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Thermal Analysis References

Occasionally I send references to my clients when questions were asked on complicated concepts or on general material behaviors under thermal analysis.  It is imperative to have scholarly references to explain these concepts in these occasions.  It is unfortunate, however, that the subject is not taught as a regular discipline at schools and that most of the research were done in the 70’s and 80’s and since then has been scattered due to its wide use but not in one concentrated area.

Given the readily available web search it has made literature research much easier now than ever.  You can search for a technical term you are interested in and many scholarly articles will appear from your web search.  Here I give a list of literature on thermal analysis, both books and websites that I refer to frequently as I find them very useful.

Useful books that summarize various techniques of thermal analysis:
Thermal characterization of polymeric materials / 2nd ed., edited by Edith A. Turi, 1981
Thermal analysis of polymers: fundamentals and applications / edited by Joseph D. Menczel and R. Bruce Prime, 2009

Useful application notes you can find from instrumentation companies:
TA Instruments website
Perkin Elmer website
Mettler Toledo website

And here are some more books that are useful for in-depth and theoretical concepts concerning thermal analysis:
Thermal Analysis / by Bernhard Wunderlich, 1990
Dynamic Mechanical Analysis of Polymeric Material / by T. Murayama, 1978
Thermal Methods / by James W. Dodd and Kenneth H. Tonge, 1987

Do you have a reference you use a lot with thermal analysis besides the ones I listed?  You can share your favorite books or sites here.

Happy New Year 2015!

A new year is here.  We hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  We are looking forward to this new year with anticipation as we will be adding a Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (DMA) to our equipment line up.  We are very excited about our pending new addition as it will expand our testing capabilities.

Thermoset Cure Characterization Using Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (DMA)

One person’s question on the LinkedIn discussion forum “Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA / DMTA)” prompted me to write this blog entry. Do you know that DMA is an effective tool to study cure of a thermoset material? Typically, cure characterization of a thermoset is studied by DSC for kinetics information and by rheometer for viscosity information.  However, in some
instances – such as instrumentation constraint or material constraint – you can study cure with DMA. The most effective way to study cure in DMA is by supporting your thermoset material with a mesh material, such as a plain weave glass fabric. You then run it in the cantilever mode or film mode with a constant heat rate. (My personal preference is to run it in single cantilever mode.) And you should get a DMA thermograph similar to the one illustrated below.

DMA cure

DMA cure

A good reference is the book “Thermal analysis of polymers” edited by J. Menszel & B. Prime. Look into chapter 5, section “DMA Techniques for Developing Cure Parameters”. Figure 5.44 shows a technique with wire mesh using a tensile fixture.

Adhesion, Polymer, Composite, and Geckskin

Last night I attended the GGPF monthly polymer forum, in which professor Alfred J. Crosby gave a talk titled, “Draping Materials: Enabling Advanced Adhesives and Multifunctional Technologies”. He described his research areas and spoke extensively on the studies that led to
GeckskinTM. It is truly fascinating. My understanding on adhesion has always come from
surface science and chemistry. His talk adds mechanical and biological dimensions to my knowledge base. The equation he presented to describe adhesion force is directly proportional to contact area and inversely proportional to compliance. I have heard of compliance in mechanics classes and I have seen it presented in DMA thermographs. However, I have never paid much attention to it. It is certainly something new that I should keep an eye on.

Another surprise to me is he is using composite with carbon fibers and glass fibers and Kevlar fibers as the stiffness backbone.  It is certainly a very different application than the composite structures traditionally used in structural applications such as airplanes and bicycles.

It is great to see science works. And professor Crosby is certainly smart to collaborate with other departments and professors with different expertise. Consilience certainly works well here. Professor Crosby disclosed at the end of the talk that a company was formed last year to commercialize GeckskinTM. I can think of lots of applications for it and I wonder if 3M will be acquiring the company any time in the future!

Hello, there!

Pinnacle Materials Laboratory starts our blog entries in 2014!  Our blog features laboratory techniques and trick of the trade information concerning materials, thermal analysis and AFM. We hope you will enjoy our blog entries and contribute with your comments.