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Examples of Density

Density is the amount of something in a fixed measurement, such as population per square mile, grams (g) per milliliter (ml), or grams per cubic centimeter.

Density Examples

  • Oil and water – In an oil spill in the ocean, the oil rises to the top because it is less dense than water.
  • A Styrofoam cup is less dense than a ceramic cup, so the Styrofoam cup will float in water and the ceramic cup will sink.
  • A piece of wood will float on water; but, most rocks are more dense than water, so they will sink.
  • Helium is less dense than air, so helium balloons rise.
  • Oil floats on vinegar because its density is less.
  • When adding motor oil to your car, you need to know the recommended density.

Substance and Density

Here are examples of substances and their density expressed as grams per cubic centimeter.

Liquids

  • Acetic acid = 1.049
  • Acetone = .7846
  • Acetonitrile = .782
  • Alcohol (rubbing) = 0.79
  • Ammonia (liquid) = 0.771
  • Automobile oils = .880 – .940
  • Benzene = .8738
  • Bromine = 3.120
  • Butane = .599
  • Carbolic acid = .956
  • Carbon disulfide = 1.261
  • Carbon tetrachloride = 1.584
  • Castor oil = .9561
  • Chloride = 1.560
  • Chlorobenzene = 1.106
  • Citric acid = 1.660
  • Coconut oil = .924
  • Corn syrup = 38
  • Cotton seed oil = .926
  • Creosote = 1.067
  • Crude oil, 48o API = .790
  • Dichloromethane = 1.326
  • Diethylene glycol = 1.120
  • N,N-Dimethylformamide = .949
  • Ethane = .570
  • Ether = .7135
  • Formaldehyde = .812
  • Freon (fluorine) refrigerant R-11 = 1.476
  • Freon 11 = 1.490
  • Gasoline = 0.70
  • Glucose = 1.350 – 1.440
  • Glycerine = 1.259
  • Iodine = 4.927
  • Kerosene = .201
  • Linolenic acid = .97
  • Linseed oil = .9291
  • Mercury = 13.6
  • Methane = .465
  • Methanol = .791
  • Milk = 1.020 – 1.050
  • Nitric acid = 1.560
  • Octane = .6986
  • Oil of turpentine = .870
  • Olive oil = .800 – .920
  • Palmitic acid = .851
  • Paraffin = .800
  • Pentane = 626
  • Phenol = 1.072
  • Propane = .4935
  • Propylene glycol = .9653
  • Rosin oil = .980
  • Salt water (25%) = 1.25
  • Silicone oil = .760
  • Stearic acid = .891
  • Sunflower oil = .920
  • Tetrahydrofuran = .888
  • Turpentine = .8682
  • Water (4°C) = 1.0000
  • Whale oil = .925

Solids

  • Aluminum = 2.7
  • Bismuth = 9.78
  • Cast iron (pig) = 7.208
  • Copper = 8.3-9.0
  • Diamond = 3.01 – 3.52
  • Gold = 19.3
  • Iron = 7.8
  • Lead = 11.389
  • Magnesium = 1.7
  • Osmium = 22.5
  • Platinum = 21.4
  • Plutonium = 17.35
  • Rubber = 1.506
  • Silver = 10.49
  • Uranium = 18.7
  • Window glass = 2.579
  • Wood (bamboo) = 0.31 – 0.40
  • Wood (oak) = 0.77
  • Zinc = 6.92

Gases

  • Air = 0.001293
  • Ammonia = 0.000771
  • Argon = 0.001784
  • Carbon dioxide = .001977
  • Carbon monoxide = 0.00125
  • Chlorine = 0.0032
  • Fluorine = 0.001696
  • Helium = 0.000178
  • Hydrogen = 0.00009
  • Krypton = 0.00373
  • Neon = 0.0008999
  • Nitrogen = 0.00125
  • Nitrogen monoxide = 0.001251
  • Oxygen = 0.001429
  • Radon = 0.00973
  • Sulphur dioxide = 0.002927

Other Substances

  • Aluminum = 2.739
  • Apples = 0.641
  • Asbestos = 2.2 – 2.8
  • Baking powder = 0.721
  • Beeswax = 0.961
  • Butter = 0.86 – 0.87
  • Cardboard = 0.689
  • Chalk (solid) = 2.499
  • Fiberglass insulation = 0.032
  • Glass = 2.6
  • Ivory = 1.83 – 1.92
  • Leather = 0.946
  • Limestone = 2.739
  • Linoleum = 1.18
  • Marble (calcium carbonate) = 2.5 – 2.9
  • Paper = 0.7 – 1.201
  • Paraffin = 0.898
  • Plexiglass (Lucite) = 1.16 – 1.20
  • Porcelain = 2.3 – 2.5
  • Pyrex glass = 2.23
  • Quartz (solid) = 2.643
  • Snow (compacted) = 0.480
  • Snow (freshly fallen) = 0.160
  • Steel (1% carbon) = 7.83
  • Sugar (brown) = 0.721
  • Sugar (granulated) = 0.801
  • Sugar (powdered) = 0.801

Density plays many rolls. For example, population density is a way to express how many people are living in a specific area. Density is also a predictor of buoyancy, as something floats in a liquid if it is less dense than the liquid.


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