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Why is a Thermogravimetric Balance Ideal for Thermal Analysis?

There are many reasons why thermal analysis is conducted in materials science, but it is primarily used to obtain information on how a material’s behaviour changes when it goes through different temperature changes. Many methods can be used to monitor the changes, the most common being thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). However, in this blog post, we will focus on TGA, why a thermogravimetric balance is a suitable instrument for thermal analysis and how it works. 

What is a Thermogravimetric Balance?

A thermogravimetric balance, also called a thermobalance or thermogravimetric analyzer, comprises a thermometer, sample crucible and precision balance. It is placed within a furnace during an experiment, which is conducted to continuously measure a sample material’s weight as it is heated, cooled or left at a consistent temperature.

It is a highly precise instrument that can register minute changes in a material’s mass and, as a result, offers invaluable information about the thermal stability of the material. Further in the blog post, we will look at the specific features of XRF Scientific’s thermogravimetric analyser, the xrTGA 1100.

The Benefits of a Thermogravimetric Balance

There are many reasons why a researcher should use a thermogravimetric balance in materials science. Firstly, by continuously measuring the mass of a sample, other parameters can be tested. TGA can provide crucial information about a sample’s absorption, desorption, thermal decomposition and solid-gas and solid-state reactions.1 Aside from this, other benefits of a thermogravimetric balance include:

Small Sample Size

One key reason to use a TGA is that it only requires a small amount of sample to carry out the experiment. Typically, around 1 gram is needed, depending on the type of sample used.2 This applies to both solid and liquid samples.

Minimal Preparation

A sample requires little to no preparation before being used in a thermogravimetric balance. However, different types of material may need slightly different methods. For example, powders only need to be spread evenly across the base of the sample crucible, whereas films and fibres may need to be cut or wound up to fit.

The four advantages mentioned in this blog post, high precision, multiple parameters, small sample size and minimal preparation, are key to why TGA is so commonly used in materials science and other areas. To conclude this post, we will introduce our TGA and what it can offer.

XRF Scientific’s xrTGA 1100

XRF Scientific has developed a thermogravimetric analyzer specifically for large-scale scientific facilities. It offers the benefits we have already discussed and provides scientists with an instrument to conduct thermal decomposition testing, looking at ash, fixed-carbon, Loss on Ignition (LoI) and other parameters.

The xrTGA 1100 has a built-in program with an easy-to-use touchscreen interface, allowing users to select specific thermal programs and modify them based on their requirements. To learn more about our thermogravimetric analyzer system, check out the product page.



  1. Coats, A.W., and Redfern, J.P (1963) Thermogravimetric Analysis. Available at:
  2. AZoMaterials (2018) A Guide to Getting Most Out of Your Thermal Analysis System. Available at: