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Thermogravimetric Analysis or TGA is a type of testing that is performed on samples to determine changes in weight in relation to change in temperature. Such analysis relies on a high degree of precision in three measurements: weight, temperature, and temperature change. As many weight loss curves look similar, the weight loss curve may require transformation before results may be interpreted. A derivative weight loss curve can be used to tell the point at which weight loss is most apparent. Again, interpretation is limited without further modifications and deconvolution of the overlapping peaks may be required.
TGA is commonly employed in research and testing to determine characteristics of materials such as polymers, to determine degradation temperatures, absorbed moisture content of materials, the level of inorganic and organic components in materials, decomposition points of explosives, and solvent residues. It is also often used to estimate the corrosion kinetics in high temperature oxidation.
The analyzer usually consists of a high-precision balance with a pan loaded with the sample. The sample is placed in a small electrically heated oven with a thermocouple to accurately measure the temperature. The atmosphere may be purged with an inert gas to prevent oxidation or other undesired reactions. A computer is used to control the instrument.
Analysis is carried out by raising the temperature gradually and plotting weight against temperature. After the data is obtained, curve smoothing and other operations may be done such as to find the exact points of inflection.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Thermogravimetric_analysis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|