National Physical Laboratory

Thermal Analysis

Differential Scanning Calorimetry

Materials are increasingly required in situations that challenge the thresholds of their thermal capabilities. It is therefore important to understand material behaviour under the influence of thermal loads. Thermal analysis techniques provide a variety of important information of use to the design engineer. The techniques can be used to analyse most materials in use today in a large number of applications such as polymers, composites, coatings, pharmaceuticals, films, fibres, ceramics and metals and even biological materials and foods.

NPL is developing procedures based on these techniques that can be used to design products based on existing materials, select the best material for a given application, predict its performance, optimise processing conditions, improve quality, compare properties of similar or competitive materials and characterise newer research materials.

NPL's thermal analysis capabilities enable rapid determination of thermal properties over wide temperature ranges and help develop best practice for testing and data analysis of materials.


For further information, please contact Sam Gnaniah

Measurement Techniques

  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is a rapid technique that measures the heat flow associated with material transitions as a function of temperature and time.
  • A versatile technique used for characterising time, temperature and frequency dependent mechanical behaviour of a material.
  • A technique used for measuring dimensional changes in a material as a function of time, temperature and the applied force.


Please note that the information will not be divulged to third parties, or used without your permission