Harper International lands contract for ultrahigh-temperature pyrolization furnace

Rated at 2700°C/4892°F, the furnace will be used to process high-modulus carbon fiber for an undisclosed customer.

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Buffalo, N.Y. based Harper International, a world leader in thermal processing solutions for advanced materials, announced that it had awarded a project by a client for an ultrahigh-temperature (UHT) carbon fiber furnace, rated to 2700°C/4892°F. Harper’s proprietary system will be used in the production of high-modulus carbon fiber.

Harper reports that a furnace that operates at such high temperatures necessitates inventive design for the materials of construction, sealing technology, and atmosphere control. Most traditional materials would be consumed as part of the reaction with exposure to such high temperatures for extended periods of time. Harper employs years of experience and multiple proprietary features to implement systems that perform reliably for extended periods under these extreme conditions. Additionally, this particular system is designed to accommodate argon or nitrogen atmospheres and also employs special lower-voltage elements to avoid plasma arcing, which can compromise the production line.

“We continue to prove to the market that Harper is the singular choice for high-temperature thermal processing solutions, especially for carbon fiber production and especially in the ultrahigh-temperature arena,” comments Charles Miller, president, Harper International.

“With [the] increasingly larger scales of production," adds Dr. Peter Witting, senior process technology engineer at Harper, "the challenges in a system at such high temperatures as these are intensified. Our design focuses on absolute system integrity to maximize furnace life, incorporating ultra gas-tight technology and unique heating element designs for the most advanced system available in carbon fiber production.”

The proprietary Harper system will be used in the production of approximately 100 metric tonnes of specialty carbon fiber per year, compared to Harper’s industry standard 3m/10-ft wide design which typically produces 1,500 to 2,200 metric tonnes (more than 3.3 million to 4.85 million lb) per year for many of the world’s leading carbon fiber producers.

Harper International is a global leader in complete thermal processing solutions and technical services essential for the production of advanced materials. The company's scope is said to encompass from "concept to commercialization, from research-scale to full production line operations." For additional information about Harper, visit harperintl.com or email us at info@harperintl.com.