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Products » Analytical Equipment » Thermogravimetric analysers » Apollo thermogravimetric analyser

Apollo thermogravimetric analyser

SPS's Apollo thermogravimetric analyser (TGA) is a highly capable benchtop unit for thermogravimetric analysis of a wide range of materials used in various mining, food, petrochemical, environmental and pharmaceutical applications.

The instrument can accommodate 24 samples of up to 5 grams at a time and larger crucibles can be used for sample masses up to 70g with appropriate carousels accommodating fewer samples.
The instrument is designed for speed, precision and accuracy, while ensuring maximum operator safety and ergonomics. The temperature can be set at up to 1000 °C with user customisable heating programs allowing the creation of standardised operating procedures.
Analyses typically take place in air, but other gases such as nitrogen or oxygen can be purged through the instrument to achieve a specific test atmosphere. It is possible to control 2 TGA’s together in a dual-mode using a single PC. This allows for the analysis of up to 48 samples at the same time to improve efficiency.
The Apollo can be managed from a mobile phone, tablet or any computer with a web browser. Up to six TGA's can be monitored in this manner, with all of the data from each one being available in real time.
The ControlTrack PC software allows for trouble-free operation of the Apollo, with all the sample data being available in real-time and fully exportable. LIMS integration is easily possible, with an online manual and online diagnostic system for remote support. The user is also able to build customized methods for analysis on the fly.
The Apollo has been designed with user-friendly maintenance in mind, allowing for quick and easy access to all parts for inspection and replacement.
Simply select a method
Select a predefined analytical method from the intuitive software or easily create a new method. Each method contains information such as heating rate, hold temperatures and hold duration, gas introduction, and crucible lids on or off (available in Apollo L model), cooling rates etc. New methods can easily be setup on the fly and can be saved for future use.
Once a method has been selected in the software, samples need to be registered and assigned to crucible positions.
Select or register a batch of samples
Samples can be registered via a barcode scanner, or manually entered via a keyboard. Auto fill allows for rapid entry of samples with sequential numbers. Samples can also be pre-registered in batches. Sample batches information can be obtained automatically from LIMS or the optional external weighing system.
Load samples
Empty crucibles are loaded into the carousel and the instrument automatically weighs each empty crucible. Samples can then be added into the crucibles in their assigned positions with the carousel remaining stationary or the carousel can turn to present the operator with a single point to load the sample into each crucible sequentially.
Using either method, once sample loading is completed the system will automatically weigh each crucible with sample to determine the starting mass. Alternatively, a carousel filled with samples that has been weighed externally can be placed into the analyser.
The optional external balance can be used to pre weigh samples. Pre weighing the samples while the previous batch is being processed allows for rapid carousel change out on completion of the batch and improves efficiency and throughput.
Sample carousels and reference crucibles
Various carousels are available depending on sample size, crucible size and whether or not crucible lids will be used.
The standard carousel for the Apollo can accommodate 24 samples. When using the double carousel and crucible lids, a 20 position carousel is used. Note that only the Apollo L has the double carousel.
For applications such as flour, wheat, food, animal feed, snacks, dough, tobacco etc. where larger sample masses of up to 70g needs to be measured in larger crucibles, the 12 position carousel is used.
One position in the carousel is usually allocated to a reference crucible. The reference crucible is weighed during the process along with the samples.
The weight of the reference crucible is used to compensate for weight loss/gain in the crucible during heating, a physical "buoyancy" effect. The software automatically uses the reference crucible mass to calculate the adjustment.
Once samples are loaded, the system automatically closes the lid of the instrument and runs the analytical program. During the analytical cycle, the instrument will display the current parameters such as the real time furnace temperature and time remaining.
As the results become available, they are instantly displayed to the operator and/or sent through to LIMS. Mass loss/gain is typically displayed graphically for the sake of clarity. Graphing and export of the results is fully customisable by the user and can be exported to CSV or Excel.
Sample Weighing
Samples are automatically weighed in the TGA. Samples and their respective sample ID's are allocated positions in the carousel. At the appropriate time in the predefined program the crucibles are indexed and presented above the weighing cell. The weighing cell then weighs the mass of the crucible containing the sample.
Once completed the carousel indexes so that the next crucible can be weighed. The operator has the option to predefine to weigh the crucible with or without the lid on the crucible in the case of the Apollo L. The reference crucible is weighed and the weight of the reference crucible is used in the software to adjust for the buoyancy influences. Samples can be weighed after a predefined time at a specified temperature or samples can be constantly weighed until constant mass is achieved.

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