Identification of Measurements via Database Searches with Smart Thermal Analysis

Identify is a unique database system from Netzsch, that was designed to assist in thermal analysis, specifically for the recognition and comparison of measurement curves of types DSC, TGA, DIL/TMA and Cp. Identify offers substantial benefits to researchers; a database search using Identify can be very helpful for material identification, failure analysis and quality control (QC).

Not only does Identify make the interpretation of measurements easier and faster, but also more significant. Furthermore, the database system can be useful for “data mining”: the archiving, searching and finding of measurements and literature data. To put it simply, Identify makes thermal analysis smarter!

Database Contents

There are already more than 2000 entries in the Identify database. Figure 1 shows the various NETZSCH libraries that cover the application fields: ceramics, inorganics, metals, alloys, organics, pharma, food, cosmetics and polymers.

Additionally, for those working with plastics, the KIMW database developed by the Kunststoffinstitut Lüdenscheid, Germany, may be included as an option. This sizable database comes with the DSC curves for 800 different commercially available polymer grades.

Libraries within Identify.

Figure 1. Libraries within Identify.

It goes without saying that users can also create and build up their own libraries to share amongst colleagues on the computer network.

Combined Database Search

The newest feature of Identify is the ability to perform a combined database search for independent DSC and TGA signals, for STA (=TGA+DSC simultaneously) and for TGA-c-DTA® signals.

This makes it possible to identify materials with a much higher level of certainty, as information about caloric effects – for example, due to glass transition and melting – and mass changes due to decomposition is used in combination. An example of this is shown in figure 2, where TGA measurement allows clear identification of the polymer PB (= polybutene). It is made particularly easy due to the combination with its c-DTA® evaluation: a huge difference is made by taking two signals into consideration at once instead of only one!

Material recognition of the polymer PB using a TGA-c-DTA® measurement and Identify.

Figure 2. Material recognition of the polymer PB using a TGA-c-DTA® measurement and Identify.

The calculated c-DTA® curve is similar to a qualitative DSC signal that, in essence, enables the TGA instrument to behave almost like an STA. When using the database search the c-DTA® signal links the TGA and DSC worlds – with Identify now equipped with this linkage!

To summarize the improvements, the Identify database system was expanded to include more than 2000 database entries. As well as this, when combining TGA+DSC, TGA-c-DTA® and STA measurements, Identify can be used as the link, allowing for greater certainty in for material identification!

[1] A. Schindler, M. Doedt, S. Gezgin, J. Menzel, S. Schmölzer. Identification of polymers by means of DSC, TG, STA and computer-assisted database search. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, DOI 10.1007/s10973-017-6208-5,

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by NETZSCH-Gerätebau GmbH.

For more information on this source, please visit NETZSCH-Gerätebau GmbH.

Ask A Question

Do you have a question you'd like to ask regarding this article?

Leave your feedback