SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1994

The Nature of the Glass Transition and its Determination by Thermal Analysis


In this paper operational definitions of the glass transition and the pertinent condensed phases are given. This is followed by a description of the basic observations of glass transitions via thermal analysis using calorimetry, dilatometry, as well as theromechanical, dielectric, and dynamic mechanical analysis. The time dependence of the glass transition causes hysteresis phenomena and physical aging. Strain effects on the observation of the glass transition are identified. Complications resulting in symmetric and asymmetric broadening of the glass transition are linked to nanometer and micrometer scale phase separations. Finally, a rigid amorphous phase is identified in some semicrystalline polymers.

Author Information

Wunderlich, B
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
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Developed by Committee: E37
Pages: 17–31
DOI: 10.1520/STP15363S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5287-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1995-6