Differential Scanning Calorimetry – DSC

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is a thermoanalytical tool used to track changes in heat capacity of a material with temperature.

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    Differential Scanning Calorimetry

    Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is a thermoanalytical tool used to track changes in heat capacity of a material with temperature. This is achieved by measuring the heat flow of a known weight sample when it is heated or cooled over time against a reference material. DSC is commonly used for polymeric and non-metallic materials to study melting/crystallization behavior, solid-solid reactions, polymorphism, degree of crystallinity, glass transitions, cross-linking reactions, oxidative stability, decomposition behavior, specific heat, and many other material properties crucial for product development, manufacturing and testing. It is a widely used tool in various industries from pharmaceuticals, food industry, semiconductors, electronics, polymers, etc.

    Heat flux and power compensation are the two measurement methods used for DSC analysis.

    Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) Common Uses

    • Drug–lipid interactions, the status of the lipid, and melting and recrystallization behaviors of the Nanostructured Lipid Carriers (NLCs)a
    • Thermodynamics of nucleic acid-folding transitions (DNA and RNA)
    • Evaluation of thermal reversibility of protein degradation
    • Analysis of physicochemical transformation during starch gelatinization process
    • Prediction of the storage life of food products
    • Determination of oxidative stability, thermal degradation, and water loss in the sample
    • Evaluation of eutectic point and construction of phase diagrams
    • Determination of glass transition temperature (Tg) to determine the miscibility of biopolymer blends
    • Determination of the cure behavior of thermoset monomers or oligomers
    • Examining the effect of hardeners on the thermal properties of cured materials
    • Determination of heat of fusion and extent of crystallization for the crystalline materials
    • Estimation of the heat and degree of curing reaction, and residual cure


    • An easy and quick way to study the thermal transitions in the materials
    • Can be used for a wide range of temperatures (−90 to 550 °C)
    • A low-cost technique that requires a low amount of sample
    • Sensitive identification of even a slightly weak phase transition


    • It is a destructive analysis technique, so heterogeneous materials might be challenging to analyze
    • Does not detect the gas generation
    • Can not provide elemental analysis
    • Difficulty in the correct interpretation of the results when there is an overlapping of some phase transitions
    • Constant mass of the sample is required throughout the test; evaporation or sublimation of the sample would result in inaccurate results


    • Polymers and composites
    • Membranes and Films
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Biology
    • Nanomaterials
    • Food Science Research
    • Semiconductors
    • Electronics
    • Drug delivery and diagnosis

    Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) Laboratories

    • EAG Laboratories Inc.
    • Element Materials Technology
    • ATS Applied Technical Servicess, Inc.
    • Intertek
    • Avomeen
    • Particle Technology Labs
    • Medallion Labs
    • Innovatech Labs, LLC

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      FAQ on Differential Scanning Calorimetry – DSC

      Where Can I Do Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) Testing Of Materials?

      Our network of material testing labs regularly provides differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) testing services for polymers and plastics’ physical characterization.

      How Much Does Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) Analysis Cost?

      Polymer and thermal analysis of materials using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) starts at $300/sample.

      What is differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) used for?

      Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is a powerful tool for polymer analysis. DSC generates data that can be used to gain the following physical properties: decomposition temperature, component identification, melting point, glass transition, sample purity, heat capacity, etc. DSC is frequently used for process development, product research & development, and quality control applications.

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