Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is a widely used method in thermal analysis. Among other aspects the melting and transformation enthalpy and their respective temperatures can be determined precisely with the DSC. The specific heat capacity of a substance can also be measured. These values are crucial for characterizing storage materials.
Phase transitions are always associated with a change in enthalpy. The principle of the DSC-process is based on the determination of the changes in enthalpy. The sample (ca. 5-20 mg) and the thermally inert reference substance are subjected to a time-linear temperature program, where both increases and decreases in temperature are possible. The change in enthalpy is always in connection with a temperature difference between sample and reference. They are measured by two oppositely-switched thermocouples. The resulting thermoelectric voltage is proportional to the heat flow of the sample. The change in enthalpy can be identified by the integration of the heat flow over a period of time.