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UOB

Department of Mechanical
Engineering
MECH212 (Instrumentation and
Experimentation 1)

Density Measurement
Submitted by:
Jad Yaacoub
Layla Ghazi
Anthony Copti

To: Dr. Michel Daaboul


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.

- INTRODUCTION & OBJECTIVES


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:

Determining the average mass of a collection of relatively


similar alloys.

Computing the average density of your metal coins and


understanding how its uncertainty depends on the various
equipment used and their accuracy.

Being able to calculate the error and specify the percentage


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

where is the density, m is the mass, and V is the volume.


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

the equation V = r2 t = 4 D2 t where:

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- TEST DESCRIPTION

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.

III-2 TESTED MATERIAL


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 mass is weighed in g by the digital balance.


The density becomes in g/mm ( =
3

4m
tD2

).

For the 500 LBP:

46.0
2
1.6424.45

= 0.0078 g/mm3 (Considering only 2 significant digits).

For the 250 LBP:

45.1
1.5223.432

= 0.0078 g/mm3 (Considering only 2 significant digits).

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)

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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:

For 500 LBP:

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

= 0.0268*7800 = 209 kg/m3

For 250 LBP:

0.1
5.1

20.05
23.43

12

4m
2
tD ,

= 0.0304*7800 = 237 kg/m3

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.

V-2 METAL ALLOYS

*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
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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.

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REFERENCES & APPENDIX


<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>.

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


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