Thermal Analysis Service

The Thermal Analysis Service is an analytical facility based in the Department of Chemistry and is offered to all University of Sheffield departments as well as external customers. Thermal Analysis is a technique for studying the properties of a material as they change with temperature.

A thermal analysis machine.


The service comprises two parts:

Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)

Measuring sample mass against temperature from 25°C to a maximum of 800°C, usually but not necessarily in an inert atmosphere. Minimum sample sizes depend on individual analysis needs but are commonly around 5mg’s.

Particularly useful for studying polymers, it is commonly used for studying thermal stability, decomposition, oxidation, absorption/desorption.

Pyrolysis can be routinely performed in a nitrogen atmosphere as can oxidative studies in air. Other reactive gases could also be potentially set up.

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

Measuring sample heat flow against temperature from as low as -90°C to a maximum of 500°C usually in an inert atmosphere. Sample sizes can vary from 1mg to 50mg’s depending on the type of analysis.

Again of particular interest in polymer studies, it is used for measuring melting points, glass transitions, phase changes, curing, specific heat capacity.

Samples should only be analysed in the temperature range in which they are thermally stable and a
TGA experiment is sometimes necessary to determine this.


In the first instance please contact Simon Thorpe, technical manager, who can discuss your query with you and direct you to the most appropriate member of our analytical services team.


University of Sheffield customers should bring their samples along with a completed Internal service form and purchase order form (members of the Chemistry Department do not need a purchase order form) to lab C43 in the Dainton Building.

Sample submission forms

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