Thermal Analysis Laboratory


Thermal analysis refers to the measurement of the response of a material to a thermal stimulus and can be used to evaluate a very wide range of properties. The CMSC is well equipped to comprehensively investigate the thermophysical properties of polymers and composites. In 2008, the advanced Q-series modules were acquired, complementing the 2900 series modules that are also in service at the CMSC. 
  • Q2000 DSC is an advanced research grade DSC with a robotic auto-sampler allowing up to 50 specimens to be tested in sequence. Materials can be tested from -90oC to 725 oC. Linear temperature ramps or modulated temperature ramps can be used to measure heat capacity, reaction kinetics, glass transition temperature, crystallinity, polymorphism, melt temperature, purity, and oxidative stability.
  • Q500 TGA with the High Resolution (Hi-ResTM) feature provides superior temperature resolution of thermal events. The unit can be toggled between nitrogen or air anytime during a the TGA experiment. TGA can be used to define the degradation point, moisture content, filler content, decomposition kinetics, and more.
  • Q400 TMA has a temperature range from subambient to 1000 oC for the determining the coefficient of thermal expansion of materials. It can be operated in the temperature modulation mode for enhanced resolution of thermal events or for investigation of kinetic effects. 
  • Q800 DMA can be operated from -150oC to 600 oC for the study of the viscoelastic response of polymers and composites. A wide range of geometries can be evaluated, including single and double cantilever, 3-point bending at various spans, compression, shear sandwich, films, and fibers. DMA can be used to measure glass transition temperature, decay in stiffness as a function of temperature, creep, stress relaxation, and other material properties.
Another important material property is thermal conductivity and effusivity to describe how heat is transferred through the sample or liberated to another material. The Anter Unitherm™ Model 2022 uses the guarded heat flow meter method to measure thermal conductivity of polymers, ceramics, composites, glasses, rubbers, and other materials of low to medium thermal conductivity up  to 300°C.
The CMSC has two rheometers for studying the flow of liquids and soft solids such as polymeric melts, flow characteristics, gel time, and much more. The ARES rheometer, located in Engineering Building, is a true strain controlled unit having the measuring transducer separated from the drive motor. This unit is versatile and can be operated in steady or dynamic modes. The CMSC has fixtures for cone and plate, parallel plate, rectangular torsion for solids, and extensional viscosity fixture for polymeric films. The unit is fitted with liquid nitrogen cooling giving an effective test temperature of -150 to 600oC.    The AR2000ex rheometer a controlled stress rheometer, and has the versatility to investigate rheological properties of fluids in steady or dynamic modes using parallel plate or rectangular torsion geometries. Click here for the manufacturer's performance specifications for the ARES andAR2000ex rheometers. Click here for instrment 
Lab Address: 

Mike Rich, 517.353-4696 or