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Density Definition

A material's density is defined as its mass per unit volume. It is, essentially, a measurement of how tightly matter is crammed together. The principle of density
was discovered by the Greek scientist Archimedes. To calculate the density (usually represented by the Greek letter "") of an object, take the mass (m) and
divide by the volume (v):
The SI unit of density is kilogram per cubic meter (kg/m3). It is also frequently represented in the cgs unit of grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3).
Using Density
One of the most common uses of density is in how different materials interact when mixed together. Wood floats in water because it has a lower density, while an
anchor sinks because the metal has a higher density. Helium balloons float because the density of the helium is lower than the density of the air.
When your automotive service station tests various liquids, like transmission fluid, they will pour some into a hydrometer.
The hydrometer has several calibrated objects, some of which float in the liquid. By observing which of the objects float, it can be determined what the density of
the liquid is ... and, in the case of the transmission fluid, this reveals whether it needs replaced yet or not.
Another important consequence of density is that it allows you to solve for mass and volume, if given the other quantity. Since the density of common
substances is known, this calculation is fairly straightforward, in the form:
The change in density can also be useful in analyzing some situations, such as whenever a chemical conversion is taking place and energy is being released.
The charge in a storage battery, for example, is an acidic solution. As the battery discharges electricity, the acid combines with lead in the battery to form a new
chemical, which results in a decrease in the density of the solution. This density can be measured to determine the battery's level of remaining charge.
Density is a key concept in analyzing how materials interact in fluid mechanics, weather, geology, material sciences, engineering, and other fields of physics.
Advantage and disadvantage of liquid fuel over solid fuel

Handling of liquid fuel is easy and they require less storage space

Liquid fuels can be fired easily and maximum temperature is attained in time as compared to solid fuels.

The solid fuels containing higher of moisture burn with great difficulty.

The solid fuels leave a large quantity of ash after burning and then disposal of ash becomes a problem. Where as the liquid fuels as very little ash
after burning.
The combustion of liquid fuel is uniform therefor the change in load can be easily met by controlling the flow of fluid.

They are costly as compared to solid fuels

They require special type of burners

In cold climate the oil stored in tanks is to be heated in order to avoid the stoppage of flow.
Density and Specific Gravity

In industrial process analysis it is often necessary to know the density or specific gravity of a material being tested. The density of a material refers to its weight
per unit of volume. Typical measures of density weight are g/cm3 and lbs/ft3. Specific gravity is a measure that compares the density of a sample with the
density of water at a particular temperature. Specific gravity is a dimensionless value.
Specific gravity and density are often used interchangeably when evaluating liquids and solids. The weight of a ft3 of aluminum, for example, is 167 lbs at room
temperature. An equal volume of water at the same temperature is 62.3 lbs. The specific gravity of aluminum is therefore 167 divided by 62.3, or 2.68. This
means that aluminum is 2.68 times as heavy as water.
Specific-gravity values may be greater or smaller than 1. A value indication of less than 1 indicates that the sample is lighter than water. When the value is
greater than 1, the material is heavier than its wter counterpart.The density of a material can also be determined by the product of its specific gravity value and
the density of water. Mathematically, this is expressed by the formula
density [weight) = 62.3 lbs/ft3 x SG
density [weight) = 1 g/cm3 x SG
The density of a material with a specific gravity of 0.5 would be 62.3 lbs/ft times 0.5, or 31.5 lbs/ft3. This means that if any two values of density, weight, or
specific gravity are known, the third value can be determined by calculation.

Specific Gravity and Density Instrumentation

Specific gravity and density measurements are primarily achieved
by some
type of interaction that takes place between a test sample and a
form of
mechanical energy. Such things as a float, displacement, purged
air, and
weight are in common use today.One of the simplest ways of
measuring liquid density or specific gravity is with a float
hydrometer. This instrument has a weighted float that displaces a
of liquid equal to its own weight. The float mechanism is usually
made of
hollow glass or a metal tube and is weighted at one end to make
it float in
an upright position. The position of the hydrometer float depends
on the
density of the liquid. A less-dense liquid causes the float to
itself lower in the liquid because a greater volume of liquid is
displaced. A density or specific-gravity scale appears on the
portion of the float. A reading is taken by noting the point on the
scale to
which the liquid rises. A hydrometer generally has a thermometer housed in the float mechanism. The temperatura of the test sample is taken so that any density
changes due to ambient temperature can be corrected.
The displacement instrument in Figure 7-19 is used to determine the specific gravity or density of a liquid. With the displacement element completely immersed
in the sample solution, the resulting buoyant forc is directly dependent on the weight of the displaced liquid. Mechanical energy is therefore a function of specific
gravity or liquid density.
In an operating process system, a test solution is first admitted to the displacer chamber. When the sample level is of a constant value, the resulting buoyant
force raises the displacer accordingly. The torque lever in Figure 7-20, attached to the displacer, monitors position changes by turning a proportional amount. The
opposite end of the torque lever acts as an actuating mechanism for the indicator. In direct-reading instruments, the lever simply moves an indicating hand on a
calibrated specific-gravity scale. The same type of mechanism may also be used to actuate a pneumatic or electrical measuring instrument. In an electrical
specific-gravity instrument, displacer action is used to change the inductance of a coil or the core of a LVDT. The resulting output is amplified and used to drive a
digital display, chart recorder mechanism, or computer. The output signal voltage is calibrated in density units or specific gravity.
The density of liquid or fluid flowing through an operating system can also be measured by using a vibrating densitometer. This instrument was developed for
extremely accurate fluid metering, pipeline interface detection, blending operations, and automatic process control applications. Figure 7-21 shows the
installation of a vibrating densitometer in a process line.

The vibrating densitometer in Figure 7-22 shows two vertical tubes housed in a metal enclosure. The two tubes and end pieces form a mechanical resonant
vibrating system. Fluid entering at the bottom of the left tuve travels to the top, crosses to the right tube, flows down, and exits at the bottom. The two tubes are
mechanically vibrated at a resonant frequency by an electronic oscillator, and the fluid flowing through the two tubes is a function of the resulting vibration. The
resonant frequency of the vibrating tubes will vary with thedensity of the fluid. The driver piezoelectric element attached to the left tube is used to vibrate the tube
at the resonant frequency. The pickup piezoelectric element attached to the right tube responds to vibration of the entire assembly, which depends on the density
of the fluid passing through the instrument. A high-density fluid tends to slow down the vibrations, while a lower density causes it to return to the natural resonant
frequency. The resulting output frequency is amplified and converted into a signal that is proportional to the density of the fluid passing through the instrument.
The output can be converted into a 4 to 20 mA analog signal or a digital signal with a changing frequency that can be counted.
Fluid density or specific gravity can be determined by instruments that respond to the pressure of liquid in a container with a fixed height. Instruments of this type
are commonly referred to as hydrostatic-head devices or bubbler instruments. This approach to density measurement is very similar to that of the head-level
measuring technique. In level measurement, the specific gravity of a liquid was known and level was determined by a difference in pressure. In density
measurements, the head or tank level is maintained at a constant value, with different specific-gravity values producing changes in pressure.

In principle, the pressure of liquid at a given position is equal to the height of

the liquid (H) times the density (p). In its simplest form, the pressure of a tank of liquid at a constant height varies directly with its density. A pressure transmitter
placed at the bottom of a constant-level tank can therefore be used to determine liquid density, as shown in Figure 7-23(A). A liquid purge installation is shown in
Figure 7-23(B). Two taps connected to a vertical line are purged with a liquid reference fluid, such as water. In effect, a differential pressure is produced by the
two water columns because of the position location. The purge rate of water is quite small, so only a minimum of dilution occurs. Density measurement of slurries
is commonly achieved by this method.
A common specific-gravity test is achieved by the air-bubbler installation shown in Figure 7-23(C). The difference in head pressure developed between the
reference liquid (water) and the process liquid is an indication of specific gravity. The reading or display of this instrument is normally calibrated directly in specific
One of the most widely used methods of density measurement is shown in Figure 7-23(D). In this unit, two bubbler tubes are installed in the sample solution at
different positions. With one tube lower than the other, the difference in pressure will be the same as the weight of a constant height of the liquid. The resulting
differential pressure is therefore equal to the weight of a constant volume of the liquid, and can be represented directly as specific gravity. This method of
measurement is usually accurate to within 0.3 to 1 percent of the specific gravity.

A hydrometer is an instrument that measures

the specific gravity (relative density) of liquidsthe ratio of the density of the liquid to the density of water.
A hydrometer is usually made of glass, and consists of a cylindrical stem and a bulb weighted
with mercury or lead shot to make it float upright. The liquid to test is poured into a tall container, often
a graduated cylinder, and the hydrometer is gently lowered into the liquid until it floats freely. The point at which
the surface of the liquid touches the stem of the hydrometer correlates to specific gravity. Hydrometers usually
contain a scale inside the stem, so that the person using it can read specific gravity. A variety of scales exist for
different contexts.
Hydrometers are calibrated for different uses, such as a lactometer for measuring the density (creaminess) of
milk, a saccharometer for measuring the density of sugar in a liquid, or an alcoholometer for measuring higher
levels of alcohol in spirits.

Operation of the hydrometer is based on Archimedes' principle that a solid suspended in a fluid is buoyed by a
force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the submerged part of the suspended solid. Thus, the lower the
density of the substance, the farther the hydrometer sinks. Thus, it is based on the principle of floatation.(See
also Relative density and hydrometers.)

An early description of a hydrometer appears in a letter from Synesius of Cyrene to the Greek scholar Hypatia of
Alexandria. In Synesius' fifteenth letter, he requests Hypatia to make a hydrometer for him. Hypatia is given
credit for inventing the hydrometer (or hydroscope) sometime in the late 4th century or early 5th century.[1]
The instrument in question is a cylindrical tube, which has the shape of a flute and is about the same size. It has
notches in a perpendicular line, by means of which we are able to test the weight of the waters. A cone forms a
lid at one of the extremities, closely fitted to the tube. The cone and the tube have one base only. This is called
the baryllium. Whenever you place the tube in water, it remains erect. You can then count the notches at your
ease, and in this way ascertain the weight of the water.[2]

According to the Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, it was used by Ab Rayhn al-Brn in the 11th
century and described by Al-Khazini in the 12th century.[3]
It later appeared again in the work of Jacques Alexandre Csar Charles in the 18th century.

A NASA personnel using a hydrometer to measure thebrine density of a salt evaporation pond.

In low-density liquids such as kerosene, gasoline, and alcohol, the hydrometer sinks deeper, and in high-density
liquids such as brine, milk, andacids it doesn't sink so far. In fact, it is usual to have two separate instruments,
one for heavy liquids, on which the mark 1.000 for water is near the top of the stem, and one for light liquids, on
which the mark 1.000 is near the bottom. In many industries a set of hydrometers is used covering specific
gravity ranges of 1.00.95, 0.950.9 etc. to provide more precise measurements.