Balances for Calculating Density and Specific Gravity
Scales and Balances are important tools in density determination.

Density Determination and specific gravity is a measurement essential to testing the quality of materials in many industries. In construction, for example, the density of materials is key to the safety and cost of the project. In the jewelry industry density calculation or specific gravity can help identify the quality of gems and metals.

Density of construction materials such as concrete, masonry, asphalt, or bitumen is essential to the success of the final project. If concrete is not up to standard how can we be sure the concrete footings will support the building? Concrete is a composite of several ingredients such as sand, gravel and crushed stone. The right combination of these ingredients is key to its´┐Ż density or hardness. Without enough water it is too thick to pour. With too much water the water can evaporate and weaken the structural integrity of the concrete. Testing the specific gravity is essential to making sure the material will function as intended.

Scales and balances are important tools in density determination, and Summit Measurement offers several options. Density is determined by weighing the item in air, and then weighing the same material in water. Archimedes Principle uses the Density Equation Mass (m) minus Apparent Mass (m2) = Volume and Density (P) = m/v. Mass is determined by weighing the material on the balance. Apparent Mass is determined by suspending the same material in a vessel of water and weighing again to measure the amount of water it displaces. Some Milligram or Analytical Balances come with an optional Density Determination Kit that is intended for this procedure. When using a higher capacity Precision Balance (with capacities ranging from 3000 g to 20000 g and readability of 0.1 g) look for one with an Under-Weighing Hook. The Hook is used to hang the item under the scale into a vessel of water. Typically, this is accomplished by placing the scale over an opening that can accommodate the vessel underneath. It is important to adjust for variation in ambient temperature when using this method.

Summit Measurement offers Milligram, Analytical and Semi Micro Balances with the Density Determination Kit. The ALE Milligram Series, Torbal, HT and LF Analytical Balances and LF Semi Micro Balances all come with density kits and programs for easy density calculation.

Recommended for the Construction industry where larger capacity is needed is the PH Touch Balance with capacities of 16000 g or 32000 g and accuracy of 0.1g. It comes with Under Weighing Hook for use when suspending materials in water for density calculation as well as a Density Program for easy density calculation. The scale has a large platform of 8.6 x 12.6 inches and a large touch screen display. The PH Touch Balance can be viewed here:

The PH Touch Balance can be Viewed HERE

In the jewelry industry, the formula of specific gravity of a metal or stone can help identify the quality and purity of the material. The volume and mass of a gold ring and a gold chain are different, but their specific gravity will be the same. Density kits are often sold with jewelry scales to help determine gold content of a piece or to determine authenticity. Purity of gold can be determined by comparing the density of the piece to the density of pure gold.

Some jewelry scales are sold with an optional Density Kit for Density Calculation. Two recommended scales with this option are the Ohaus Scout SJX 1502N/E and the A & D EJ-303 which can be found below:



Summit Measurement density scales for many applications can be found at the link below:


Whether measuring the specific gravity of gold jewelry or gemstones, determining density of construction materials or any other materials testing application, Summit has the density determination kit you need. Give us a call if you cannot find what you need.