Thermal analysis is a branch of material science where the properties of materials are studied as they change with temperature.
Simultaneous thermal analysis (STA) generally refers to the simultaneous application of thermogravimetry (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to one and the same sample in a single instrument. The test conditions are perfectly identical for the thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry signals (same atmosphere, gas flow rate, vapor pressure of the sample, heating rate, thermal contact to the sample crucible and sensor, radiation effect, etc.). Thermomechanical analysis (TMA) measures dimensional changes as a function of time or temperature. Various probes are utilized to measure expansion, contraction, penetration or softening of the sample.
The information gathered can even be enhanced by coupling the simultaneous thermal analysis instrument to an Evolved Gas Analyzer like Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy or mass spectrometry.
Thermal Analysis – DTA is a technique that measure the temperature difference between the sample and an inert reference. The endothermic and exothermic transitions are recorded as a function of time or temperature and include glass transitions, crystallisation, melting and sublimation.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry – DSC measures the energy absorbed or released from a sample as a function of time or a temperature profile. DSC is useful to make the measurements for melting points, heats of reaction, glass transition, and heat capacity.
Thermogravimetric Analysis – TGA is the measurement of sample weight change as a function of a temperature profile. This method is useful for determining sample percentage weight loss.
Simultaneous Thermal Analysis – STA is the combination of DSC or DTA and TGA performed in a single experiment.
Thermomechanical Analysis – TMA measures dimensional changes as a function of time or temperature. Various probes are available to measure expansion, contraction, penetration or softening of the sample.