TMA and Thermal Expansion (CTE) Testing Services

Thermomechanical Analysis (TMA) is a technique used to determine the dimensional changes of a sample with respect to temperature, such as the softening temperature, glass transition temperature, and coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CTE). The most common application of TMA is to determine the CTE. CTE is defined as the degree of expansion divided by the change in temperature:

Where ΔL is the change in length, L0 is the initial length, and ΔT is the change in temperature.

Understanding the CTE of a material is essential for proper usage in different environmental conditions. Failure to account for CTE in certain applications can introduce detrimental stress and ultimately lead to failure.  A precise understanding of thermal expansion behaviour provides crucial insight into firing processes, the influence of additives, reaction kinetics, and other important aspects of how a material responds to environmental changes. 

TAL offers Thermomechanical analysis testing using Rigaku TMA 8311- the first TMA to offer differential methods. This extremely precise system offers a temperature range of -70°C to 1500°C, and multiple attachments are available to conform to specific testing needs. TAL currently offers single rod compression loading (expansion, shrinkage, glass transition) and differential penetration (softening). 

Testing Capabilities



Temperature range

-70°C – 1500°C

Temperature resolution


Maximum heating rate

100°C/min (20°C/min for low temperature furnace)

Maximum load


Length change resolution


Atmosphere of analysis

Air, inert gas, vacuum, water vapor

Sample Size Requirements:

Compression Loading

L= 10-20mm, diameter ≤ 12mm

Differential Penetration

L ≤ 4mm, diameter ≤ 5mm


  • ASTM E831 – Standard Test Method for Linear Thermal Expansion of Solid Materials by Thermomechanical Analysis
  • ASTM E2347 – Standard Test Method for Indentation Softening Temperature by Thermomechanical Analysis 
  • ASTM E1545 – Standard Test Method for Assignment of the Glass Transition Temperature by Thermomechanical Analysis
  • ISO 11359-2

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