Thermal Analysis

RTI offers thermal analysis for multiple research programs and purposes, and for a variety of clients in energy research and drug discovery and development. Our thermal analysis facilities assess the reactive attributes of

  • Sorbent and catalyst formulations
  • Environmental toxins
  • Pharmaceutical compounds

Lab Facilities

RTI has dedicated laboratories equipped with both a T/A Systems atmospheric-pressure thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA, with ambient to 1000°C forced-air cooling and purge gas), differential scanning calorimeter (DSC, with mass flow control and programmable cooling) and the less commonly found Cahn high-pressure TGA.

Atmospheric-Pressure Thermogravimetric Analyzer

The atmospheric-pressure TGA is a highly sensitive electronic balance (+/- 0.0001 g) housed in a sealed, heated, quartz reaction chamber. The TGA technique takes only milligrams of material to measure weight loss or gain as materials are heated (up to 1000°C) in an inert atmosphere (to prevent oxidative decomposition as in burning). The atmospheric pressure TGA can characterize

  • Thermal and oxidative stability of organic and inorganic materials
  • Extent and kinetics of gas-solid reactions
  • Composition of multicomponent systems
  • Moisture and volatiles content
  • Decomposition kinetics

Cahn High-Pressure TGA

The Cahn high-pressure TGA works on the same principle as the atmospheric TGA, with the added capability of a pressure vessel rated for 2000 psi at 300°C (and up to 1200°C at lower pressure).

  • Energy research applications. Our scientists modify and adapt Cahn's original TGA design to conduct thermogravimetric studies in a steam-rich atmosphere, at the pressure and temperatures that are likely to be encountered in commercial refineries and in chemical processing plants.
  • Pharmaceutical applications. We use the atmospheric-pressure TGA to determine volatile components affecting the behavior and purity of pharmaceutical materials. The TGA serves as a rapid quality control check of pharmaceutical production processes and supports various preclinical drug development activities.