Harper: Performance Results of Production Scale Oxidation Oven
Data was acquired at temperatures up to 280 °C and air velocities up to 4 m/s. One of the most critical performance metrics in an oxidation oven is air velocity uniformity. Harper’s oxidation oven uniform ity measured 2,2 %. Air velocity uniformity across the entire tow band is essential as the PAN stabilization phase is an exothermic reaction. If there are low velocity regions, the reaction can run away, causing deflagration. If there are high velocity regions, it can cause damage to the delicate PAN fiber. Harper’s design also demonstrated temperature uniformity of ±2,5 °C throughout the entire heated length. Temperature uniformity is critical in carbon fiber manufacturing because it enables higher and more efficient rates of production. As greater production rates have led to wider, taller, and longer oxidation ovens, it is a critical challenge to improve velocity and temperature uniformity while simultaneously increasing the oven size.