Specific Gravity of Soil



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How to Test the Specific Gravity of Liquids

Three Methods:

Specific gravity, also referred to as relative density, is used to relate the weight or density of liquids to that of water. Specific gravity is a unitless measurement that is derived as a ratio of either the weight of another liquid or the density of another liquid divided by the weight or density of water. Temperature must also be taken into account when determining specific gravity, since density changes in relation to temperature.

Steps

Measuring Specific Gravity with a Hydrometer

  1. Pour a sample of your liquid into a container.Make sure that the liquid in the container is deep enough to allow the hydrometer to float. If the hydrometer rests on the bottom of the container, you will not get an accurate reading. Leave room in the container for the hydrometer to displace some of the liquid, otherwise, you’ll end up with a spill.
    • The shape and material of the container is irrelevant as long as there is enough liquid present for the hydrometer to float properly.
  2. Check that your liquid is the correct temperature.Your hydrometer will be calibrated to a specific temperature. If your liquid is at a different temperature, the density of the liquid will not match the calibration of the hydrometer. This will cause your reading to be incorrect.
  3. Place the hydrometer in the liquid.The hydrometer is a specialized glass tube that has a weighted end. Place it in the water with the weighted end down. Allow the hydrometer to settle and stop bobbing before taking a reading.
  4. Read the specific gravity from the hydrometer.The hydrometer is marked with different specific gravity measurements at different intervals. Once it stops floating, the water line will be at one of these marks. The number corresponding to this mark is the specific gravity of your liquid.
    • The reading on the hydrometer is usually a decimal, but it is derived as a ratio of the density of your liquid to the density of water at a given temperature. In other words, if your hydrometer reads 1.1, that means your liquid was 1.1 times as dense as water at that temperature. Note that specific gravity is a unitless measurement.
    • You can look up the specific gravity of some common liquids. Examples are listed below:
      • Acetic Acid: 1.052
      • Acetone: 0.787
      • Beer: 1.01
      • Bromine: 3.12
      • Milk: 1.035
      • Mercury: 13.633

Calculating Specific Gravity by Weight

  1. Obtain a weight for the liquid in question.First, pre-weigh a container. Next, take the weight of the container again, but this time with a specified volume of your liquid inside. Subtract the weight of the liquid-filled container from the weight of the empty container. The difference is the weight of your liquid.
    • For example, if your container weighed 1.50 pounds with liquid in it and 1.00 pound empty, your equation would look like this: "1.50 lb - 1.00 lb = 0.50 lb." Your liquid weighs 0.50 pounds.
    • Make sure the temperature of your liquid is noted when this weight is taken. You must compare it to water of the same temperature.
  2. Obtain the weight of an identical volume of water.Fill the same container to the same volume. Then, weigh the container and find the weight of that volume of water. You should not need to pre-weigh the container again, since you already know the weight of the empty container.
    • Use the same formula to find the weight of the water. If the liquid-filled container weighted 1.75 pounds, the equation would look like this: "1.75 lb - 1.00 lb = 0.75 lb." In this example, the water weighs 0.75 pounds.
    • Make sure that the water is at the exact same temperature as the liquid in question. Otherwise, results may not be accurate.
  3. Calculate the ratio of the liquid’s weight to the weight of water.Since you are dividing one weight by another, the units will cancel out. This makes specific gravity a unitless measurement. Use the ratio "Wl/ Wwater” where Wlis the weight of your liquid and Wwateris the weight of water.
    • For example, if you weighed 100 mL of acetone at 25 degrees Celsius, it would weigh 0.17314 pounds. Weighing the same volume of water at the same temperature would give you 0.22 pounds. To find the specific gravity of this acetone, you would solve0.17314lbs/0.22lbs=0.787{\displaystyle 0.17314lbs/0.22lbs=0.787}. This is the specific gravity of acetone.

Calculating Specific Gravity by Density

  1. Obtain the density for the liquid in question.The density of a substance is equal to its mass divided by its volume. You can measure the mass on a scale and record the volume of the liquid used. Use the equation "m / v = D" where m is mass in grams or kilograms, v is volume in milliliters or liters, and D is density.
    • For example, if you had a sample that was 8 grams and 9 milliliters, your equation would be: "8.00 g / 9.00 mL = 0.89 g/mL."
    • Weigh an empty container first and record its weight. Next, fill your container with the desired liquid and weigh it again. The mass of your liquid is equal to the second measurement minus the first. For instance, if the filled container weighed 2.00 lbs and the empty container weighed 0.75 lbs, the equation would be: “2.00 - 0.75 = 1.25” and the liquid would weigh 1.25 lbs.
  2. Obtain the density of an identical volume of water.Between -10 degrees Celsius and +30 degrees Celsius, the density of water can be rounded to 1.00 (assuming 3 significant figures). If you are using liquids that do not fall in that temperature range, you can measure the mass and the volume of your water and calculate the density. Alternatively, you can often find charts with the density of water at different temperatures.
    • It’s important to find the density of water that is the same temperature as the liquid in order to get accurate measurements.
  3. Keep your liquids the same temperature.Substances expand when they are heated and contract when they are cooled. Since density is a measure of how much mass is in a given volume, the measurement is changed by the expansion and contraction due to temperature.
    • If you want to get accurate specific gravity calculations, it is necessary that the liquid you are measuring and the water that you are using as a comparison are both at the same temperature.
  4. Calculate the ratio of the liquid’s density to the density of water.The units will cancel out in this equation, leaving you with a unitless quantity. That number is the specific gravity (or relative density) of your liquid. The ratio used will be "Dl/ Dwater” where Dlis the density of your liquid and Dwateris the density of your water.
    • For example, if you were to take the density of acetone (0.787 g/mL @ 25 degrees C) and divide it by the density of water (1.00 g/mL @ 25 degrees C), you would get0.787g/mL/1.00g/mL=0.787{\displaystyle 0.787g/mL/1.00g/mL=0.787}.

Community Q&A

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  • Question
    How do you compare the specific gravity of liquids?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Use the steps in this article to find the specific gravity for each liquid. Then, make a chart that compares the specific gravity values in the way you need to see them (e.g. highest to lowest).
    Thanks!
Unanswered Questions
  • What are quick methods for testing a gravity of liquids?
  • How do I maintain the temperature of a liquid sample in a lab?
  • A 70-gram cylindrical rod is measured to be 12 centimeters long and 2.5 centimeters in diameter. What is the specific gravity of the material?
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  • Specific gravity will be equal to the magnitude (the number without units) of density under circumstances where the density of water is equal to one.
  • Using liquids at room temperature will make it easier to control temperature variations between the liquid in question and the water.
  • Specific gravity of any liquid can be tested with the help of a Digital Specific Gravity Balance. The scale uses the difference between the weight of a sample in air and the weight in water to determine specific gravity.





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Date: 04.12.2018, 22:07 / Views: 93544