Dynamic mechanical analysis a practical introduction
As an educator, and also because of my involvement in Short Courses preceding the International Conferences on Materials Characterization (POLYCHAR), I have
found repeatedly that some practitioners of polymer science and engineering tend
to stay away from dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). Possibly because of its use of complex and imaginary numbers, such people call the basic DMA definitions impractical and sometimes do not even look at the data. This is a pity, because DMA results are quite useful for the manufacturing of polymeric materials and components as well as for the development of new materials.
Year after year, listening to Kevin Menard’s lectures at the International Conference on Polymer Characterization (POLYCHAR) Short Courses on Materials Characterization, I have found that he has a talent for presentation of ostensibly complex matters in a simple way. He is not afraid of going to a toy store to buy slinkies or silly putty — and he uses these playthings to explain what DMA is about.
Those lectures and the DMA course he teaches for Perkin-Elmer, which is also part
of the graduate-level thermal analysis course he teaches at University of North Texas, form the basis of this text.
The following book has the same approach: explaining the information that
DMA provides in a practical way. I am sure it will be useful for both beginning and advanced practitioners. I also hope it will induce some DMA users to read more difficult publications in this field, many of which are given in the references.
University of North Texas
Denton, in July 1998