SciMed – Company Spotlight

Thermal Analysis and calorimetry, including traditional TGA and DSC as well as isothermal calorimetry techniques have a very important role to play in the field of battery characterisation providing critical insights into batteries and battery components. SciMed are proud to represent Setaram Instruments in the UK and Ireland and we can provide a range of solutions for your battery testing requirements.

TGA– thermogravimetry or TGA:  consists of measuring the mass variation of a sample of material (can be electrode, electrolyte material for instance) when it is exposed to a controlled temperature and atmosphere program. It is a method to determine the decomposition temperatures of the materials and when the decomposition produces a gaseous material.

The gases produced can be analysed by connection of the TGA to a gas analyser such as a Mass Spectrometer enabling gas identification and quantification.


DSC– Differential Scanning Calorimetry is a method that allows for the measurement of the heat flow to or from a sample of material when it is exposed to a controlled temperature and atmosphere program. Phase changes, decompositions and other thermal events can be detected. Depending on the instrument’s sensor size, one can characterize a battery material or a full battery.


One of the key strengths of Setaram DSC’s and calorimeters is their sensor technology. Unlike the very common flat-shaped DSC sensors, our so-called 3D Calvet sensors use a network of thermocouples that surround the sample to measure heat in virtually all directions. This provides a higher accuracy for heat measurements.

DSC can also be used to determine heat capacity (Cp). This is a very important thermophysical property, necessary for heat transfer calculations within the battery as it is linked with the quantity of heat that can be accumulated by the battery. It is especially important when batteries thermal management is involved. Setaram instruments with 3D sensor technology have unsurpassed sensitivity and Cp determination accuracy – please get in touch to put us to the test!!


Finally, isothermal calorimetry also measures heat flow, but at a fixed, constant temperature. They are in general larger in terms of sample size, so full batteries can be tested using such calorimeters. (Note our isothermal calorimeters can all also be used in temperature scanning mode thus giving you full flexibility overt test design)


There are two main types of use of isothermal calorimetry measurement as far as secondary (rechargeable) batteries characterisation is involved:

  1. The measurement of self-discharge heat, which helps to compare the capacity of various batteries to stay charged during long periods of time.
  2. The measurement of the heat produced when the battery is charged and discharged through a series of programmed cycles, thus helping to assess the risks of damage to the battery if overheating occurs.

For a copy of our in-depth Battery characterisation brochure which highlights examples of the above techniques, or any further information please contact David Dale (


SCIMED also market other products related to battery testing such as XRD from Rigaku and electrochemistry products from Gamry – again please contact us for more information.

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