SPECIAL REPORT/THERMAL ANALYSIS: Investing in Ceramics: Thermal Analysis Testing

June 1, 2007
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Setaram Inc.'s new thermal analysis testing and demo lab offers analyses and support for a range of thermal measurements.

The new lab offers testing capabilities ranging from DSC to microcalorimetry.


In addition to laboratory testing, the new facility also provides a demonstration and applications lab for the Setaram sales force.

For 50 years, Setaram Instrumentation of Caluire, France, has been a leading global supplier of solutions in thermal analysis and calorimetry. Setaram systems generate unique data from nano to macro thermal events. For research, development, manufacture and wear testing, these data give insight into material functionality and play a key role in the critical decision-making processes required for the efficient development and production of new materials.

Setaram products are used for testing the corrosion, oxidation, degradation and aging characteristics of ceramics, hybrid materials, nanomaterials, metals and alloys. The company has direct sales capability in the world's key markets, including the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK, as well as representation in China and Southeast Asia. In addition, the company has an efficient distributor network trained for worldwide sales, application support and field service.

Established in 1998, Setaram's U.S. subsidiary, Setaram Inc., recently completed a new testing and applications laboratory at its headquarters in Pennsauken, N.J. The new facility was designed specifically to house the full range of Setaram's comprehensive thermal techniques, and it can therefore offer nearly every available thermal measurement.

"Building this new facility was important to us for two reasons," said Gary Etherington, managing director of Setaram Inc. "First, because Setaram's instrumentation covers such a wide range of applications, we had high demand from people looking to run samples on our systems. And secondly, the lab is a highly flexible resource for support, training, and demonstration solutions for our future and existing customers. We anticipate that our clients will notice continued advances in support, demonstration and method development options."

C80 Calvert Calorimetry system.

Capabilities

The lab is unusual in that it actually serves three key functions: a contract testing lab, a demonstration and applications lab for the Setaram sales force, and a resource for the support and training of existing users of Setaram instrumentation. Subsequently, the instruments selected for the lab were critical. Available techniques include:
  • DSC. The DSC 131 is a routine plate-style DSC system that offers a temperature range of -120 to 700°C and can be used with a range of crucibles for a wide array of applications.
  • TGA-DTA-DSC-TMA. The SETSYS system is a powerful and flexible thermal system. The base unit, either a TGA or a TMA, can also be configured for simultaneous TGA-DSC/DTA techniques and offers a host of measurements critical to ceramic characterizations, including sintering and stability.
  • Calorimetry. The C80 is a Calvet Calorimetry system that has found dozens of widely different applications, from process hazards, surface activity, heats of solutions and heat capacity measurements. In combination with the AKTS Kinetics software, the C80 can determine complex kinetics, Time to Maximum Rate and Structured Analysis and Design Technique (SADT) values.
  • Microcalorimetry. The MicroDSC111 is a sensitive DSC in the range of -20 to 120°C that offers the ability to study small interactions in the micro range.
All of the systems are supported by a team of engineers and the fully trained team responsible for the sales and support of Setaram within the U.S.

Powerful Opportunities

The new lab has analyzed samples as diverse as the thermal conductivity of aqueous- and ceramic-based samples, and the differential scanning calorimetry of under-pressurized hydrogen to determine alloy suitability for applications in fuel cells. "We have developed a highly flexible-but powerful-thermal analysis laboratory that can offer both testing and support to existing users," says Etherington. "There are many companies who lack the resources or capital to make investments in thermal techniques, and need high-quality, demanding data. We are uniquely placed to help them."

For more information, contact Setaram, Inc. at 7905 Browning Rd., Suite 206, Pennsauken, NJ 08109; (856) 910-9990; or visit www.setaram.com.

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