ASTM D792, ISO 1183 Specific Gravity and density

ASTM D792, ISO 1183 Specific Gravity and density

Specific Gravity and density determination for solid plastic products is done by using ASTM D792, ISO 1183 test methods. These values are important where trading of solid plastic material is done as per cost per unit weight of plastics.

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    ASTM D792 test is used for the determination of the specific gravity (relative density) and density of solid plastics in the form of sheets, rods, tubes, or molded items. Specific gravity means a measure of the mass ratio of a given substance volume at 23 °C of the same deionized water volume. Density is the mass of a substance per unit volume. Specific gravity and density are particularly important when plastic is sold at a cost per pound and a lower density or specific gravity means more material per pound or varying weight of the component.

    Test Procedure:

    There are two basic test methods for the ASTM D792 test:  method A and method B. Method A can be used for the sheets, rods, tubes, and molded articles. For the test method A, the sample is measured in air and then weighed after immersing in distilled water. The temperature is maintained at 23°C using a sinker and wire, to keep the sample completely submerged. Finally, the density and specific gravity calculations are carried out.

    Sample size: 

    Any suitable size.


    Specific gravity =  a/[(a + w)-b]


    a = mass of specimen in air.
    b = mass of specimen and sinker (if used) in water.
    W = mass of totally immersed sinker if used and partially immersed wire.

    Density, kg/m3 = (specific gravity)(997.6)


    ASTM D792 test method is important to assess the average density, or specific gravity, of a bigger sample or product by evaluating the physical changes in a plastic sample related to the degree of uniformity relative to other samples.


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