Differential Scanning Calorimetry

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Differential Scanning Calorimetry, or DSC, is a thermal analysis / thermoanalytical technique that determines how a material’s heat capacity (Cp) is changed by temperature. A sample of known mass is heated or cooled and the changes in its heat capacity are scanned as changes in the heat flow. This allows the detection of transitions like melts, glass transitions (Tg), phase changes, and curing. Because of this flexibility, DSC is used in many industries including pharmaceuticals, polymers, food, paper, printing, manufacturing, agriculture, semiconductors, and electronics as most materials exhibit some sort of transitions.

Differential Scanning Calorimetry

DSC has found uses in a large number of industries, such as Pharmaceutical, Chemical, tools manufacturing, semiconductor technology, battery safety, food technology, explosives manufacturing, metallurgy, cosmetics, textiles, energy companies – petroleum and coal. Others include applications in quality control, testing and catalysis, for example, for the screening of catalysts for CO oxidation in the automotive industry. For explosives development, a DSC may be used to measure safely, the energy released by a small amount of a sample without any catastrophic consequences. For these reasons, DSC is the most common thermal analysis technique and is found in many analytical, process control, quality assurance and R&D laboratories.

DSC is commonly used to measure a variety of properties in both organic and inorganic materials, from metals and simple compounds to polymers and pharmaceuticals. The properties measured include:

  • Melting Point (Tm)
  • Purity of a Compound
  • Glass transitions (Tg)
  • Phase changes
  • Crystallization Point (Tc)
  • Product stability
  • Cure / cure kinetics
  • Oxidative stability
  • Heat capacity and heat of fusion measurements
  • High resolution images
  • Elemental microanalysis and particle characterization
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Biomedical/biotechnology
  • Compound Semiconductor
  • Data Storage
  • Defense
  • Displays
  • Electronics
  • Industrial Products
  • Lighting
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Photonics
  • Polymer
  • Semiconductor
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Telecommunications
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