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Density and Specific Gravity

cullen blain

DENSITY

Density is the amount of matter, or mass (m), of an object contained within its volume. This property is the cornerstone of all materials testing.


CALCULATING APPARENT DENSITY

 

Calculating the Apparent Density is quite simple once we have an average volume per piece of gouged cane within the sample set. We will need to measure the mass of the gouged bassoon cane using a digital scientific balance and determine the average sample-set volume of our reed cane using a specific gravity test. This measurement is constant when we have dimensionally uniform gouged pieces of reed cane. Thus, we will need to measure the mass of the dry reed cane before we complete the procedures below.

We are calculating apparent Density because we recognize that there is slight variation in dimensions between even the most consistently gouged pieces of cane. Therefore, we are using an average volume of a selected sample group; our calculation is relative to this measurement. So, this is not the actual but apparent Density. It is still extremely accurate, precise, and scientific but it helps to expedite the procedures below.

 

SPECIFIC GRAVITY TEST PROCEDURES

 

OVERVIEW

 

The average sample-set volume is needed to determine the density of a piece of reed cane. The apparent density of each sample is calculated from its mass and the average sample-set volume. Before conducting the procedure below, it is necessary to calibrate both the syringe and graduated cylinder using the methods found in sections 1.2 and 1.3.

 

Materials

  • Clean Workspace
  • 50mL Graduated Cylinder
  • 3cc Luer Lock Tip-Latex Free Control Syringe
  • 24 oz. Glass or Mason Jar and Lid
  • Distilled Water
  • Large Plastic Container
  • Small Beaker
  • Record Notebook, Calculator, and Pencil or Computer with Excel

 

Procedure

  1. Place the cane samples that will be undergoing the Specific Gravity Test into a 24oz. glass jar.
  2. Fill the jar completely, with distilled water, and secure the lid tightly onto the jar.
  3. Leave the specimens to soak, for approximately 24 hours. Once the cane saturates and sinks to the bottom of the jar, it will be ready to undergo testing.
  4. Prepare the workspace by filling a large plastic container with approximately 350mL of distilled water. This will be the discard container for the samples after testing.
  5. Fill a 50mL graduated cylinder with 40mL of distilled water and a syringe with 3cc’s of distilled water. Record the initial volume of the graduated cylinder, 40mL, as Vinitial.
  6. Open the container holding the soaked cane and pour some of the water out for easy access to the cane.
  7. Select a specimen from the container and remove it for testing.
  8. Remove the excess water from the exterior of the specimen with a light flicking motion and place it into the graduated cylinder.
  9. Due to the resolution of a standard 50mL graduated cylinder, slowly and deliberately add distilled water using the syringe. Count the number of drops to raise the meniscus to the next marking on the graduated cylinder. Record this next mark as Vtotal
  10. Calculate the volume of the number of drops added using the measurement calculated when calibrating the syringe, record this as Vdis.
  11. Subtract this volume and the initial volume to calculate the difference of the water-sample system. This calculation is the volume displaced by the cane, Vcane. 
  12. Remove the sample from the graduated cylinder and place it in the discard container.
  13. Reset the initial volume of water in the graduated cylinder to 40mL using the syringe.
  14. Complete 5 trials of steps 7 through 12 and calculate the average volume sample for each sample.
  15. Then calculate the average volume sample for the sample group. This will be your Volume constant when calculating the Apparent Density of a sample.
 Calculation for Step 11

Calculation for Step 11


CALIBRATING THE SYRINGE

 

Materials

  • Clean Workspace
  • Pyrex Reusable Petri Dish, bottom half
  • 3cc Luer Lock Tip-Latex Free Control Syringe
  • Small Beaker
  • Distilled Water
  • Digital Scientific Balance
  • Record Notebook, Calculator, and Pencil or Computer with Excel

 

Procedure

  1. In a clean workspace, gather your materials.
  2. Fill the small beaker a quarter-full of distilled water.
  3. Fill the Syringe with 3ccs of distilled water from the small beaker.
  4. Turn on the digital scientific balance and zero the scale
  5. Place the petri dish on the scientific balance and zero the scale
  6. Slowly depress the syringe and count the number of drops of 2cc’s.
  7. Record the total number of drops and mass.
  8. Calculate the mass per drop by dividing the total mass by the number of drops
    1. 1mL of water is equal to roughly 1g, so the mass/drop will give you a reasonable estimate of the volume of water per drop.

CALIBRATING THE GRADUATED CYLINDER

 

Materials

  • Clean Workspace
  • 50mL Graduated Cylinder
  • 3cc Luer Lock Tip-Latex Free Control Syringe
  • Small Beaker
  • Distilled Water
  • Digital Scientific Balance
  • Record Notebook, Calculator, and Pencil or Computer with Excel

 

Procedure

  1. In a clean workspace, gather your materials.
  2. Fill the small beaker a quarter-full of distilled water.
  3. Fill the Syringe with 3ccs of distilled water from the small beaker.
  4. Turn on the digital scientific balance and zero the scale.
  5. Place the graduated cylinder on the scientific balance and zero the scale.
  6. Slowly depress the syringe add 5grams of water to the graduated cylinder.
  7. Check the meniscus and resolution of the graduated cylinder.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 a total of ten times.
  9. If the resolution of the graduated cylinder is not suitable to the observer, discard the graduated cylinder and repeat calibration using a different one.