Are You in the Market for a Thermal Analyzer?

Learn the most common types of thermal analyzers readers use and more from the latest thermal analyzer user survey results.

By Jason Kerkhof

Thermal analysis is the broad category of at least 20 techniques that measure some fundamental property of matter as a result of adding heat. For example, dilatometry measures volume changes upon heating, thermomechanical analysis quantifies the change in dimension of a sample as a function of temperature, and thermo-optical analysis detects changes in optical properties upon heating or cooling.

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Thermal Analyzer

  1. If you are going to be analyzing x,y,z properties, ask if the company has any customers conducting the same type of work and if you can talk to them.
  2. Ask if you can submit a sample for a demo using specified conditions and, if so, how long this will take and whether a report will be provided.
  3. What type of post-sale application and technical support does the company offer, and how much will it cost you?
  4. What features distinguish the company’s instrument from their competitors?
  5. What can the company tell you about the quality of the product, i.e., how it was manufactured and tested? This will help you determine the typical lifespan.
  6. What can the vendor tell you about the total cost of ownership, including expected consumables, software upgrades, service, and warranty costs?

Types of materials requiring thermal analysis used by survey respondents:

Organics such as lubricants, pharmaceuticals, paints, adhesives, etc. 40%
Polymers 37%
Minerals, inorganic chemicals, and other inorganics 29%
Ceramic / glass/ building materials 12%
Metals / alloys 9%
Other 27%

Physical state of materials being measured by thermal analysis :

Liquid 49%
Powder 39%
Thin film 18%
Fiber 16%
Gel 15%
Paste 11%
Foam 7%
Other 20%

Nearly 58% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new thermal analyzer. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of an aging system
New application requiring different instrument
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Setting up a new lab

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a thermal analyzer:

Reliability 85%
Ease of use 78%
Low maintenance/easy to clean 75%
Safety 66%
Service and support 53%
Price 53%
Low operating cost of ownership 50%
Warranty 48%
Versatility 44%
Ease of installation 40%

Not Sure Where To Begin With Thermal Analysis?

Here are some key questions to ask and examples of current technology.

For more information on thermal analyzers, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit

Categories: Surveys

Published In

Building a Future-Friendly Lab Magazine Issue Cover
Building a Future-Friendly Lab

Published: July 12, 2018

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