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Chemical analyses

The DSC method (differential scanning calorimetry) is one of many methods for conducting thermal analyses.

This method is used in two variants: heat flow or compensation variant.

Results are recorded as curves of change in heat flow versus time, depending on temperature.

Obtained curves define the rate of changes of a given parameter and facilitate differentiation of thermal effects and precise determination of the temperature of points characteristic for phase transitions.

To perform an analysis, a few mg sample is enough, which is a big advantage of the DSC method.

In the DSC method, the analyzed sample and the reference (the latter is not subjected to any transformations) are heated up in identical conditions while measuring the difference in temperatures between them.

Heat flow translates into the emitted power and is measured in watts and miliwatts. The graphic relation between the heating temperature and time should be close to linear.


Application of the DSC method:

  • determination of chemical composition of both organic and non-organic substances
  • determination of melting points
  • determination of phase transitions
  • determination of the volume of humidity in a sample
  • determination of chemical purity

Factors determining the DSC analysis results:

  • choice of reference substance
  • influence of the atmosphere which the sample is exposed to
  • temperature change rate

Advantages of the DSC method:

  • does not require high amounts of tested substance (0.5-30 mg is enough)
  • measurements can be conducted both during heating up as well as during cooling down by analyzing transition phases
  • compared to other methods of thermal analysis, results are obtained quickly and are satisfactorily accurate
  • wide range of temperature (from -170ºC to 725ºC)




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