Scientific Analytical Calorimeter Solutions

How To Measure Powdery Samples


Powdery substances like Saw dust, flour, or Benzoic Acid powder will burn violently and ‘scatter’ part of the sample material to the vessel wall without igniting it. Evidence of scattering is when sample material is found on the bomb vessel wall. Obviously, the result is lower than expected.

However, when the scattered sample material settles on the large vessel O-ring then it may burn the O-ring and cause damage to the bomb vessel. This must be prevented at all costs. If a sample was scattered, the large vessel O-ring must be examined and replaced. This is particularly prevalent with saw dust.

How To Prevent Scattering

This scattering (violent burning) can be prevented by:

Compressing the sample in a pellet press.
Reducing the oxygen pressure using the CAL3K-3 Filling Station
Putting the sample into a gelatin capsule (spiking)

If you have a pellet press then this is the best solution.

Reducing the oxygen pressure is a little tricky depending on the type of CAL3K and that you must prevent oxygen starvation. But it does work.

Putting the sample material in to a gelatin capsule (part number 3K-4-068) is convenient and universally applicable.


If you have a pellet press, we encourage you to use it. Otherwise, use a gelatin capsule and the spiking procedure. The EASY spiking works very well.

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