The Advantages Of DSC Testing
One of the big advantages of working with a specialized polymer testing laboratory is the ability of the lab to narrow down the tests to provide the information needed. Not only does this speed up the testing time to provide you with the needed results, but it also helps to keep the cost of testing as low as possible without compromising on the results.
A test that is often used in determining the specific thermal properties of all types of polymers is DSC testing. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measures the difference in heat flow to the sample during different phase transitions with regards to a reference sample. The amount of heat flow can be exothermic or endothermic.
For example, if a solid melts to a liquid, this is an endothermic process as the heat is absorbed by the sample. During crystallization, less heat is required, producing an exothermic process. The equipment used for DSC testing is able to precisely measure the change in heat flow relative to the reference as the sample goes through the various phase transitions.
Measurements and Data
Through the use of DSC testing, it is possible to determine a wide range of information about the specific characteristic of a sample. Most commonly it is used to determine glass transition temperatures, which is the temperature where a material turns from a hard, brittle state into a more malleable or rubber state.
At the same time, the process can provide information on crystallization and fusion as well as oxidation in specific types of materials. At each of the thermal transitions observed in the testing process, it is possible to compare the sample to known materials as part of the analysis process.
Impurities can also be detected in samples through this process. The addition of unknowns in the sample will change the temperature of the transitions, making it an effective test for this type of application.