Harper is the most trusted partner in thermal processing technologies for the Carbon Fiber industry. Our value proposition in unequaled – with decades of industry experience and installations worldwide from small scientific research lines to full scale Carbon Fiber production lines,  our expert team lives to custom engineer furnace systems that meet your unique scale-up needs, resulting in unparalleled versatility and reliability.

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.

Click here to compare the different Carbon Fiber line sizes.

Scientific Lines

Carbon fiber research and development line - Courtesy of Georgia Institute of TechnologyEven our smallest scale Carbon Fiber conversion line emulates real world production across all equipment, yet delivers the precision and flexibility needed to aid research efforts and future scale up.

  • Requires only one person to operate
  • Designed to handle very few filaments  – from 10 to 20 filaments up to 6k
  • Operates at about .15 meters per minute or .005kg per hour
  • Instrumented to collect data – geared toward scientific analysis
  • Best suited for mono-filament operation and rapid cycle PAN formulation research

Learn more about Scientific Scale Lines.

Microlines™

Oxidation Oven for Carbon Fiber Testing Harper’s Microline™ is best suited for mini production for material trials and sample development for industry R&D groups, national and academic research institutes. Designed to both enable experimentation goals and mimic future state larger capacity production, the Microline offers:

  • Faster line speeds ranging from 0.1 m/min to 1.5m/min or 44g per hour
  • Tow sizes from 100 filament to 80k
  • Flexibility in precursor materials
  • Precise atmospheric & temperature controls
  • Ease of use –turnkey installation & faster ramp-up times

Learn more about Microlines™.

Pilot Lines

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, a complete pilot line designed and installed by Harper InternationalOur fully integrated Pilot Line systems offer features and conditions aligned with production scale systems for customers making higher amounts of material for sampling and trialing yet at smaller quantities than full scale Production Lines. As an example, the world class line installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (pictured right) for advanced fiber trialing features:

  • Capacities of 4.3kg per hour
  • Small tow size ranges of four 12k or sixteen 3k, a minimum 48k total
  • Belt transport for matted or felted product formats
  • Driven pass-back rollers for slip prevention at low loading
  • Internals with a high degree of corrosion resistance for alternative precursor use
  • Three discreet airflow directions

Learn more about Pilot Scale Lines.

Production Lines

Production Scale Carbon Fiber HT Furnace LineWhen you have reached production scale, Harper’s 3M and 4M Carbon Fiber lines are the ideal choice, focused on process effectiveness, product quality and operational optimization. Born from our years of experience in helping customers from around the world grow from fractions of kilograms per hour to tons per year, Harper’s unique expertise is in linking the process steps offering a seamless and fluid production line with maximum efficiency.

Harper is the industry standard choice in continuous LT, HT, UHT furnace and Oxidation Oven technologies for the Carbon Fiber industry. Our latest innovation in 3 meter wide production scale Oxidation Oven demonstrates outstanding performance for key metrics including air velocity uniformity measuring at 2.2%, and temperature uniformity of +/-2.5°C throughout the entire heated length. This innovative oven design enables enhanced performance with higher and more efficient rates of production.

Learn more about Production Scale Lines.

 

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