Technical CeramicsHarper supports the ever-expanding advanced ceramics industry with innovative thermal processing solutions, as new product designs push the boundaries of existing technology and demand reduced size and weight and increased performance. Our focus is enabling customers in thermal processing of ceramics with furnace and kiln technologies that incorporate improved flexibility, operating efficiencies, and equipment control to help scale up production rates successfully. We tailor our batch and continuous furnace systems to each unique application, ideal for processing in controlled and specialty atmospheric environments and at temperatures from 300 to 3000°C. Additionally, we can work to devise a turnkey furnace solution with our range of offerings including gas treatment and handling and fully integrated control systems.

Harper’s experience spans a range of engineering ceramics, with extensive experience in designing for the production of silicon nitride, tungsten carbide, boron nitride, and aluminas, in gas, electric, and microwave heating. Additionally, Harper kilns are widely used to calcine powders and sinter components such as thermistors, varistors and monolithic and multi-layer capacitors. As the utilization of specialty ceramics continues to grow through advancing aerospace, automobile, defense, energy, and bio-medical requirements, Harper aims to help enable companies from the lab to full commercialization, helping make their innovations a reality.

Harper’s diverse expertise across advanced material markets is most seen in the application of our technology for SiC (Silicon Carbide) Fiber processing. Our decades of experience in Carbon Fiber supporting successful scale up from grams to tons per year is well translated to this growing market. Harper has unique expertise both in Ceramics and Fibers to develop efficient and effective technologies to help customers meet business and technical goals across the entire process. No other thermal processing provider can claim the expertise that Harper offers in Ceramics and Fiber processing with the advanced technology portfolio, service capabilities, process and material science knowledge, and custom engineering support that we possess. Our multiple Research & Piloting Facility options provide a resource to support an R&D path to commercialization that is unparalleled in the industry.

Technology Solutions for Ceramics

Rotary Tube Furnaces designed by Harper offer exceptional versatility, reliability and energy efficiency and include multiple patented features that enable better mixing, resulting in improved heat transfer and mass transfer for technical ceramics.

Many applications require performance and safety that is only achieved by maintaining ultra-high purity. Harper’s Rotary systems consider these high purity applications from beginning to end: material in-feed valves and feeder, high-heat reactor tube, product cooling tube, and material discharge valves and collection. We have the experience to engineer these components to achieve a chemically inert environment all while maintaining a gas-tight and dust-tight system for your advanced material.

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Harper's Pusher Tunnel Furnace systems offer exceptional operating life, low operating cost and high efficiency ideal for the manufacturing of technical ceramics, including silicon nitride, tungsten carbide, boron nitride and aluminas.

As many thermal processes for advanced ceramics require exacting conditions, our innovative design enhancements consider the delicate pressure control within the system to provide accurate direction of the atmosphere flow path in the kiln. This facilitates evacuation of volatiles and optimizes atmosphere uniformity. Additionally, Harper’s unique gas curtain technology provides zone-to-zone atmosphere definition under specific conditions.

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Harper’s Mesh Belt Conveyor Furnaces are designed for the continuous processing of parts as well as advanced materials such as granular, powder, or particulate aggregates in high purity and specialty atmosphere environments at temperatures from 500 to 2000°C. Our experience with a variety of belt materials, including mesh, strip, and chain, allows us to specify the exact design to deliver an ideal thermal process regime for your advanced ceramic material, including silicon nitride, tungsten carbide, boron nitride and aluminas.

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Harper's patented Vertical Conveyor furnace offers advanced thermal processing with reactions that are distributed more uniformly and quickly over the surface layer of material to precisely heat technical ceramics.

One of many advanced design features, our system’s specialized material movement limits the potential for overheating problems, such as melting/sublimation, sintering or excessive grain growth. In addition to the container-less nature of the design, thermal transfer between product and reactants significantly improves the power efficiency of the unit. Our Vertical system limits heating and cooling requirements to the process material only – containment remains at temperature and the process material moves through it - resulting in better heat and mass exchange between products and reactants for improved efficiency.

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Microwave Thermal Processing furnaceHarper systems utilizing Microwave technology can overcome the challenges of conventional heating. Our capabilities cover a range of applications such as drying, sintering, activation, controlled pyrolysis, oxidation, and carbonization for products such as ceramic powders, shaped ceramics, carbon materials, and battery materials. In some cases, technical advantages such as energy efficiency, rapid processing, high material purity, and increased volumetric utilization can overweigh traditional gas and electric heating.

Harper's relationship with Ferrite Microwave Systems is your access to patented heating technology that is proven for industrial applications. No other furnace engineering company offers the range of solutions that Harper can for advanced material processing.

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