Thermal Analysis and Thermal Properties

The following section introduces some of the methods we apply for thermal analysis. It also features their principle of operation and some typical applications.

Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA)Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA)

  • TGA measures the change in mass of a substance or compound as a function of time and temperature.
  • Areas of Application: Measuring the mass change of a sample due to evaporation, decomposition, reduction or oxidation. Determination of material fractions in compounds.

Dynamic Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

  • DSC measures the amount of heat released or adsorbed by a material as a function of temperature.
  • Areas of Application: Glass transition temperatures, melting enthalpies, degree of crystallinity, heat capacity, point of decomposition, …

Thermo Mechanical Analysis (TMA)

  • The TMA method measures deformation or dimensional changes in a sample as a function of temperature. Measurements can be performed applying pressure or tension.
  • Areas of Applications: longitudinal dilatation or shrinkage, material softening.

Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis (DMTA)Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis (DMTA)

  • DMTA probes the mechanical properties of a material as a function of temperature. For this, a small sinusoidal force is applied to the sample.
  • Areas of Application: Glass transition, viscoelastic material properties, curing of resins, frequency dependant mechanical properties.

Vicat Softening Point

  • Heat resistance and softening temperature are indications for the temperature load capacity of plastic materials. The temperature at a given outer fiber strain or material softness is measured.
  • Area of Application: The data describes the maximum temperature where a thermoplastic material reaches its limitation at long-term use.


  • The tested material is ignited within a combustion chamber. After the removal of the open flame, the continuous burning behavior is assessed.
  • Areas of Application: Flammability, combustion rate.