Thermogravimetric analysis

Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) is an effective analytical method where the mass of a sample is measured as a function of time and/or temperature.

Weight changes in the sample can be detected with an accuracy of a fraction of a microgram, meaning precise determination of the smallest changes in physical and chemical properties is possible. TGA is suitable for both heating and cooling the sample.

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Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) is used to measure weight changes in the sample. Weight changes are presented as a function of temperature and/or time. Thermogravimetric analysis is done in a carefully controlled thermal environment in order to achieve reliable and reproducible results. TGA measurement has many applications in physical and chemical characterization because of its precise weight change detection capability. TGA atmosphere can be modified as well, with the most common options being inert or oxygen-rich.

The three types of thermogravimetry are isothermal/static, quasistatic and dynamic thermogravimetry. Isothermal thermogravimetry is known as the traditional type of thermogravimetry. The sample is weighed multiple times per second, and the measured weight is recorded as a function of time at a constant temperature. Quasistatic thermogravimetry includes sequential steps of temperature changes with separative isothermal stints. The idea here is to allow the sample mass to reach a stable state before the next temperature change. In dynamic thermogravimetry, a continuous linear increase in temperature is used to heat the sample. 

Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) is an ideal tool for material characterization, since it is suitable for both qualitative and quantitative analysis, only requires a small sample size and can be done with liquids and solids with very little sample preparation. TGA devices usually have a maximum sample weight of 1 gram and maximum temperature of around 1000 °C. 

TGA can be combined with other analytical methods for an extended selection of uses. For example, evolved gas analysis (EGA) is possible when coupling TGA with MS or FTIR methods.

Suitable sample matrices

  • Almost all kinds of liquids and solids with flammable and/or volatile properties
  • Thermoplastics
  • Thermosets
  • Elastomers
  • Composites
  • Plastic films
  • Fibers
  • Coatings
  • Paints
  • Fuels

Ideal uses of TGA

  • Thermal stability
  • Degradation
  • Sublimation
  • Vaporization
  • Quantitation of volatile compounds and moisture
  • Additive screening
  • Evolved gas analysis (when coupled with i.e. MS or FTIR)
  • Weight loss on drying

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Frequently asked questions

What is TGA commonly used for?

Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) is commonly used for material characterization and investigation of thermal properties. 

What are the limitations of TGA?

TGA on its own is not the best method for a complete analysis of a sample, but when combined with for example MS, GC-MS, FTIR or EGA (evolved gas analysis), its possibilities expand a lot. 

What kind of samples can be analyzed with TGA?

Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) is suitable for liquid and solid samples, with flammable and/or volatile properties. 

What is Measurlabs?

Measurlabs offers a variety of laboratory analyses for product developers and quality managers. We perform some of the analyses in our own lab, but mostly we outsource them to carefully selected partner laboratories. This way we can send each sample to the lab that is best suited for the purpose, and offer high-quality analyses with more than a thousand different methods to our clients.

How does the service work?

When you contact us through our contact form or by email, one of our specialists will take ownership of your case and answer your query. You get an offer with all the necessary details about the analysis, and can send your samples to the indicated address. We will then take care of sending your samples to the correct laboratories and write a clear report on the results for you.

How do I send my samples?

Samples are usually delivered to our laboratory via courier. Contact us for further details before sending samples.

Measur offers high quality thermogravimetric analysis services in the best laboratories across Europe. All your samples for thermogravimetric analysis will be measured in the same laboratory to ensure high reliability and accuracy.