Microanalysis Laboratory

School Affiliated departments and LAS

Instruments and Techniques

The Cahn Thermax 500 Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA)
Thermo Fisher, Newington, USA

photo The Cahn Thermax 500 Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA)

TGA is commonly employed in research and testing to determine characteristics of materials such as polymers to determine degradation temperatures, absorbed moisture content of materials, the level of inorganic and organic components in materials, decomposition points of explosives, and solvent residues. It is also often used to estimate the corrosion kinetics in high temperature oxidation.

The Cahn TherMax 500 TGA system specializes in demanding applications where high temperatures, pressures, and aggressive atmospheres are required.  Pressure can be used to enhance or speed up reactions. The Cahn Thermax 500 thermogravimetric analyzer measures weight changes of sample over a given temperature and pressure range under specific environmental conditions.

Furnace temperature follows a temperature profile sequence established by the user in a method in the Thermax software. The software periodically records weight and pressure measurements and stores them on the computer.

After the measurement cycle or “run” is completed, the data file can be processed in the Analysis mode of the software. Raw or processed data may be plotted on the monitor display or on a graphics plotter, printed in tabular form, or copied on a separate diskette for archiving.

The three parts of the Thermax 500 are the: The Cahn Thermax 500 instruments measure weight changes on samples of up to 100 grams from room temperature to 1100°C, with a maximum sensitivity of one microgram.

Product Specifications:


Weighing 100 grams
Volume 30 cc
Weighing Range  
Maximum Weight ±10 g
Sensitivity 1µg
Temperature Drift 10 µg/°C
Accuracy at ambient temperature <0.02%
Repeatability <0.001%


Temperature Range  
at ambient pressure Up to 1100°C
at 1000 psi Up to 1000°C
Maximum Heating Rate 25°C/min
Temperature Repeatability ± 3°C

Pressure Level

Maximum pressure at 25°C 1500 psi
Maximum pressure at 1000°C 1000 psi
Internal Volume 0.3 liters
Thermocouple 1/8" Chromel-Alumel
Atmospheres Static or dynamic gases including H2O, alcohols, adelhyde, ketones, alkanes, dilute acids, H2, CO2.
From The Cahn Thermax 500 Operator's Manual

Microanalysis Laboratory
47 Noyes Laboratory
MC-712 Box 36-1
505 South Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Kiran Subedi, PhD
Facility Supervisor

micro [at] scs [dot] illinois [dot] edu
tel: (217) 333-3095
8:30 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday

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