Oxidation is the first thermal step in the conversion of the precursor into Carbon Fiber. Traditionally it has also been the biggest polluter and energy consumer in the process line. Historically these issues had not been addressed in the process equipment design. The opportunity to dramatically improve the efficiency of oxidation has motivated Harper to develop the next generation of ovens for Carbon Fiber processing.
In order to manage the off-gases generated during the processing of the precursor, the historical practice has been to dilute with air and flush it through the system. As the industry has matured, treating the off-gases has become standard practice. More abatement and discharge, however, does not address energy efficiency.
Recent techniques to address the oxidation step have included use of preheated air to achieve a more efficient process. Harper understands that proper end seal and oven design can lead to greater use of preheated air. The design of a true atmospheric end seal is critical to control, manage, and enable the highest level of energy exchange between waste gas abatement and oxidation oven unit operations. Looking at temperature uniformity is one measure of end seal efficiency. Harper’s end seal design eliminates chimney effect and maximizes working volume. The true benefit of an efficiently functioning end seal is the ability to enable energy recovery within the oven system. Harper’s end seal can enable >75% reduction of the energy required for heating within the oven.
Harper’s focus on oxidation is driven by the long overdue need to make this step more energy efficient and economical. Learn more about Harper Oxidation Ovens, or contact us today for a complete assessment of the energy efficiency opportunities at the oxidation step for your processing line.