Density Measurement

Definition, Equations, Influences, Instruments, Density vs Relative Density and also More

Density measurements examine the purity and concentration of a sample and offers insight into its composition. The measurement of thickness is important in various sectors to ensure quality for both raw materials and finished products.

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For example, the thickness of ultrapure water at 20.00 °C is recognized to be 0.998203 g/cm3: any type of deviation from this worth ± tolerances would imply that the water sample consists of impurities.

On this web page, you will obtain crucial knowledge about density measurement.

Jump to one of the following sections to explore and learn more around density of liquids.

Factors That Affect Density Determination

Density is a physical parameter that offers indevelopment on the mass of a sample or body separated by its volume: in other words, how tightly a substance"s molecules are packed together in area. The density is commonly represented by the Greek letter rho "ρ". The Latin letter "d" is likewise commonly offered.



In this video, you will certainly come to be an skilled on how to meacertain density of liquids and also the finest techniques to measure it.


Have you ever wondered why some oils continue to be on the ocean"s surconfront once tbelow is an oil spill?

The difference in densities provides some substances climb above others, in the image you have the right to check out examples of typical thickness values demonstrated.

A - Lamp Oil (0.80 g/cm3) B - Rubbing Alcohol (0.87 g/cm3) C - Vegetable Oil (0.91 g/cm3) D - Water (0.99 g/cm3) E - Dawn Dish Soap (1.33 g/cm3) F - Honey (1.36 g/ccm3)



Measuring principle

Glass body placed right into sampleGlass body floats at a specific level due to the buoyancy and also mass of the hydrometer, dependent on sample densityLevel of equilibration reflects the density on the calibrated scale



User-dependent resultsTakes a long time to equilibrate the temperatureSmall measuring selection (typically takes 20 hydrometers to cover a wide range)Large sample volume forced (140 mL to 600 mL)Difficult to cleanNot suitable for GLPBreakableSample need to be rerelocated from sample container and also poured right into the hydrometer

Measuring principle

Glass beaker of defined volumeWeighed without sample (M1), then with a sample (M2)Density calculated based on the following formula: Density = (M2 − M1)/Flask Volume


InexpensiveDirectly concerned the meaning of thickness (mass separated by volume): appropriate for academia / education


User-dependent resultsPycnometers are calibrated for a certain temperature, e.g. 20 °C, so dimensions are just valid at that temperature! The sample should be equilibrated to the calibration temperature.Density need to be calculatedCommon sample volume compelled is 25 mLHigh level of user training compelled to encertain precise, reputable measurementsSample should be rerelocated from sample container and also added to pycnometer

Measuring principle

Oscillating U-tubeA hollow glass tube vibrates at a specific frequency. This frequency transforms when the tube is filled with the sample: the higher the mass of the sample, the lower the frequency measurement is and converted into density. A built-in Peltier thermostat controls the temperature precisely of the benchtops instrument (no water bath required)


Easy to useSmall sample volumeAutomatic measurement indicates outcomes are operator independentBuilt-in temperature compensationOffers storage of approximately 1100 outcomes and also the opportunity to connect to COMPUTER software for data managementSample deserve to be measured straight from the sample container

Watch this video to inspect if you are adhering to the correct procedures for a successful density measurement with a pycnometer. Furthermore, we compare density measurement with a pycnometer vs a digital thickness meter.

Did you understand that a temperature readjust of 0.1 °C can have an impact of 0.0001 g/cm3 on the measured density? The temperature influences the area important to fit atoms in a molecule. The vibration boosts with better temperature, relocating the atoms better apart and therefore reducing the density worth.

Therefore, the better the temperature, the greater the volume and the lower the thickness. If the temperature decreases, the volume becomes reduced and the thickness becomes better. But, the mass of the substance does not change. The only exception to this dominion is liquid water, which reaches its thickness height at 3.98 ºC, above this point the volume of water rises and also it becomes less dense. The oppowebsite applies once water is cooled.


Note: The relation among temperature, volume and density is not a straight function and also it relies on the specific warsteustatiushistory.orgh capacity, heat of vaporization and also various other components of each substance.

b) Air Bubbles or Impurities

A easy air bubble present in a liquid measured deserve to cause a substantial difference to its density and the same applies for impurities.

For circumstances, a glass pycnometer depends on the mass for the calculation of the density worth. If tright here is an air bubble existing or a contamicountry e.g. as a result of imappropriate cleaning, the mass measured and shown by the balance will certainly be incorrect. This leads to an incorrect density value.

The very same applies for a digital thickness meter, which depends on the U-tube measuring principle for the determination of thickness.However, modern digital thickness meters function an automatic BubbleCheck™ to assistance the user during the thickness measurement procedure.Moreover, to prevent cross contamicountry due to improper cleaning, customers have the right to measure the density of air. If the outcome of the measurements is within the boundaries, this implies that the measuring cell has been appropriately cleaned.

c) Air Pressure of a Fluid

If you are in Mexico City at 3.930 meters above the sea level, the local air press will be lower than in Rio de Janeiro, which is at sea level or 0 meters. This suggests the air push is directly concerned the altitude.

As gases and liquids are fluids, the following information must be considered:

Gas (e.g. air), is a compressible liquid, which alters its volume at different pressures.Liquids (e.g. water), are thought about incompressible fluid, so their volume is constant at different pressures. If very high air push would be used, liquids might end up being compressible, but this is not the case for analytical density measurement objectives.
In a thickness measurement making use of a hand-operated instrument (e.g. pycnometer), the air press worth is not taken right into consideration.

Modern digital density meters function a constructed in barometer (press sensor) to measure the local air push, which automatically sets the recommendation air thickness value. This worth is crucial for 2 reasons:

Throughout day-to-day operations, the cleanliness of a measuring cell need to be performed to ensure good outcomes by preventing cross contamination. The air density worth measured is compared to the referral air worth set. If the outcome is within a certain tolerance, the instrument cell is clean.

d) Viscosity

If a substance is viscous, is it denser than a much less viscous liquid?

Viscosity describes the resistance of a liquid in flowing, informally defined as the "thickness" of a fluid, and in principle, it has actually no direct partnership via thickness.

However, the viscosity might influence the thickness determination relying on the technique supplied.

Measurements using:

: Not influenced, but tedious sampling and also cleaning, and also slow-moving temperature stabilization when utilizing water bath.Hydrometers: Not influenced, yet tedious sampling, value analysis and cleaning.Digital thickness meter: Influenced, because sample dampens the oscillation frequency of the vibrating U-tube.
As watched in the chart, as the viscosity boosts, the thickness error additionally increases.
Aqueous services, lab (organic) solventsSulfuric solutionsMotor oilKitchen detergentSyrup

e) Relative Density, Specific Gravity, True Density: What It Is and also Its Differences

Relative density definition

Relative density is the ratio between absolute densities of 2 substances, wbelow the divisor is thought about the recommendation substance. If this substance is not stated, it is assumed to be water at 3.98ºC and therefore has actually a thickness of 0.999972 g/cm3 or 999.972 kg/m3. As per the equation, the relative density has actually no systems.

Specific gravity definition

Specific gravity (SG) is the proportion between the thickness of a substance and also the density of water. If the temperature is not mentioned, it is assumed to be water at 3.98ºC and therefore has actually a density of 0.999972 g/cm3 or 999.972 kg/m3.

True density or absolute density definition

True density is the proportion between the mass and volume of a substance at a given pressure and temperature, equivalent to its weight in a vacuum. This is the idea likewise offered in thickness measurement by digital density meters.

Apparent thickness definition

Apparent density is a building of partitioned solids, such as powders and granules, and is regularly provided in the mining, food and also chemical markets. By interpretation, noticeable density is the ratio in between mass and also volume, yet it synchronizes to weight in air.

Mass in vacuum = True density

To highlight the difference between true density and also apparent thickness, we have a pycnometer placed onto a balance. When it is filled through a liquid, it weighs less in air than in a vacuum as a result of the buoyancy impact of air.

Many type of main density tables are still based on obvious thickness. Digital density meters provide results in different units and also concentrations, inspect out their specifications.

Mass in air = Apparent thickness

f) How to Encertain Good Density Results through a Digital Density Meter: The 5 Steps to Success

Ensuring precise thickness measurement results requires taking direct activity to protect against inaccuracy throughout the workcirculation process. Below you will certainly uncover important tips for the success of your density determicountry.


Step 1 – Determine Your Sample Type / Sample Preparation

Before you start your measurement, it is important to understand also the necessary precautions to take relying on your sample kind.



Encertain no air bubbles are existing upon development right into the measuring cellShear pressures have the right to cause inprecise outcomes, so make sure your instrument has actually a viscosity correction

Aggressive / toxic


Samples containing liquified organic gas (e.g. butane), show a tendency to degas, so they have to be cooled down to protect against bubble generation.

Sample through dissolved gases

Carbonated samples, for example soft drinks, have to be degassed prior to measurement. To perform so, stir them for numerous minutes until bubbling stops.For samples via dissolved air, an ultra-sonic bath have the right to be supplied, or the sample have the right to be boiled for several minutes.

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Non-homogeneous or via suspensions

Avoid solid product resolve or a concentration gradient formationStir the sample well prior to taking a sample. Make sure that no air bubbles are presented during stirring.If you can not totally homogenize the sample, repeat the measurement a number of times and calculate the mean value.