Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)

Thermogravimetric Analysis Main Image
TGA and derivative TGA curves of sodium tungstate sample analyzed at 10 °C/min from ambient temperature to 800 °C.

Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) characterizes sample volatility, moisture content, thermal stability, and thermal response in polymers.

Strengths

  • Exquisitely precise weight sensitivity – can detect sample mass changes < 0.1 ug
  • Only a few milligrams of material is needed due to high instrument sensitivity
  • Minimal sample prep

Limitations

  • Not available for measurements with temperatures below ~ 25 °C

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Thermogravimetric Analysis Services

Thermogravimetric Analysis

Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) characterizes sample volatility, moisture content, thermal stability, and thermal response in polymers.

Sample Requirements

Example Outputs

TGA and derivative TGA curves of sodium tungstate sample analyzed at 10 °C/min from ambient temperature to 800 °C.

TGA Curves used in failure analysis of polyamide nylon (PA) enclosures on terminal block plug, which thermally degraded and caused critical instrument failure. Plot shows two different volatilization temperatures (peaks): suspected to be the casing itself and unknown filler.

Instruments Used

TA Instruments TGA 5500

TA Instruments TGA 5500

  • Mass Sensitivity: 0.1 ug
  • Temperature Range: ambient to 1200 °C
  • Calorimetric Accuracy: ± 2% (based on metal standards)
  • Controlled Heating Rate (up to 1000 °C): 0.1 to 500 °C / min
  • Nitrogen Atmosphere

How TGA Works

When a sample reaches high enough temperatures, it undergoes chemical and physical transitions that affect its sediment mass.

A TGA system measures the minute changes in sample weight in a controlled thermal environment – usually, as heat is applied to the system. Alternatively, constant temperature experiments can be conducted to evaluate a material’s thermal stability over a set time period.

TGA instruments plot weight as a function of temperature and/or time, and analyzing these plots reveals several thermal properties of the material, including (but not limited to): thermal stability, heat resistance, volatility, and vaporization temperatures.