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News Article | May 3, 2017

Thermal processing specialist Harper International, and Ferrite Microwave Technologies, which supplies 915 MHz industrial microwave systems, have formed a strategic relationship. Harper will make use of FMT’s high power microwave heating technology for its gas and electric fired furnaces. FMT reportedly has several patented microwave technologies that enable improved microwave field distribution across a wide variety of materials. Harper will integrate FMT’s heating technology into its furnace systems. Since commercial microwave use requires material specific equipment, matching the engineering and design capabilities of FMT with Harper’s furnace systems will help match customers’ processing requirements, the companies say. ‘Microwave can be a highly efficient and effective solution for a range of materials including ceramic and metal powders,’ said Charles Miller, president at Harper. ‘To provide our customers with an expanded solution set via world class microwave components inside our proven furnace systems is a winning combination.’ This story is reprinted from material from Harper, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

« SLAC, Utrecht Univ. team visualize poisoning of FCC catalysts used in gasoline production; seeing changes in pore network materials | Main | Eaton’s new Bussmann series EV fuses allow drivers to go further, faster » A US Department of Energy (DOE) program designed to spur the use of high performance supercomputers to advance US manufacturing has funded 13 new industry projects for a total of $3.8 million. Among the projects selected are one by GM and EPRI of California to improve welding techniques for automobile manufacturing and power plant builds in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Another one of the 13 projects is led by Sepion Technologies, which will partner with LBNL to make new membranes to increase the lifetime of Li-S batteries for hybrid airplanes. The High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program creates an ecosystem that allows experts at DOE’s national laboratories to work directly with manufacturing industry members to teach them how to adopt or advance their use of high performance computing (HPC) to address manufacturing challenges with a goal of increasing energy efficiency, reducing environmental impacts and advancing clean energy technologies. The partnerships use world-class supercomputers and scientific expertise from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), which leads the program, and partner laboratories Lawrence Berkeley and Oak Ridge national laboratories (LBNL and ORNL), which in turn team up with US manufacturers. GM and EPRI. GM and EPRI, representing two major US manufacturing industry sectors (automotive and nuclear energy) and both having welding research & development capabilities, will work with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the purpose of advancing HPC weld modeling tools for broad industrial applications. This potential will be demonstrated with two representative welded structural components: The goal is to reduce the computational time of the two above examples from days or months to several hours while providing adequate solution accuracy so that the HPC weld modeling tools could effectively optimize welding technology in order to minimize dimensional distortion and proactively mitigate the detrimental impact of weld-induced residual stresses. Sepion. Efforts to commercialize light-weight, energy-dense lithium-sulfur secondary batteries (2510 Wh kg–1) have been stalled by ongoing problems with the battery’s membrane, which limits cycle-life. Sepion’s polymer membrane technology provides a counterpoint, yielding long-lasting lithium-sulfur cells. Advancing to 10 Ah battery prototypes, Sepion faces challenges in membrane manufacturing related to polymer processing and the molecular basis for membrane performance and durability. High-performance computing offers critical new insight into these phenomena, which in turn will accelerate the product’s entry into the market. Sepion envisions that successes could catalyze a transformation in aviation, in which fuel-burning aircraft are replaced with hybrid-electric planes featuring 30–50% reductions in fuel costs and emissions. Shiloh Industries of Ohio will partner with ORNL to study phase change cooling of tooling to speed up casting processes in a project titled “Development of a Transformational Micro-Cooling Technology for High-Pressure Die Casting using High-Performance Computing.” Rolls-Royce Corporation of Indiana will partner with ORNL to improve silicon carbide composites in a project titled “Level-set Modeling Simulations of Chemical Vapor Infiltration for Ceramic Matrix Composites Manufacturing.” ORNL will partner with Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance, a consortium focused on the paper industry to design better catalysts for lignin breakdown in a project titled “Catalytic Pulping of Wood.” LLNL will partner with GE Global Research Center in New York to study how to mitigate defects caused by direct metal laser melting in a project titled “Minimization of Spatter during Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM) Additive Manufacturing Process using ALE3D Coupled with Experiments." PPG of Pennsylvania will partner with LBNL to decrease the time needed to paint automobiles in a project titled “Modeling Paint Behavior During Rotary Bell Atomization.” Actasys, Incorporated of New York, will partner with ORNL to decrease the fuel consumption of trucks by actively modifying the flow around the trucks in a project titled “High Performance Computational Modeling of Synthetic Jet Actuators for Increased Freight Efficiency in the Transportation Industry.” Carbon, Incorporated of California will partner with LBNL to increase the speed of polymer additively manufactured components in a project titled “Multi-physics Modeling of Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) for Additive Manufacturing.” The American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute will partner with LBNL to develop lower energy mechanisms of chemical separation using membranes in a project titled “Accelerating Industrial Application of Energy-Efficient Alternative Separations.” The Alzeta Corporation of California will partner with LBNL to destroy effluents from semiconductor processing that could potentially harm the ozone layer in a project titled “Improving Gas Reactor Design With Complex Non-Standard Reaction Mechanisms in a Reactive Flow Model.” Applied Materials, Incorporated will partner with LLNL to enable the manufacture of higher quality, more efficient LEDs for lighting in a project titled “Modeling High Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS) plasma sources for reactive Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) processes used in fabrication of high efficiency LEDs.” Harper International Corp. of New York will partner with ORNL to reduce the cost of carbon fibers in a project titled “Development and Validation of Simulation Capability for the High Capacity Production of Carbon Fiber.” The program has previously funded 16 projects ranging from improving turbine blades for aircraft engines to reducing heat loss in electronics to improving fiberglass production. Partners range from small to large companies, industry consortiums and institutes. Although the program is focused on using national lab HPC resources to bolster manufacturing, it is possible that other fields, such as transportation, the modern electrical grid and advanced integrated circuitry also could benefit. As the program broadens, other national laboratory partners are expected to join.

News Article | October 28, 2016

Harper International, world leader in custom thermal processing solutions for advanced materials, announced that in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) they have been awarded funding for a project through the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office’s HPC4Mfg Program. The Program was designed to spur the use of high performance supercomputers to advance U.S. manufacturing via public-private partnerships. Specifically, the Harper International / ORNL project, titled “Development and Validation of Simulation Capability for the High Capacity Production Carbon Fiber”, will focus on analysis of critical processing factors, such as temperature, gas flow and chemical reaction, in carbon fiber production equipment. The purpose is to ensure designs provide the necessary uniformity to produce fiber of a certain quality, output and cost ideal for automotive applications. Results will then be validated at the pilot scale equipment designed and installed by Harper at ORNL’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, followed by testing in a commercial production facility. “This project allows Harper to continue its work as a champion of innovative carbon fiber processing technologies to meet the needs of future markets, such as mass automotive applications, now with access to world-class supercomputers and deeper scientific expertise,” commented Dr. Prasad Apte, Director of Technology at Harper International. “We are proud to be collaborating with the pioneering thought leaders at ORNL in continuation of our strong relationship.” Read more on the latest round of awards for the HPC4Mfg Program in the news release from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory here: Harper International is a global leader in complete thermal processing solutions and technical services essential for the production of advanced materials. From concept to commercialization, from research scale to full production line operations, Harper is perpetually on the cutting edge of the most innovative furnace and oven designs in the world. For decades, they have pioneered some of the most unique, customized systems available, with a focus on processing materials at high temperatures up to 3000°C and in non-ambient atmospheres. For additional information, please visit or email

Harper International, Buffalo, N.Y, has been awarded a contract to supply a hot cell Rotary thermal processing system to treat waste from nuclear medicine production at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). Synroc technology has been developed to provide a safe, secure matrix for the immobilization and final disposal of radioactive waste. It will be utilized to encase radioactive wastes from the production of the radioisotope Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the isotope used for 80% of nuclear medicine procedures. This includes the diagnosis of cancers, heart disease, and muscular and skeletal conditions. The Rotary thermal processing system includes an advanced heating element design for increased robustness and ease of remote operation, and an enhanced modular design of components  for ease of remote maintenance in a hot cell. "In addition to waste from nuclear medicine production, we foresee that this new technology can also benefit other applications in the future, such as processing spent fuel waste from other international power generating nuclear reactors," commented Dr. Prasad Apte, Director of Technology at Harper International. Along with waste remediation, Harper offers technology solutions such as Pusher and Rotary furnaces for nuclear materials processing applications, including sintering UO pellets for reactor fuel rods, oxidation of UO pellets, swarf, and powder to U O , denitration of uranyl nitrate, and hydrofluorination of UO pellets. ANSTO is one of Australia's largest public research organizations and is the center of Australia's nuclear science capabilities and expertise - operating the nation's only nuclear reactor, OPAL. Australian Mo-99 is produced with low enriched uranium (LEU) target plates in the LEU fueled OPAL reactor, leading the global push toward nuclear nonproliferation.

News Article | November 7, 2016

Harper International, world leader in custom thermal processing solutions for advanced materials, has been awarded a contract for a high volume Rotary furnace system by Prayon, headquartered in Belgium. The innovative reactor will be used for drying and calcining of Prayon’s advanced iron phosphate powder, a key component of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) cathode materials used in rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles, and is a part of their recently announced new plant investment to supply the lithium ion battery market. The gas-fired Harper Rotary kiln will support their high volume operations with features to maximize Prayon’s production, including advanced tube features to provide enhanced reaction kinetics, gas-tight and dust-tight design, and internal heat recovery within the furnace chamber to improve energy efficiency. Prayon collaborated with Harper through their Ignite™ process during the development phase by supporting scale up planning and analysis. The Ignite™ program offers scale-up expertise and testing resources to help minimize risk and maximize efficiency for pilot and production level outputs. “Harper is focused on supporting the next generation of materials in advanced markets, and this project for the lithium iron phosphate market is a great representation of that”, commented Brian Fuller, Sales Manager for Harper International. “The material is an ideal solution for many of today’s most progressive technologies for electric power and storage battery systems, and we are proud to be a part of Prayon’s solution to supply this market.” Harper International is a global leader in complete thermal processing solutions and technical services essential for the production of advanced materials. From concept to commercialization, from research scale to full production line operations, Harper is perpetually on the cutting edge of the most innovative furnace and oven designs in the world. For decades, they have pioneered some of the most unique, customized systems available, with a focus on processing materials at high temperatures up to 3000°C and in non-ambient atmospheres. For additional information, please visit or email info(at)harperintl(dot)com. Prayon is a fully integrated global phosphate producer headquartered in Belgium, with manufacturing operations in Belgium, France and the United States. Jointly owned by OCP (Morocco) and SRIW (Belgium), Prayon manufactures and markets an extensive range of purified phosphoric acids, phosphate salts and fluorine products that are used in food, fertilisers and a range of industrial applications. Prayon also manufactures lithium iron phosphate, a cathode material used in hybrid and electric vehicle batteries as well as stationary applications. Prayon is constantly exploring new products designed to serve emerging market trends. Learn more at

News Article

Harper International, Buffalo, N.Y., was recently awarded a contract for a pusher furnace line with Kepco Nuclear Fuel (KNF), which is currently producing nuclear fuel for its pressurized heavy water reactors. Over the past two years, Harper's Applications, Engineering, & Technology Groups have carefully developed an advanced heating system for KNF's pressurized heavy water reactors. With this sixth furnace for KNF and all furnace iterations, Harper continuously aims to advance equipment performance. In addition to the advanced heating element that allows for higher temperature operation, an enhanced furnace shell cooling design has been developed, and both yield longer uniform operational life cycles. Additionally, advances have been made in exit water cooling design, insulation designs that reduce ambient heat release, and energy usage. Harper is compliant with nuclear-specific control systems for mandated upgrades for increased security and reliability. "Harper's global leadership in nuclear fuel production system technology continues to be validated by clients, who place their trust in our staff to conceive and implement the world's most advanced, efficient and reliable sintering thermal processing systems," commented Tom O'Connor, Sales Manager at Harper International. "Further, Harper is pleased to partner with KNF on this project which will play a role in providing reliable energy without greenhouse gas emissions." In addition to nuclear material processing, Harper is a market leader in advanced Pusher systems for a wide range of materials, including metal oxides, powders, technical ceramics and energy device materials. Learn more about Harper Pusher furnaces here. KNF is a group company of Kepco (Korea Electric Power Corporation) founded in 1982. KNF provides nuclear fuel, equipment and related services to all nuclear power plants in Korea and customers in the global nuclear energy industry.

Mroz T.,Harper International
Advanced Materials and Processes | Year: 2012

The success of process development can often be influenced by results and decisions made very early in evaluation process. The opportunity to evaluate new processes using commercially relevant equipment can assist in ensuring that raw material selection; initial processing steps; and assumptions regarding utilities consumption, product quality, and process yield will meet market requirements. Additional opportunities including obtaining equipment sizing data, matching process to equipment for maximized efficiency, and producing sufficient material for customer testing are realized when testing is performed in conjunction with the commercial scale equipment manufacturer. Involvement with key vendors at an early stage can be a critical factor. Availability of experimental data from laboratory testing provides a basis to design full-scale equipment that closely matches customer requirements. Risks associated with under-engineered solutions or high costs are minimized by the ability to use actual process data to design a thermal system.

Dover B.J.,Harper International | Witting P.,Harper International
International SAMPE Technical Conference | Year: 2015

One of the formats used for making advanced reinforcing fibers including non-PAN based carbon fiber has the precursor as a non-woven mat. The conversion process involves drying, curing and chemical conversion. The processes are complex involving exothermic and endothermic processes and material property changes as the thermal treatment progresses. Harper's model provides a general treatment of the overall process. Each of the individual processes is characterized by two to four parameters that can be determined using lab scale instruments. The model can be used to analyze the heating of nonwoven mats of arbitrary reinforcing fiber precursor (generally polymeric) fibers. The model uses radiation, convection, gas-phase conduction and process thermodynamics to predict the thermal and chemical profiles over time. Examples are discussed showing the use of the model to provide commercially interesting results, such as allowable bed depths, relationship between parameters and process time (equipment size / capacity). Copyright 2015. Used by the Society of the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering with permission.

Dover B.J.,Harper International
Materials Science and Technology Conference and Exhibition 2013, MS and T 2013 | Year: 2013

Harper manufactures vertical free-fall reactors for a broad range of materials. As temperatures increase, the CAPEX becomes more important. It is important, therefore, to employ a modeling tool to properly size the equipment for the target production rate. The model is discussed, noting the simplifying assumptions and the rigorous algorithms. The model considers heavy particles (acceleration), semi-opaque clouds (efficiency vs. efficacy), collisions between particles in different size (or shape) families (in case sticking is anticipated), and temperature dependent properties of the gases and solids (to account for phase changes). Copyright © 2013 MS&T'13®.

Harper International | Date: 2013-04-12

Industrial cooking ovens; Industrial furnaces; Kilns.

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