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Department of Mechanical

Engineering

MECH212 (Instrumentation and

Experimentation 1)

Density Measurement

Submitted by:

Jad Yaacoub

Layla Ghazi

Anthony Copti

Date : 27/03/2014

TABLE OF CONTENT

CONTENTS

Table of content...............................................................................................................................1

List of tables....................................................................................................................................2

List of Figures..................................................................................................................................2

Abstract............................................................................................................................................3

- Introduction & Objectives..........................................................................................................4

II- Background.................................................................................................................................5

III- Test Description.........................................................................................................................6

III-1 Procedure............................................................................................................................6

III-2 Tested Material...................................................................................................................7

III-3 Apparatus............................................................................................................................8

IV- Results.....................................................................................................................................10

IV-1 Measurements...................................................................................................................10

IV-2 Calculations......................................................................................................................10

V- Discussion / Conclusions..........................................................................................................12

V-1 Error...................................................................................................................................12

V-2 Metal Alloys.......................................................................................................................13

References & Appendix.................................................................................................................15

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1............................................................................................................................................10

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1............................................................................................................................................7

Figure 2............................................................................................................................................7

Figure 3............................................................................................................................................8

Figure 4............................................................................................................................................8

Figure 5............................................................................................................................................9

ABSTRACT

The aim of this experiment is to measure densities of the 500 L.L. and 250 L.L. coins, and to get

acquainted with the vernier caliper, which was used to measure the diameters of the coins, in

addition to the micrometer which measures the thickness of the coins. The density is and

essential characteristic of a material in various engineering practices. After we measured the

respective densities of both coins, we compare them while not forgetting about experimental

errors and margins.

This experiment has one main goal which is measuring the density of both the 500 L.L. and 250

L.L. coins.

The other aim of this experiment is to become familiar with two instruments, the Vernier caliper

and the Micrometer, used widely by mechanical engineers to measure various lengths and know

the different experimental limitations. 1

Other objectives may include:

similar alloys.

understanding how its uncertainty depends on the various

equipment used and their accuracy.

of each metal within an alloy.

II- BACKGROUND

The density, or more precisely, the volumetric mass density, of a substance is its mass per unit

volume. The symbol most often used for density is (the lower case Greek letter rho).

Mathematically, density is defined as mass divided by volume.2

m

v

The density of a material varies with temperature and pressure. This variation is typically small

for solids and liquids but much greater for gases. Increasing the pressure on an object decreases

the volume of the object and thus increases its density. Increasing the temperature of a substance

(with a few exceptions) decreases its density by increasing its volume. 3

Since the coins are considered perfect cylinders, we need to compute their volume according to

R: radius.

T: thickness.

D: diameter.

Therefore the equation of the density of a cylinder, and in this case the coins, is:

4m

tD2

III-1 PROCEDURE

First, we need to measure the diameters of both coins, therefore we use the Vernier caliper to

measure the diameter of each coin twice (the second diameter measurement being

perpendicular to the first one). The average of the two perpendicular measurements is

calculated and used in the density equation (D = (D1+D2)/2).

Then, the same procedure is followed to get the thickness of each coin, only this time using

the micrometer, and measuring the thickness at 5 different points on each of the two coins.

Obviously, the average of the 5 thickness measurements is calculated and used in the density

equation (t = (t1+t2+t3+t4+t5)/5).

Using a digital balance, we measure the mass of each coin and note it.

The results are taken, then applied in the formula that gives the density of a cylinder ( =

4m

2

d t ).

The densities calculated are in g/mm3 since both the diameters and the thickness are found in

mm for the coins, and the digital balance measures in grams. We will discuss the

transformation from g/mm3 to kg/m3 later on, as well as the significant digits that were taken

into consideration and also the error in the calculations.

In this experiment we use 2 coins, consisting of metal alloys, which are the 500 Lebanese pounds

and the 250 Lebanese pounds. Probably the two most used coins in Lebanon.

According to Banque du Liban, the official Lebanese governmental bank, the 250 LBP consists

of two kinds of alloys depending on which year it was issued. For the 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2003

issuances, this coin is a metal alloyed using copper and aluminium. As for the newer issuances

(2006, 2009, 2012), its made from Nordic gold, which consists from more than two metals

alloying (it has tin and zinc in addition to copper and aluminium). In this experiment however,

we used an 2003 issued 250 LBP coin so its composition is made of the two metals mentioned

above, and will be discussed more in further sections.

For the 500 LBP, its made of steel and nickel, and is colored white. The years in which it was

issued are 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012 according to the Lebanese bank. 4

The two coins dont have a plane and smooth surface but during calculations we assumed they

did, even though we tried to diminish the error by measuring several points on the coins.

You can see the surface in these figures below.

FIGURE 1

FIGURE 2

III-3 APPARATUS

The Vernier scale was invented in its modern form in 1631 by the French mathematician Pierre

Vernier. It can measure internal and external distances in an accurate manner. To measure, the

reader must look at the fixed scale first then look at the Vernier scale to which help us measure

the smallest graduation between the fixed scale to provide an accurate result (vernier). In this

experiment, the Vernier is used to measure the diameters of the coins twice with perpendicular

diameters each. Its scale is in mm and the error measured is + or 0.05mm.

FIGURE 3

The first ever micrometric screw was invented by William Gascoigne in the 17th century, as an

enhancement of the Vernier. Micrometers are used to measure the depth of slots and it is also

used to measure the diameter of holes. It gives us a very accurate result. The numbers on the

sleeve gives us a more accurate result thus every mark is 0.01mm. Some micrometers have errors

so whatever is more is subtracted and which is less is added (). The micrometer used in this

experiment has an error of 0.01mm also. It was incremented by 0.1 mm so every value read was

subtracted by 0.1mm.

FIGURE 4

8

Another tool used in this experiment is the digital balance. A digital balance is a weighing scale

that is used for measuring substances. Its used to precisely measure very light substances and is

a very sensitive balance.

FIGURE 5

IV- RESULTS

IV-1 MEASUREMENTS

D1 (mm)

D2(mm)

D(mm)

t1(mm)

t2(mm)

t3(mm)

t4(mm)

t5(mm)

t(mm)

m(g)

(kg/m3)

250 LBP

23.45

23.40

23.43

1.47

1.53

1.54

1.53

1.55

1.52

5.1

7800

500 LBP

24.45

24.45

24.45

1.64

1.64

1.65

1.65

1.64

1.64

6.0

7800

TABLE 1

We used the Vernier caliper to measure D1 and D2 of both coins, then calculated Dmean=(D1+D2)/2.

We did the same with the thickness t and got the average of the 5 thicknesses

(t=(t1+t2+t3+t4+t5)/5) only this time using the more accurate Micrometer.

Using a digital balance, we measured the mass of each coin several times repeatedly so we can

figure out what value showed up the most.

IV-2 CALCULATIONS

Like we discussed before, the density is a ratio of the mass over the volume (=m/V). And in

this case the coins are considered to be cylindrical. Therefore the volume V= 4 D2 t with t

and D measured in mm and then V is in mm3.

10

The density becomes in g/mm ( =

3

4m

tD2

).

46.0

2

1.6424.45

45.1

1.5223.432

To transform the density to kg/m3 we multiply by 106 since from g to kg we multiply by 10-3, and

the same when transforming from mm to m. Then respectively, the densities are 7800 kg/m3 each.

Note that we used 2 significant digits, as it is the least significant digits between the measured

parameters. (we choose the least significant digits always)

11

V- DISCUSSION / CONCLUSIONS

V-1 ERROR

Observational error (or measurement error) is the difference between a measured value of

quantity and its true value.5

The errors of experimental tools and equipment are unavoidable, therefore we always take, for

each tool, the error as the least count on its scale.

The Vernier caliper used in this case have 0.05mm error (D D with D=0.05mm).

The Micrometer used in this case has 0.01mm error (t t with t=0.01mm).

The digital balance used in this case has 0.1g error (m m with m=0.1g).

Aa

Knowing that if C=n Bb

, then

C

A

B

=a

+b

C

A

B . Then, since =

we deduce that:

0.1

6.0

m

m

2 D

D

20.05

24.45

0.01

1.64

=0.0268

0.01

1.52

=0.0304

t

t

0.1

5.1

20.05

23.43

12

4m

2

tD ,

We conclude that the error in measuring the density of the 250 LBP is higher than the one in

measuring the 500 LBP.

*the error in this experiment is approximately 2.6%, which is less than 10%, therefore it is

acceptable.

*Alloys are basically two or more metals combining together to make a better metal composition

with better properties and better functioning and performance.

Here we have these two coins, both are alloys consisting of different metals. The 500 LBP is a

steel plated nickel alloy (steel by itself is a carbon iron alloy). And the 250 LBP is an aluminiumcopper alloy.

To find out the percentage of each metal in an alloy we can use the densities. We have:

percentage of metal 1 * its density + percentage of metal 2* its density = total density of the

alloy.

And of course percentage of metal1+ percentage of metal2=1.

For 500 LBP: %steel*(density of steel) + %nickel*(nickel density) = density of 500 LBP.

(1-%nickel)*(7750kg/m3)+%nickel*(8908kg/m3)=7800kg/m3

Then %nickel=0.0431=%4.31

Therefore %steel=%95.69

For 250 LBP: %Al*(density of Al) + %Cu*(Cu density) = density of 250 LBP.

(1-%Cu)*(2700kg/m3)+%Cu*(8920kg/m3)=7800kg/m3

Then %Cu=0.82=%82

Therefore %Al=%18

13

We can conclude that the 500 LBP is mostly made of steel, and the nickel is just to make it

stainless. And the 250LBP is mostly made of copper, and the aluminium is to hold it

together and give it more strength and ductility.

(densities of aluminium, steel, copper and nickel are found on

http://periodictable.com/Properties/A/Density.al.html ) 6

* Additionally, we can conclude that the density does not characterize or differentiate a

material from another. For example, in this experiment, we got 2 exact same densities for

two different materials, therefore we cant say that two materials are the same if they have

the same density.

14

<http://oilgasglossary.com/density.html>.

<http://www.technologystudent.com/equip1/vernier3.htm >.

Banque Du Liban. <http://www.bdl.gov.lb/tabs/index/2/265/Coins-in-Circulation.html>.

Dodge, Y. (2003) The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms, OUP. ISBN 0-19-920613-9.

Encyclopedia Americana (1988) "Micrometer" Encyclopedia Americana 19: 500 ISBN 0-71720119-8.

team 23, UOB mechanical lab. MECH 212. n.d.

The National Aeronautic and Atmospheric Administration.

<http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/BGH/fluden.html>.

15

2 <http://oilgasglossary.com/density.html>.

3 Encyclopedia Americana (1988) "Micrometer" Encyclopedia Americana 19: 500 ISBN 0-7172-01198.

4 Banque Du Liban. <http://www.bdl.gov.lb/tabs/index/2/265/Coins-in-Circulation.html>.

5 Dodge, Y. (2003) The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms, OUP. ISBN 0-19-920613-9.

6 http://periodictable.com/Properties/A/Density.al.html

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