to serve the evolving market’s needs. Our advanced design features are focused on ensuring high quality and uniformity of fiber properties, include unique end seals, strategic heating element placement, robust insulation designs, advanced inboard and outboard louvers, and proven atmosphere purge chambers designs.

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Ultra-High Temperature Furnace (UHT)Harper is the world leader for Ultra High Temperature furnace (UHT) systems rated to 3000°C for use in the production of many powdered metals and high modulus carbon fiber, primarily used in applications requiring high rigidity.

Harper has developed UHT furnaces in a range of sizes, from as small as 65mm width systems producing 10 tons to production rates of 400 tons per year and more. As with all of our designs, we’re customizing state-of-the-art solutions unique to each customer’s processing needs, but special attention is given to the UHT system in terms of design and inspection for gas tight construction due to the highly demanding operations conditions.

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Oxidation Oven for Fiber ProcessingHarper offers advanced Oxidation Oven technology to complement its industry-leading furnaces for carbon fiber processing. Our state-of-the-art oven designs available for tow-bands from 300mm to greater than 4000mm. Harper’s designs incorporate a multitude of improvements beyond what’s available on the market today, including energy efficient designs.

Harper’s cutting-edge design includes features that offer better end product quality such as an innovative atmospheric end seals, instrumentation improvements, efficient modular construction scheme and progressive airflow techniques.

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