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2016 Thermal Analyzer Survey Results

Find out our readers’ top ten uses and more from our latest thermal analysis survey results.

by Ryan Ackerman

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. 50%
Polymers 44%
Minerals, inorganic chemicals, and other inorganics 35%
Ceramic / glass/ building materials 18%
Metals / alloys 12%
Other 15%

Physical state of materials being measured by thermal analysis :

Powder 76%
Liquid 50%
Thin film 32%
Paste 29%
Fiber 26%
Gel 26%
Foam 21%
Other 15%

Nearly 34% 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 89%
Ease of use 76%
Safety 73%
Low maintenance/easy to clean 69%
Service and support 69%
Low operating cost 57%
Price 54%
Warranty 52%
Versatility 38%
Ease of installation 23%

Not Sure Where To Begin With Thermal Analysis?

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

See the most recent survey results here

See Results from previous surveys: