Identify is a unique database system in thermal analysis for the recognition and comparison of measurement curves of types DSC, TGA, DIL/TMA and Cp. What are the benefits of Identify? A database search using Identify can be very helpful for material identification, failure analysis and quality control (QC). Identify not only makes the interpretation of measurements easier and faster, but also more significant. In addition, this database system is always of value for what is called “data mining”: the archiving, searching and finding of measurements and literature data. All in all, Identify makes thermal analysis smarter!
The Identify database already contains more than 2000 database entries! Shown in figure 1 are the NETZSCH libraries covering various application fields: ceramics, inorganics, metals, alloys, organics, pharma, food, cosmetics and polymers. Available as an option is the KIMW database developed by the Kunststoffinstitut Lüdenscheid, Germany, with DSC curves for 800 different commercially available polymer grades.
Of course, users can also build up their own libraries and share them with their colleagues on the computer network.
Combined Database Search
The latest development stage for Identify has been a combined database search for independent DSC and TGA signals, for STA (=TGA+DSC simultaneously) and for TGA-c-DTA® signals. Since information about caloric effects – for example, due to glass transition and melting – and mass changes due to decomposition is used in combination, it becomes possible to identify materials with a much higher level of certainty. This can be demonstrated by the example shown in figure 2, where the polymer PB (= polybutene) is clearly identified by means of a TGA measurement – particularly due to the combination with its c-DTA® evaluation. Taking two signals into consideration at once instead of only one signal makes a big difference!
The calculated c-DTA® curve is like a qualitative DSC signal which, in essence, upgrades the TGA instrument almost into an STA. With regard to the database search, the c-DTA® signal acts as a link between the TGA and DSC worlds – and Identify is now able to feature this linkage!
In summary, the contents of the Identify database system was expandend to more than 2000 database entries. Furthermore, Identify can now also be used with combined TGA+DSC, TGA-c-DTA® and STA measurements, which allows for material identification with greater certainty!
More details can be found in this presentation and in the following scientific article published recently:
 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, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10973-017-6208-5
See also Smart Thermal Analysis (Part I): AutoEvaluation (including a video about Identify).
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Dr. Alexander Schindler has worked in the fields of experimental physics, thermal analysis and thermophysical properties for over 19 years. At NETZSCH, he has been employed in the Applications Laboratory as well in the Hardware and Software Development. He is a known expert in thermal characterization methods and applications.