Lever, Trevor, J; Price, Duncan M.; Reading, Michael; Problem Solving with micro-Thermal Analysis. Proc. 27th North American Thermal Analysis Society Conference, September 20-22 (1999) Savannah, Georgia, USA, p. 689; Proc. 28th North American Thermal Analysis Society Conference, October 4-6 (2000), Orlando, Florida, USA, p. 52
Traditional thermal methods, such as DSC, require a sample of several milligrams in order to obtain good data with reasonable signal to noise. However, should variations in the thermal properties of the sample vary throughout the sample, an average result will be obtained in the DSC curve. This may easily lead to erroneous conclusions. The range of problems that can be addressed by thermal methods has been significantly increased with the advent of Micro-Thermal Analysis, where a region of only a few square microns is analyzed. This paper will focus on the additional information obtained in Micro-Thermal Analysis and its value in solving materials characterization problems. Examples will include polymer film contamination, weld joint analysis and characterization of composites.