24.02.2020 von Milena Riedl

A Simple Way to Evaluate and Manage Material Data

Knowledge of the thermal properties of the material is crucial for producing thermoplastic parts. However, materials are not always delivered with sufficient information on all properties. Thermal analysis instruments are suitable to find the most important parameters by yourself. But the instrument is only the first step. The software is equally important. Here are two examples how Proteus® can help achieve faster results.

Knowledge of the thermal properties of the material is crucial for producing thermoplastic parts and components without incurring additional cost of scrap production. Simultaneously, material data is important to create molding simulations ensuring a successful production. However, materials are not always delivered with sufficient information on all properties – free of charge.   Thermal analysis instruments are suitable for you to find out the most important parameters by yourself. Here, for instance, differential scanning calorimetry is an easy to use and exact method to determine quality criteria of raw material like glass transition temperatures and melting peaks.   But the instrument is only the first step. The software that evaluates the measurements is equally important to allow a smooth and fast process reducing cost and allowing experts to focus their attention to more sophisticated measurements. The Proteus® software incorporated in NETZSCH thermal analysis instrumentation has useful features to evaluate and manage material data. Here are two examples.

Effortlessly evaluate your measurement with artificial intelligence

Figure 1: DSC measurement of a PET material

Figure 1 shows a segment of a temperature program of a polymer sample measured with the DSC 214 Polyma. The manual evaluation of the results takes time and is susceptible to errors as sometimes effects are hard to determine and only visible to the experienced eye.   The AutoEvaluation feature within the Proteus® software can help arrive at faster results or act as a second opinion. The unique evaluation routine autonomously finds and evaluates all effects in DSC and TGA curves by means of an intelligent mathematical algorithm.  In figure 2, you can see the AutoEvaluation of the measurement of figure 1. The software autonomously found the glass transition, the complex peak area and the melting peak of the analyzed material.

Figure 2: DSC measurement of a PET material, analyzed with AutoEvaluation

Identify and classify material within seconds 

The Proteus® software has even more to offer. The Identify feature allows for an identification and classification of materials within seconds. With a single click, experimental curves can be checked for agreement with stored individual curves, literature data and statistical classes.  By using Identify for further insight into the above measurement, it becomes clear that with a similarity of 99.87 % the analyzed material is PET.

Figure 3: The Identify feature identifies material on the basis of the measurement and the integrated database (click the image to enlarge)

Go one step further: Establish your own material data library 

The pre-installed library of literature data, statistical classes and optional 1000 different commercially available polymers is not the limit!   You are able to expand the library with your measurement data without limits. Such libraries can then be shared with several other users at the same time in the computer network.   How do you do that?  

  1. Run your measurement with the material that you would like to add to the library.  
  2. Click on your measurement and select “Identify”. The Identify panel will appear above your measurement.  
  3. Click on the button “Add Current Curve…”
Figure 4: The Identify panel within the Proteus® software

4. Name your measurement or material and make remarks (if necessary). Select an existing library or add a new library in the following window that will appear.

Figure 5: Add the current curve to your individual material database

5. Congratulations! The material is now successfully stored in the database!  6. The next time you run a material analysis, select the library with your own measurements (here: test). The software will then tell you which reference material in the library is most similar to the currently measured material. Here, the materials have a 100 % similarity as they are the same measurements.

Figure 6: Identification of a material within the Identify panel in the Proteus® software (click the image to enlarge)

It is really as simple as that!

With your own database, you can easily control the quality of your raw material with just a few clicks.   Learn more about our Proteus® software here.