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3/19/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Harper International releases next-generation oxidation oven system

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Harper International (Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.) announces the release of its next-generation oxidation oven system, as well as enhancements to its high-temperature (HT) furnace systems.

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Harper International (Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.) announces the release of its next-generation oxidation oven system, as well as enhancements to its high-temperature (HT) furnace systems.

The 3-m-wide production-scale oxidation oven includes enhancements such as better thermal and air velocity uniformity, said to demonstrate up to 30% improvement in production efficiency. The stainless steel interior of the advanced oxidation oven design is said to enable a range of precursors to be produced throughout all line sizes, from research to production scale. Additionally, this most recent design reportedly yields longer equipment life, improved corrosion resistance and increased carbon fiber quality.

The proprietary oven design is said to nearly eliminate chimney effect, while also providing excellent thermal and velocity uniformity at the fiber entrance and exit points. The patented supply nozzles are said to excel in velocity uniformity across the width, length and height of the oven for maximum uniformity across the tow band throughout the fiber processing volume. Independently adjustable louvers are provided internal and external to the end seal, enabling operators maximum energy efficiency and minimum fugitive gases. Harper’s end seals also feature a maintenance door on both sides of the chamber, enabling quick and convenient service actions.

Enhancements to Harper’s HT furnace systems for fiber manufacturing include improvements to the entrance throat section, including on-line cleaning capabilities. According to Harper, debris and filament buildup impedes and disrupts smooth gas flow in a carbon fiber HT furnace, resulting in non-uniform properties across the tow band. The debris needs to be removed periodically during the operation of a fiber production line. Traditional cleaning techniques require reduction of HT furnace temperatures in order to gain access for cleaning, resulting in reduced furnace run times. Harper’s new on-line cleaning system, located in the entrance section, is said to enable cleaning while the furnace is hot, resulting in increased run-time.

In order to prevent exposure of the HT furnace to an air atmosphere, the on-line cleaning feature is self-contained and sealed with an incorporated nitrogen purge. Additionally, Harper’s on-line cleaning system includes sight-ports that permit the operator to see into the process chamber in order to assess the level and location of the debris. The on-line cleaning feature offers Harper HT furnace users improved fiber thermal uniformity and increased furnace utilization.

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