Dynalene can perform melting and freezing point analysis for liquid and solid materials that melt anywhere between -100°C and 1000°C. We have various instruments that we use to determine melting point, depending on what type of material you have.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
One method that we most commonly use to measure melting point for our customers is differential scanning calorimetry, or DSC. This method only requires about 5 mg to 20 mg of sample, and provides very accurate melting, freezing, and phase transition information between -80°C and 500°C.
Our differential scanning calorimeter measures these thermal transitions by measuring the amount of heat it takes to raise the temperature of a sample vs a reference. One sample pan is filled with the sample and placed in the cell. Another pan (empty) is also placed in the cell. Several precise temperature probes are placed throughout the cell and heat flow and temperature are measured.
After determining how much heat it takes to raise the temperature of the pan containing the sample (and how much heat is absorbed into the sample), the reference pan is subtracted and the melting/freezing/phase transition points of just the sample can be identified. The thermal behavior of the sample can be viewed as a function of time or temperature, and makes it easy to identify phase transitions, endothermic/exothermic reactions, crystallization kinetics, and other thermal phenomena.
For samples that may not be compatibility with our DSC, we use custom methods to determine the melting/freezing point. We have various custom heating and cooling systems that can identify the melting/freezing temperatures between -80°C and 1000°C. With these systems, it uses variations of optical and temperature vs time plots to calculate the melting/freezing points. Please give us a call to discuss if your material is compatible with our DSC, or if you need a custom method!
The importance of melting and freezing point
Identifying the melting/freezing point is very important for scientists and engineers in many industries. These points are very important for a heat transfer fluid company like Dynalene, as many of our customers use our fluids in low temperature applications. It is important for them to know at which point the fluid freezes so they can design their system appropriately during cold processing systems. With fluids like glycol-water mixtures, such as the antifreeze used in your car, it is very important to know the freezing points of those mixtures because the coolant freezing in the engine block could be catastrophic.
This information is also very important for the food and beverage industry, as they may need to know the freezing temperature of a syrup for their mixing equipment, or a higher melting point chocolate candy so it doesn’t make a mess in your hands while you eat it.
Melting point is also very important in phase transition applications, where a material with a very high latent heat is used to store and give off energy. High latent heat materials can absorb large amounts of heat as they melt, and when they freeze they give off this same amount of heat. Ice is a material with a high latent heat, and it’s why it is so effective at absorbing the heat from your beverage, cooling down the surrounding liquid as the ice melts. Scientists and engineers can design very effective heat transfer systems around this phenomena.