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Thermal and Polymer Characterisation

Discover our service of thermal analysis and polymer characterisation.


A researcher using the equipment
Our equipment offers all the standardised thermal analysis evaluations.

Thermal analysis is the study of the relationship between a sample property and its temperature. Applications include:

  • Evaluation of thermal stability
  • Detection of the glass transition
  • Determination of the amount of volatile matter in a sample
  • Measurement of melting point temperature and enthalpy
  • Analysis of the viscoelastic behaviour

Want to learn how we do thermal analysis?

Browse our thermal & polymer characterisation library to learn how we detect glass transitions, how we measure molecular mass distributions and more thermal analysis methods.

Visit our Moodle course, topic: Thermal & Polymer Characterisation to watch introductory videos on our techniques (internal users only).

Discover another way to measure the glass transition in polymers and learn how thermogravimetry can be used to determine the amount of volatile matter in a sample.

Our equipment

We host the following thermal analysis instruments:

Technique Instrument Temperature range Acquisition program Comment
Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) Setsys Evolution TGA 16/18 by Setaram 30°C to 1000°C Calisto coupled with a mass spectrometer for evolving gas analysis
Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) DSC Q20 by TA Instruments -80°C to 400°C Q series for solid samples
Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) DMA1 by Mettler Toledo -170°C to 600°C STARe for films and bars in bending, tension and compression

We also provide Size Exclusion Chromatography (formerly know as Gel Permeation Chromatography, GPC) that measures the distribution of molecular masses in a polymer. The instrument is a 1260 GPC/SEC MDS from Agilent, equipped with:

  • triple detection: differential refractive index, viscometer and dual angle light scattering;
  • two columns PLgel 5 µm MIXED-D 300 x 7.5 mm (with a guard column PLgel 5 µm MIXED Guard 50 x 7.5 mm);
  • tetrahydrofuran (THF) as mobile phase;
  • columns and detectors all maintained at 35 °C;
  • calibration using a set of polystyrene or poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) standards.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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