Application Note: Characterization of Single Fibers for Forensic Applications Using High Speed DSC
2 November 2012

Thermal analysis, and in particular Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), is useful for characterizing polymers and fibers. Typically, the mass used for DSC experiments is at the order of 5 to 10 mg. However, a single fiber has a mass that is approximately 100 times less than the usual weight, thus a DSC instrument with a high level of sensitivity and performance is required. The PerkinElmer® double-furnace DSC can be used for the characterization of single fibers as well as for other demanding forensic applications. In this application note two single carpet fiber samples (mass of only 0.05 mg) were characterized using Power Compensation DSC and the High Speed DSC approach. The use of very fast heating rates (100 to 400 ˚C/min) provides greatly enhanced sensitivity for the successful characterization of very low mass materials.