Microwave Testing MaterialsHarper International designs advanced Microwave thermal processing systems, as well as offers in-house Microwave testing as part of our Ignite™ program in our Technology Research Center.

Microwave heating provides significant benefits over conventional heating because the material to be processed is the heating element. Hence, the response to the microwave energy input depends on the properties of the material. Since most ceramic materials have low conductivity and in conventional processing the heat transfer occurs by conduction, the processes are slow. Thermal conductivity is not an issue with microwaves. Another key benefit is a high equipment utilization ratio due to the drastic reduction in insulation of the furnace in microwave heating.

Harper’s Lab Scale Experimental Apparatus is capable of delivering up to 3kW of microwave energy and it can be controlled in steps of 50W. The frequency of the radiation is 2450MHz. The current aluminum container designed as a single mode applicator can reach very high temperatures. If a controlled atmosphere is required, a quartz container can be placed with quartz tubes extending through the holes of the applicator. Connecting gas sources to the quartz enables atmosphere control.

Testing on a small batch scale enables the development of the proper processing conditions and for defining suitable materials of construction. It is often the case that the properties of the material being tested can change as a function of temperature and time. Small tests enable proper equipment design to deal with these changes.

All non-metallic and electrically non-conducting materials can be designed for temperatures ranging from 600°-1800°C. Applications include, but are not limited to; ceramic processing, powders, shaped ceramics, activated carbon, battery materials and food processing.

Harper’s laboratory team is available to support testing for a wide range of applications and materials. Testing can be performed in small batches to small scale continuous processes in small rotary calciners or vertical processing reactors, and Harper can help take your idea from spark to finish. With over 30 years of experience with Microwave systems, you can trust Harper’s team of engineers to take your unique process from the lab to full commercialization.


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