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Step-heated single-pan scanning calorimeter for measurement of the specific heat of low-density materials
Shlomi Yiftah, Aharon Nabi

A single-pan step-heating differential scanning calorimeter (SPSH DSC) for the measurement of specific heat is described. It has three advantages over the two-pan DSC: larger sample, hence higher sensitivity, simplicity of construction, and ease of use. The proposed step-heating mode of operation is investigated numerically and experimentally. The results of specific heat measurement on metals (iron, stainless steel, and molybdenum) are within 2% – 5% of literature data. Those of low-density materials, such as PTFE and FR4, are within 2% – 7% of literature data. A comparison of the measured specific heat of PVC with literature data is questionable, since this material exhibits a large increase in Cp due to a glass transition and the available data are not consistent. Measurements on extremely-low-density insulation materials, like silicone and polyurethane foams exhibit large errors, compared with specific heats derived indirectly via measurements of thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity.

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