Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

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    Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

    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.

      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


      • 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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