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There are close analogies between DSC (which measures enthalpy changes) and thermomechanical analysis (TMA) (which measures volume or length changes). This naturally leads to the application of modulated temperature programs to TMA as a means to separate the reversible nature of thermal expansion from irreversible deformation arising from creep under the applied load or changes in dimensions due to relaxation of orientation. The effect of experimental variables and calibration are described and the application of the technique to study the glass-rubber transition and melting of polymers is discussed.
calibration, glass transition, melting, modulated temperature, thermomechanical analysis, thermal expansion, shrinkage, creep
Research Fellow, Institute of Polymer Technology and Materials Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire