Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) Analysis (Allentown Lab)

Powerful thermal analysis technique to determine thermal transitions of materials

 Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is a powerful thermal analysis technique in which the heat flow into or out of a sample is measured as a function of temperature or time, while the sample is exposed to a controlled temperature program. Allentown’s senior scientists can perform DSC analysis to evaluate materials properties such as glass transition temperature, melting, crystallization, specific heat capacity, cure process, purity, oxidation behavior and thermal stability.

DSC analysis starts with placing a small amount of sample (1-15 mg) within a closed crucible and placing it into a temperature-controlled DSC cell. A second crucible without sample is used as a reference. A typical DSC run involves heating/cooling the sample at a controlled steady rate, and monitoring the heat flow to characterize the phase transitions and/or cure reactions as a function of temperature. More involved studies can adopt multi heating/cooling steps as well as isothermal mode. Modulated DSC that utilizes a temperature modulation technique can be used to determine weak transitions and separate overlapping thermal events.

DSC analysis provides test data for a wide range of materials, including polymers, plastics, composites, laminates, adhesives, food, coatings, pharmaceuticals, organic materials, rubber, petroleum, chemicals, explosives, biological samples and more.

Analysis capabilities:

  • Determination of specific heat capacity (ASTM E1269-11) of pure compounds or mixtures; purity of relatively pure substances (ASTM E 928-08); phase separation of polymer blend and copolymers
  • Oxidation Induction Time (OIT) (ASTM D 3895)
  • Modulated DSC to determine weak subtle transitions and to separate overlapping thermal events
  • Thermal stability assessment (ASTM E 537-12)
  • Kinetic study of chemical reaction or decomposition (ASTM E 698-11)
  • Charactering cure process, glass transition temperature of the cured sample and residue cure 
  • Characterization of thermal phase transitions (e.g. melting, crystallization, Tg) and measuring heat of fusion and heat of crystallization. This information can be used to determine best processing temperatures, obtaining thermal fingerprints of the materials; and comparing thermal properties of the materials with different performance (ASTM E 793-06; ASTM E 794-06)
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