Instrumentation for Material Property Measurement

Discovery 2500 Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC)

Staff Contact

Lou Ann Miller
(217) 244-1567
email preferred

Location
133 Materials Research Laboratory

Discovery 2500 Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC)
Discovery 2500 Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC)

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) measures heat effects associated with phase transitions and chemical reactions as a function of temperature. The DSC 2500 uses temperatures in the range between -150 oC and 400 oC to determine thermal transitions such as glass transitions, crystallization, phase changes, melting, stability, cure kinetics, etc., and related enthalpy in a material under a controlled environment.

Prior to DSC analysis, a sample first needs to be analyzed in our TGA to determine at what temperature the sample loses integrity. That sample can then be run at temperatures lower than this point on the DSC. Samples (around 10 mg) are weighed with our precision scale, then sealed in aluminum crucibles and loaded into an auto-analyzer tray in the DSC 2500.

The DSC has optimal performance of a single sensor giving a very flat baseline that does not need correcting. This technology measures cell resistance, capacitance, delivering an accurate heat flow measurement.

 

Q50 Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)

Staff Contact

Lou Ann Miller
(217) 244-1567
email preferred

Location
133 Materials Research Laboratory

General

Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) measures weight changes in a material as a function of temperature (or time) under a controlled atmosphere. Its principal uses include measurement of a material's thermal stability and composition. The Q50 features a vertical beam balance design (sample capacity: 1000 mg) that supports precise TGA (balance sensitivity: 0.1 µg) measurements. A purge gas system with digital mass flow control and integral gas switching capability provides for precise metering of purge gas to the sample and reference pans. A separate gas inlet tube delivers reactive or inert gas to the sample. The Q50 also includes Advantage software for complete automatic experimental control and Universal Analysis software for comprehensive data analysis.

The system can go from room temperature to 1000 oC, and can set to equilibrate at lower temperatures.  Pans are provided by the user, most often alumina and platinum. If using aluminum pans the maximum temperature is 600 oC.

Q800 Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)

Staff Contact

Lou Ann Miller
(217) 244-1567
email preferred

Location
133 Materials Research Laboratory

General

Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) measures mechanical properties of samples. Its principal uses include measurement of a material's Young's modulus or viscoelastic properties as a function of temperature (or time). Testing can be performed in either tensile or cantilever bending geometries. Sample sizes for the film tension clamp are 5-30 mm long, up to 6.5 mm wide, and up to 2 mm thick, with best results from an optimal sample size of approximately 20-25 mm long, depending on sample compliance (stretchier samples may be shorter), and 3 mm wide. The Q800 also includes Advantage software for complete automatic experimental control and Universal Analysis software for comprehensive data analysis.

MALVERN ZETASIZER

Staff Contact

Lou Ann Miller
(217) 244-1567
email preferred  

Location
133 Materials Research Laboratory

General
The Zetasizer uses laser technology to measure both size and zeta-potential. The size measurement is limited to 0.6nm to 6 microns and uses reflective light and Brownian motion. Our instrument uses a 633nm red laser fitted to do both front and back light scatter. The instrument is equipped to assist with specimen quality evaluation, automatic charts, data processing, and various report formats for the user. Special cuvettes and dip cells are used for the zetapotential analysis. Zetapotential operates on the two shared principles of Electrophoresis and Laser Doppler Velocimetry, how fast a particle moves in a liquid when an electrical field is applied, from which the zetapotential is calculated. The most common sample used is in aqueous format. However, working with solvents is possible, and all such solvent work should be worked out with the MRL staff contact before starting the project.

TA Instruments Discovery 2500 Differential Scanning Colorimeter (DSC)
TA Instruments Discovery 2500 Differential Scanning Colorimeter (DSC)