The RSST shown here consists of a pressurized containment cell (left) and a control unit (right). The computer interface card is on the top of the control unit.
The purpose of the RSST is to characterize the reactive nature of chemicals. The substance is place in the small container (35 ml) shown below and then placed in the containment cell. The RSST has only a single heating modes: heating at a constant temperature rate. Since the containment cell is pressurized with nitrogen, the reactor vessel is considered as an open test cell.
The RSST is not very sensitive and can only detect exotherms as low as about 1 deg. C per min. However, due to its low cost and ease of use, it is frequently used for screening studies.