Thermal Analysis of Polymers and Plastics

As with any material used in production, polymers and plastics must be thoroughly tested to ensure that they are suitable for the application for which they will be used. One important method of materials testing is thermal analysis of polymers and plastics. The four most commonly used techniques are Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Thermomechanical Analysis (TMA) and Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DM(T)A). These and other related tests are broadly used to define materials’ composition and properties; and how that affects its usage. They also measure how polymers and plastics behave during various stages of processing; assist with quality control; and look at possible impacts on the material’s useful lifespan. Moreover, they can be used to diagnose and therefore address existing problems in the process. Such testing methods for thermal analysis of polymers and plastics are used across a diversity of industries where these materials are increasingly used in supply, production and manufacture.

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