ASTM E2550 - 11

    Standard Test Method for Thermal Stability by Thermogravimetry

    Active Standard ASTM E2550 | Developed by Subcommittee: E37.01

    Book of Standards Volume: 14.02


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    ASTM E2550

    Significance and Use

    TG provides a rapid method for determining the thermal decomposition and reaction mass change of a material.

    This test method is useful in detecting potentially hazardous reactions and in estimating the temperatures at which these reactions occur. This test method is recommended as a screening test for detecting the thermal hazards of an uncharacterized material or mixture (see Section 8).

    Energetic materials, pharmaceuticals and polymers are examples of materials for which this test might be useful. This test is especially useful for materials having melting points that overlap with the onset of reaction or decomposition.

    Note 1—In Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), the melting endotherm may interfere with the determination of the onset temperature for reaction or decomposition.

    This test is not suitable for materials that sublime or vaporize in the temperature range of interest. A sample with volatile impurities needs to be purified prior to the TGA testing. Alternatively, the sample can be tested as is, however, special caution is required during the data analysis. The mass loss due to the loss of impurity should not interfere with the determination of reaction or decomposition temperature.

    The four significant criteria of this test method are: the detection of a sample mass change; the extent of the mass change; the approximate temperature at which the event occurs; the observance of effects due to the atmosphere.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the assessment of material thermal stability through the determination of the temperature at which the materials start to decompose or react and the extent of the mass change using thermogravimetry. The test method uses minimum quantities of material and is applicable over the temperature range from ambient to 800°C.

    1.2 The absence of reaction or decomposition is used as an indication of thermal stability in this test method under the experimental conditions used.

    1.3 This test method may be performed on solids or liquids, which do not sublime or vaporize in the temperature range of interest.

    1.4 This test method shall not be used by itself to establish a safe operating or storage temperature. It may be used in conjunction with other test methods (for example, E487, E537 and E1981) as part of a hazard analysis of a material.

    1.5 This test method is normally applicable to reaction or decomposition occurring in the range from room temperature to 800 °C. The temperature range may be extended depending on the instrumentation used.

    1.6 This test method may be performed in an inert, a reactive or self-generated atmosphere.

    1.7 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.8 There is no ISO standard equivalent to this test method.

    1.9 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. This standard may involve hazardous materials, operations, and equipment.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E473 Terminology Relating to Thermal Analysis and Rheology

    E487 Test Method for Constant-Temperature Stability of Chemical Materials

    E537 Test Method for The Thermal Stability of Chemicals by Differential Scanning Calorimetry

    E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method

    E1142 Terminology Relating to Thermophysical Properties

    E1445 Terminology Relating to Hazard Potential of Chemicals

    E1582 Practice for Calibration of Temperature Scale for Thermogravimetry

    E1981 Guide for Assessing Thermal Stability of Materials by Methods of Accelerating Rate Calorimetry

    E2040 Test Method for Mass Scale Calibration of Thermogravimetric Analyzers


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.200.99 (Other standards related to thermodynamics)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E2550-11

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