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Thermogravimetric Analysis

The TGA provaides a graph of mass loss vs. temperature over the range of 25 to 1200 C. This analytical technique is widely used in polymer science, inorganic chemistry, fuel science, and geology to measure the loss of volatile components or thermal stability of a sample. The experiments are usually run with a temperature ramp of 10 or 20 deg/min and can be carried out in inert atmospheres, such as nitrogen, to study thermal stability or volatility, or in oxidizing atmospheres to study oxidative decomposition. The mass losses can be characteristic of a material and, where the losses are in discrete steps, the TGA experiment can offer quantitative data on teh course of a decomposition. The TGA also can be run in an isothermal mode, where the rate of weight loss at a fixed temperature is measured. This type of experiment can be used to predict loss rates of volatiles or decomposition rates for materials

Micro-Scan Services, Inc. offers thermogravimetric analysis using a DuPont Model 950 which is operated by a controller and software of our own design. Sample sizes can be as small as 1 milligram, but for greater precision and ease of handling, 10-25 milligram samples are typically used. The upper temperature limit is determined by the furnace windings, but with the exception of some mineral specimens, most experiments are complete before 800 C. We currently offer TGA analyses in nitrogen or air. Other nonexplosive, noncorrosive, and nontoxic atmospheres may be provided at additional cost.

APPLICATIONS

POLYMERS
Weight loss vs. temperature, loss of water from nylon and other hygroscopic polymers. Determination of fillers, reinforcements, and pigments. Analysis of rubber compositions. Also, volatilization of additives, kinetics of decomposition, and oxidative stability studies.
ELECTRONICS
Resin content of printed circuit boards. Volatilization curves for fluxes. Thermal decomposition of wire insulation and components.
PHARMACEUTICALS
Water and volatiles content of solid dosage forms.
INORGANIC MATERIALS AND MINERALS
Determination of temperatures of dehydration, elimination, and decomposition. Quantification of volatiles loss.
COMPOSITES
System decomposition curves. Filler and reinforcement analysis. Oxidative stability. Lifetime prediction.
RELATED SERVICES
Our micro-FTIR capabilities permit analysis of samples during interrupted TGA runs as well as of the mineral residues at the end of the TGA experiment.
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