Thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA) is a thermal analysis technique used to quantify the overall mass of a sample as a temperature dependent property. The change in mass as a function of temperature is a key property in a range of materials because they lose volatile components as they degrade. This process can offer deep insight into the materials under test.


When a sample is subjected to a precise temperature program strategically, under strict atmospheric controls whilst measuring changes in weight at the same time, thermal gravimetric analysis offers critical data for a broad range of materials characterization objectives.

Thermal analysis offers a statistical readout of material mass as a function of time and temperature. Various temperature profiles can be programmed to adhere to different experiments, including parameters such as ramp rate, dwell times, and peak temperature.

Measuring the sample’s mass at frequent intervals across the temperature profiles creates a thermogravimetric curve in which mass is plotted as a function of temperature or time. This curve usually indicates thermal decomposition in which elevated temperatures start to break down the sample.


Importance of Thermal Analysis

Thermal analysis is important as it is able to accurately predict the stability, durability and strength of a material and this has wide impacts on cutting-edge industry, technology and construction. It helps chemists to recognize how certain properties of materials are significant to a given application.


Key Uses of Thermal Analysis

Thermal gravimetric analysis can be used as a quality control or assurance tool to guarantee that products meet their material specifications. For example, in fiberglass reinforced circuit boards thermal analysis can be used to determine the level of resin and fiberglass in the material by monitoring decomposition.

Thermal analysis can also be used to determine carbon content, for example in an ethyl cellulose sample gas switching can be used to find the sample gas purge rate and then the gas switch can be triggered to find the carbon content of the material.

Thermal analysis is frequently used in the analysis of nanomaterials in the manufacture of carbon nanotubes. It is used as a quality control tool and characterizes the levels of metallic catalytic residue that stay on the CNT as CNT are categorized by recent purity. 

Thermal gravimetric analysis can also be used to:

  • Identify a counterfeit product
  • Identify safe operating temperatures in a range of gases
  • Enhance product formulation processes, as a better understanding of the occurrence of thermal events means a process can be optimized.
  • Reverse engineer a product
  • Increase laboratory productivity


Thermal Analysis from RQM+ Lab Services

At RQM+ Lab Services, we offer a range of thermal analysis techniques to meet all material characterization needs, including thermal gravimetric analysis. We are dedicated to helping our clients overcome unique challenges in analytical chemistry. To find out more, contact us today.

We are passionate about your success. Tell us more about your regulatory and quality needs to learn about how we can help.

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