Thermal analysis is the study where the properties of materials are studied as they change with temperature or time. Common instruments to measure these properties are listed below.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
DSC measures the energy absorbed or released from a sample as a function of time or a temperature profile. DSC is useful to make the measurements for melting points, heats of reaction, glass transition, and heat capacity
Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA)
DTA measures the temperature difference between a sample and an inert reference as a function of time or temperature. This method is similar to DSC but does not quantify energy measurements; often used for high temperature work. glass transitions, phase changes, and melting points can be measured.
Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)
TGA measures the change of weight of a sample as a function of a temperature profile. This method is useful for determining sample decomposition, oxidation or loss of solvent or water.
Thermomechanical Analysis (TMA)
TMA measures dimensional changes a function of time or temperature. Various probes are utilized to measure expansion, contraction, penetration, softening of the sample as well as glass transition.
Simultaneous Thermal Analysis (STA)
STA is the combination of DSC/DTA and TGA in a single instrument or experiment.
Evolved gas analysis (EGA)
EGA is a method used to study the gas evolved from a heated sample that undergoes decomposition or desorption. Typcally Mass Spec and FTIR instruments are used for this measurement.