What is it?
A Simultaneous Thermal Analyzer (STA) is also called either a TG/DTA, TGA/DSC or a DT/TGA depending on the various manufacturers. Effectively a combination of a DSC and a TGA, this instrument allows easy correlation of data for samples up to over 1500° C as both tests are be run concurrently. Collecting both the DTA curve showing delta temperature and the weight loss allows a greater understanding of what happens in the material.
- Temperature scans
- While not as sensitive as a DSC, many DSC experiments can be run in an STA and it can be used as a high temperature DSC.
- Melting points of metals are normally outside the range of a DSC. The higher final temperature of an STA makes it the choice for testing these materials.
- Compositional Analysis
- As discussed under TGA, compositional analysis can be done, with or without gas switching, to over 1500 C. Most TGA methods can be performed in a STA.
- Analysis of Clays and Ceramics
- Many ceramics while being created go through several transitions before they reach the final stage where they are able to be used. Clay purity and type is often identified by STA.
- Curie Point Testing
- A Curie point is the temperature where a material changes from magnetic to non-magnetic. Alloys are an incredibly common material, and not all of them are able to be distinguished by the melting point alone. If the material is magnetic, this is a highly accurate test that can be performed to quantify the alloy type.