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Differential Scanning Calorimeter

Instrument types

The Netzsch Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) is designed to quantitatively measure the energy absorbed or released by samples as they are heated and to measure the temperature at which any changes occur.

The DSC can measure many thermodynamic properties of samples including the:

  • Specific Heat (aka Heat Capacity or Cp) as a function of temperature
  • Transition Enthalpy (aka Latent Heat) for melting and other phase changes
  • Temperatures of Melting & Phase Transformations
  • Temperature and energy change of Glass Transition & Crystallization

Most of these are calculated from a plot of the difference in energy between an inert reference and the actual sample against the temperature. These are compared to calibration standards to yield the absorbed energy of some event.

The DSC can heat from room temperature to 1400°C; tests are usually done in argon but many other gases may be used.