What is Thermal Analysis?

Thermal analysis uses various techniques to investigate differences in a material’s properties when subjected to changes in temperature. Both endothermic reactions (energy absorbing) and exothermic reactions (release of energy) are monitored, as well as weight loss when heating and cooling.


What Are Some Thermal Analysis Techniques?

Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)
  • Measures the mass of a sample while the sample is heated or cooled in a defined atmosphere
  • Indicates composition and relative concentration by weight for each element including volatiles, organics and inorganics
  • Provides information on thermal stability
  • Helps determine levels of a material’s organic and non-organic components’ degradation temperature of polymers, moisture content absorbed by a material, and solvent residues on coatings and films.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
  • Measures the heat flow to the sample and to a standard when they are at the same temperature
  • Measures and compares the differences in heat flow to determine the sample’s thermal properties
  • Aids in understanding of the material’s changes in composition, crystallinity, melting point and amount of curing
  • Used for both organic and inorganic materials
  • Utilized to observe fusion and crystallization changes, determine glass transition temperatures, oxidative stability; examining polymers for composition, studying curing processes, drug analysis and monitoring a variety of chemical reactions
Simultaneous DSC TGA (SDT)
  • Measures the mass of a sample (TGA) and the heat flow (DSC) as the sample is heated or cooled in a controlled atmosphere
  • Simultaneous measurement of both weight change and true differential heat flow on the same sample differentiates between reactions in which there is no weight loss and those events which do produce a weight loss
  • Combined evaluation ensures identical conditions for both measurements and removes any uncertainties related to individual analytical conditions
  • Analyzes a wide variety of materials, including polymers, ceramics, metals, and other inorganics
  • Determines composition of multi-components, melting points, boiling points, decomposition/degradation, oxidative stability, thermal stability, heat of fusion, moisture content, and volatiles content