Thermal analysis

Analysis of materials at different temperatures

Understanding the behavior of a material at different temperatures is fundamental to the successful development, processing, and use of a product. Thermal analysis at Fraunhofer IFAM is used to investigate how temperature changes affect, for example, melting points, oxidation, crystallization, or phase transitions. We thus support a wide range of industries, from mechanical engineering to aerospace and medical technology.  


Determination of material properties with thermoanalytical methods

By means of thermal analysis, the chemical and physical parameters of a material and their change as a function of temperature and time can be determined qualitatively and quantitatively. In our test laboratory, we measure the characteristic properties of materials (metals and powders) at dynamic temperatures, isothermally and under inert conditions, as well as in air. The characterized properties include:

  • Melting point
  • Crystal transformation
  • Phase transition
  • Curie point
  • Glass transition
  • Oxidation
  • Decomposition, Evaporation
  • Sintering temperature
  • Change in length
  • Coefficient of linear expansion (α)


For this purpose we use the following methods:


Simultaneous Thermal Analysis (STA)

As a combination of DSC and TG, STA allows the simultaneous determination of the thermal behavior and a possibly related change in mass.


Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

DSC - analysis is used to determine heat fluxes (energies) resulting from changes in the thermal behavior of the sample.


  • Heat of fusion, (special heat)
  • Glass transition temperature
  • General thermal behavior
  • Setting up of phase diagrams
  • Melting temperatures


Thermogravimetry (TG)      

TG involves measuring the change in mass of a sample as it passes through a temperature program.


  • Measurement of evaporation, sublimation, degassing.
  • Measurement of oxidation or reduction processes
  • Curie point determination

Simultaneous DSC/TG measurements are possible.


Dilatometry (DIL)

In dilatometry, the linear expansion of the sample is measured over the course of a specified time-temperature program.


  • Determination of expansion coefficients (α) on metallic materials.


Thermomechanical - Analysis (TMA)

Thermomechanical analysis is used to measure the change in length of bodies under force as a function of temperature.


  • Determination of thermomechanical properties of materials e.g. simulation of sintering processes.