Differential thermal analysis (DTA) was the first thermal analysis technique used to qualitatively characterize natural clays
and respective curves has been used since more than 60 years as their ‘fingerprint’. With the development of microprocessed
equipments in the last decades, derivative thermogravimetric (DTG) curves also may be used for this purpose in some cases,
which also may allow a quantitative characterization of clay components. TG and DTG curves are more indicated than DTA or
DSC curves to identify and to better analyze the several decomposition steps of natural or synthetic organoclays. These questions
are discussed in applications developed to characterize Brazilian kaolinitic clays, bentonites and organophilic clays.