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Thermal Analysis was restricted to the research laboratories in the past. To enable its routine use, additional demands are made on the instrumentation: exactly reproducible test conditions, automatic evaluation of final results, and ease of operation are the most important additional demands. These features are covered by modern microprocessor-controlled instruments that work with saved test methods. A “saved test method” is the sum of the instructions that define the execution of the measurement and its evaluation, whereby these instructions are stored permanently for repeated use. Coupling of single methods enables the automatic execution of complicated temperature programs as well as several different evaluations of a curve (for example, glass transition temperature and heat of crystallization). With the example of the determination of the linear thermal expansion coefficient α, of a printed circuit board, the development and the use of a saved method will be discussed. The obtained standard deviation of α is about 6%. The standard deviation of the glass transition temperature amounts to 2.1°C. All measurements were performed with a Mettler TMA40.
thermal analysis, thermal expansion, dilatometers, printed circuit board, linear expansion coefficient, thermomechanical analysis, saved test method
Application chemist, Mettler Instrumente AG, Greifensee,