DSC Sample Preparation

Before running a DSC experiment you will need to prepare the sample, then select the type of sample pan configuration you want to use, and encapsulate the sample, if required.

Select from the following topics for more information:

Determining Sample Size

Normally, sample weight in DSC experiments is in the range of 5 to 20 milligrams.  If purity determinations are to be performed, then sample sizes of 1 to 3 milligrams are recommended.  Refer to the table below to guide you when selecting the sample size and heating rates for your experiment.


Type of Measurement

Sample Size (mg)

Heating Rate (C/min)


Glass transition

10 to 20

10 to 20

Melting point

2 to 10

5 to 10

Kinetics (Borchardt and Daniels)

5 to 10

5 to 20

Kinetics (ASTM)

2 to 5*

0.5 to 20

Heat capacity

10 to 70



1 to 3

0.5 to 1

Crystallinity or oxidative stability

5 to 10


5 to 10



2 to 10

1 to 5

 * Use larger sample sizes at slower heating rates, smaller sample sizes at higher rates.

 ** Except for Modulated DSC®

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