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IS 13360-3-1 (1995): Plastics - Methods of Testing, Part 3:

Physical and Dimensional Properties, Section 1:
Determination of Density and Relative Density of
Non-Cellular Plastics [PCD 12: Plastics]

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Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda
Invent a New India Using Knowledge

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IS 13360 ( Part 3/Set 1 ) : 1995
IS.0 1183 : 1987
( Reaffirmed 2003 )



Indian Standard

Section 1 Determination of Density and Relative Density of Non-Cellular Plastics

uDc 678.51.8 : 531.754

@ BIS 1995


NEW DELHI 110002

November 1995 Price Group 4

Methods of Test for Plastics Sectional Committee, PCD 23


This Indian Standard which is identical with IS0 1183 : 1987 Plastics - Methods for determining
the density and relative density of non-cellular plastics, issued by the International Organization for
Standardization (ISO) was adopted by the Bureau of Indian Standards on the recommendation of
the Methods of Test for Plastics Sectional Committee and approval of the Petroleum, Coal and
Related Products Division Council.

The text of IS0 standard has been approved as suitable for publication as Indian Standard without
deviations. Certain conventions are, however, not identical to those used in Indian Standards.
Attention is particularly drawn to the following:

a) Wherever the words International Standard appear referring to this standard, they should
be read as Indian Standard.

b) Comma ( , ) has been used as a decimal marker while in Indian Standards, the current
practice is to use a point ( . ) as the decimal marker.

In this adopted standard reference appears to certain International Standards for which Indian
Standards also exist, The corresponding Indian Standard which is to be substituted in its place is
listed below along with its degree of equivalence for the edition indicated:
International Corresponding Degree of
Standard Indian Standard Equivalence

IS0 291 Plastics - Standard atmos- IS 196 : 1966 Atmospheric conditions Technically
phere for conditioning and testing for testing (revised) Equivalent

For tropical countries like India, the standard temperature and the relative humidity shall be taken
as 2722C and 65f5 percent respectively.
IS 13360 (Part 3/Set 1) : 1995
IS0 1183 : 1987

Plastics - Methods for determining the density

and relative density of non-cellular plastics

1 Scope and field of application 2 References

IS0 31-3, Quantities and units of mechanics.

1.1 This International Standard specifies four methods for
the determination of the density and relative density of non-
cellular plastics in the form of sheet, film, tube, moulded IS0 291, Plastics - Standard atmospheres for conditioning
objects, and moulding powders, granules and pellets. and testing.

- Method A
3 Definitions
Immersion method for plastics in a finished condition,
whether machined or otherwise formed (see 5.1.31, but not 3.1 density, er: The ratio of the mass of the sample to its
powders. volume V, (at the temperature tl, expressed in kilograms per
cubic metre, grams per cubic centimetre or grams per millilitre.
- Method B
Ordinarily, t will be one of the standard laboratory temperatures
Pyknometer method for plastics in the form of powder,
specified in IS0 291 (23 or 27 OC).
granules, pellets, flake or moulded articles reduced to small
3.2 relative density: The ratio of the mass of a given
- Method C volume of material at the temperature tl to that of an equal
volume of a reference material at the temperature t2; it is ex-
Titration method for plastics in forms similar to those re- pressed as relative density, at tl and t2 (symbol : di;) where t is
quired for method A, including pellets. the temperature, in degrees Celsius.

- Method D Ordinarily, t will be one of the standard laboratory temperatures

specified in IS0 291 (23 or 27 XI.
Density gradient column method for plastics in forms similar
to those required for method A, and including pellets. Den- Relative density may also be defined as the ratio of the density
sity gradient columns are columns of liquid, the densities of of a substance to the density of a reference substance under
which increase uniformly from top to bottom. They are par- conditions that are specified for both substances.
ticularly suited to measurement of small samples of pro-
ducts and to comparison of densities. NOTES

+ 1 When the reference substance is water, the English term specific

1.2 Density and relative density are used frequently, both to gravity is often used instead of relative density, and the French
term densite instead of densite relative.
follow the variations in the physical structures of specimens
and in calculation of the amount of material necessary to fill a Density at I1 OC may be converted to specific gravity, using the equa-
given volume. Density is the preferred property relating the tion
mass and volume of an object, specimen or material. These
properties may also be useful in assessing uniformity among d;; =-
samples or specimens. These methods are designed to yield QW.l*

results accurate to at least 0,2 % without applying corrections where

for weighings in air, and to 0,05 % with such corrections.
d:: is the specific gravity of the sample;

1.3 Often the density of plastics will depend upon the pS,,, is the density, in grams per cubic centimetre, of the
methods employed in the preparation of test specimens. When specimen, at temperature I,;
this is the case, precise details of the methods of preparation is the density, in grams per cubic centimetre, of water, at
shall be given; these are ordinarily included in the specifications temperature t2; values at some laboratory temperatures are as
for the material. follows :

IS 13360 (Part 3/Set 1) : 1995
IS0 1183 : 1987 Liquid bath, capable of being thermostatically

trolled to within 0,l OC.

5.1.2 Immersion liquids: Freshly distilled water or other

suitable liquid containing not more than 0,l % of a wetting
agent to help in removing air bubbles. The liquid or solution
with which the specimen comes into contact during the
The International Bureau of Weights and Measures should be consul- measurement shall have no effect on the specimen and shall
ted for exact relationships between density and specific gravity at other not be absorbed by the specimen in any significant quantity.

2 The following equivalent terms, based upon IS0 31-3, are given 5.1.3 Specimens
here for clarification. ,
Specimens may consist of films, sheets, tubes, moulded
Formul- objects, granules other than powder, or specimens taken from
English term French term Symbot Units
ation such forms with surfaces made smooth in an appropriate way
kg/n? to minimize the entrapment of air bubbles upon immersion in
density masse m
e glcrl9 the liquid. The specimen shall be of any convenient size to give
(massden&v) volumique v
g/ml adequate clearance between the speciment and beaker (a mass
of approximately 1 to 5 g is often convenient).
relativedensity densiterelative d c
ma/kg 5.1.4 Procedure
v 1
specificvolume volumemessique v - = p crr?/g
ml/g Weigh the specimen suspended with a wire of
diameter 0,125 mm or lessz). Immerse the specimen, still suspended by the wire, in

4 Conditioning the immersion liquid (5.1.21, contained in a beaker on the pan
straddle or other stationary support ( The temperature
In general, conditioning specimens to constant temperature
of the immersion liquid shall be t f 0,l OC, where t is 23 or
will not be required because the determination itself brings the
27 OC. Remove adhering air bubbles with a fine wire. It is con-
specimen to the constant temperature of the test. Conditioning
venient to mark the level of immersion, for example, by a
specimens to constant moisture content, on the other hand,
shallow notch in the wire. Weigh the immersed specimen.
may be required.

Specimens which change in density during the test to suchan Determine the density of immersion liquids other than
extent that it may exceed the accuracy required of the density water. Weigh the pyknometer ( empty and then con-
determination shall be conditioned before measurement in ac- taining freshly distilled water at temperature t. Weigh the same
cordance with the applicable material specifications. When pyknometer, after cleaning and drying, filled with the immer-
changes in density with time or atmospheric conditions are the sion liquid (also at temperature t). Calculate the density Q,~ of
primary purpose of the measurements, the speciments shall be the immersion liquid, using the equation
conditioned as agreed upon by the interested parties.
e IL -- - x ew.t

5 Methods where

5.1 Method A mlL is the mass of the immersion liquid;

mw is the mass of water;

5.1 .I Apparatus
ew, is the density of water at temperature t. Balance, accurate to 0.1 mg. Calculate the density es,, of the specimen, using the
equation Pan straddle or other stationary support.

mS,A @IL Pyknometer, of, for exa,nple, 50 ml capacity, with es.1 =
mS.A - mS,IL
side-arm overflow capillary, for determining the density of the
immersion liquid when this liquid is not water. The pyknometer where
shall be equipped with a thermometer graduated in 0,l OC from
0 to 30 OC. ms A is the mass, in grams, of the specimens in air;

1I R*eference temperature : see IS0 291.

2) Such a fine wire renders corrections for the apparent loss in mass of the wire unnecessary.

IS 13360 (Part 3/Set 1) : 1995
IS0 !I63 : 1967

ms ,L is the uncorrected mass, in grams, of the specimens then complete filling exactly to the limits of the capacity of the
in the immersion liquids; pyknometer with its contents. Wipe dry and weigh the
pyknometer with specimen and immersion liquid.
Q,~ is the density of the immersion liquid determined as in, expressed in grams per cubic centimetre or grams Empty and clean the pyknometer. Fill it with boiled
per millilitre.
distilled water, removing air as above, and determine the mass
of the pyknometer and contents at the temperature of test.
NOTE - For specimens having a density less than that of the immer-
sion liquid, the test may be performed in exactly the same way as
described above, with the following exception : a sinker of lead or other Repeat the process with the immersion liquid if an
dense material is attached to the wire, such that the sinker rests below immersion liquid other than water was used, and calculate its
the fluid level as does the specimen during immersion. The apparent density as specified in
loss in mass Am of the sinker on immersion may be considered as a
part of the suspending wire; it should be subtracted from m6,tt in the
above equation. Calculate the density of the specimen, es,[, usirrg the
%.A f&L
Qs.1 = msQIL
mS.A - %lL - Am) es,r =
mI - 2
(if no sinker is used, Am = 0)
where where

ms A and mS,,L have the same meaning as in the preceding equa-

ms is the mass, in grams, of the specimen;

Am is the apparent loss in mass of the sinker on immersion in the m, is the mass, in grams, of liquid required to fill the
liquid. pyknometer;
For correction of buoyancy, see clause 6.
m2 is the mass, in grams, of liquid required to fill the
pyknometer containing the specimen;
5.2 Method 6
,Q,~ is the density of the immersion liquid determined as
5.2.1 Apparatus specified in, in grams per cubic centimetre.

For correction of buoyancy, see clause 6. Balance, accurate to 0,l mg.

5.3 Method C Pan straddle or other stationary support.

5.3.1 Apparatus Pyknometer (see Thermostatically controlled bath (see Liquid bath (see Glass cylinder, of capacity 250 ml.
5.2.2 Immersion liquids Thermometer, graduated in 0.1 OC divisions, with a
See 5.1.2. range suitable for the test temperature used.

5.2.3 Specimens Measuring flask, of capacity 100 ml.

Specimens of powders, granules, pellets or flake shall be Draw glass stirrers.
measured in the form in which they are received. Specimen
mass shall be in the range of 1 to 5 g. Automatic burette, of capacity 25 ml, graduated in
0,l ml and kept in the thermostatically controlled bath
5.2.4 Procedure ( Weigh the pyknometer ( empty and dry. 5.3.2 Immersion liquids: Two miscible freshly distilled
Weigh a suitable quantity of the plastic material in the liquids of different densities. The densities given for various
pyknometer. Cover the test specimen with immersion liquid liquids in the table in the annex may serve as an appropriate
(5.2.2) and remove all air from the specimen by placing the guide.
pyknometer in a desiccator and applying a vacuum. Break the
vacuum and fill the pyknometer with the immersion liquid. The liquid or solution with which the specimen comes into con-
Bring it to constant temperature in the liquid bath ( and tact during the measurement shall have no effect on the speci-

IS 13360 (Part 3/Set 1) : 1995
IS0 1183:1987

men and shall not be absorbed by the specimen in any signifi- Thermostatically controlled bath (see
cant quantity. Calibrated glass floats, covering the density range

5.3.3 Specimens to be studied and approximately evenly distributed throughout
this range.
Specimens shall be in any suitable solid form. Set of suitable hydrometers, covering the range of

5.3.4 Procedure
densities to be studied, having density graduations of
0,001 g/ems, or other suitable means for measuring densities Choose a liquid whose density is next below the one of liquids.
of the material to be tested. If necessary, make a preliminary
rapid test in a few millilitres of the liquid. Balance (see By means of the measuring flask ( accurately

measure 100 ml of one of the immersion liquids and transfer it Siphon or pipette assembly, for filling the gradient
to the clean, dry 250 ml test glass cylinder ( Secure the tube (, such as shown in the figure or any other which
cylinder in the thermostatically controlled bath ( at the will yield an equivalent result.
temperature t. Ordinarily, t will be one of the standard
laboratory temperatures (23 or 27 Cl. Cathetometer (optional). Place the pieces of the test specimen in the cylinder.

5.4.2 Immersion liquids
They shall fall to the bottom and be free of air bubbles. Allow
about 5 min for the cylinder and its contents to stabilize at the
See 5.3.2.
bath temperature, stirring several times.
The mixtures of the two liquids selected shall be prepared as When the temperature of the liquid is t OC, add the specified in
second immersion liquid (5.3.2) millilitre by millilitre supplied
from the automatic burette ( Stir the liquid vertically
after each addition by means of a flat-tipped glass rod ( 5.4.3 Specimens
and avoid producing air bubbles.
Specimens shall consist of pieces of the material cut to any
After each addition of the second liquid and mixing, observe convenient shape for ease of identification. Dimensions shall be
the behavior of the test pieces. At first, they fall rapidly to the chosen to permit accurate measurement of the position of the
bottom, then their rate of fall becomes slower. At this point, centregf the volume. Surfaces shall be smooth and free from
add the second liquid in 0.1 ml fractions. Note the total amount cavities to preclude the entrapment of air bubbles upon immer-
of second liquid added when the first pieces keep afloat within sion.
the liquid, at the level to which they were brought by stirring,
without moving up or down for at least 1 min.
5.4.4 Procedure
Add more of the second liquid until the heaviest pieces reach a
state of neutral equilibrium. For each sample, note the amount Preparation of glass floats
of the second liquid required. For each pair of liquids, the
functional relationship between the amount of the second
liquid added and the density shall be established and plotted in Glass floats (see, prepared by any conve-
graphical form. nient method, shall be fully annealed, approximately spherical
and of diameter not greater than 5 mm.
1 It is recommended that the thermometer ( be kept per- Prepare a solution of about 500 ml of the immersion
manently in the solution. This makes it possible to check that thermal liquids (5.4.2) to be used in the gradient tube ( such
equilibrium is attained at the time of measurement and, in particular, that the density of the solution as measured with hydrometers
that the heat of dilution has been dissipated.
( is approximately equal to the lowest desired density.
2 The density of the liquid mixture at each point of the graph of When the floats are at ambient temperature, drop them gently
functional relationship can be evaluated by the pyknometer method. into the solution. Retain the floats that sink very slowly and
discard those that sink rapidly or retain them for another tube.
5.4 Method D If necessary, in order to obtain a suitable range of floats,

a) adjust selected floats tothe desired density by rubbing

5.4.1 Apparatus the bead part of the float on a glass plate on which is spread
a thin slurry of silicon carbide with less than 38 urn Density gradient column, consisting of a suitable (400 mesh) particle size, or other appropriate abrasive, or
tube, which may be graduated, not less than 40 mm in
diameter, with cover. b) etch floats with hydrofluoric acid.

IS 13360 (Part S/Set 1) : 1995
IS0 1183 : 1987

Progress may be followed by dropping the float into the test the liquid to the gradient tube, Fill the tube to the top gradua-
solution at intervals and noting the changes in its rate of sink- tion desired. (See note 2.1
Allow the density gradient column so prepared to settle for at
least 24 h. Determine the density of each standard glass float
prepared as above by placing the float in a solution of two
suitable liquids (5.4.21, the density of which can be varied over
the desired range by the addition of either liquid to the mixture. 1 Calculate the density p2, of the liquid in vessel2 (seathe figure), us-
If the float sinks, add the denser liquid, stirring it well. Allow the ed to preparea desiredgradient, using the equation
solution to rest and add no further liquid until the float shows 2 fernax - @min)V2
@2 = &lax -
signs of moving. If it does move, repeat the above procedure V
until the float remains stationary for at least 30 min. It is conve- where
nient to make these measurements in the bath ( at the
emin is the lower limit of required density, chosen to be 0.01 g/ml
same temperature as is used for the density gradient tube. In
lighter than the density of the least dense glass float calibrated for
any case, the solution for calibration of the floats shall be main-
the indivisual gradient tube;
tained at I f 0.1 C where t is 23 or 27 OC.
ema,, is the upper limit of required density and starting density for
the liquid in vessel 1, chosen to be 0,005 g/ml heavier than the Determine the density of the solution, to the nearest density of the densest glass float calibrated for the individual
0,000 I g/ml, in which the float remains in equilibrium, using gradient tube;
the pyknometer method (see or other convenient V is the total volume required in the gradient tube;
method, for example, with hydrometers. Apply the buoyancy
V2 is the volume of the starting liquid in vessel 2.
correction (see clause 61 if necessary. Record this density as
the density of the float and repeat the procedure for each float. 2 Preparation of a suitable gradient column may require 1 to lf h or
If it is convenient to place all floats in the liquid together, then longer, depending upon the volume required in the gradient tube.
calibrate them in turn; starting with the least dense. For every 25 cm of tube length, dip a minimum of
Alternatively, calculate the density of the liquid mixture in five clean calibrated floats spanning the effective range of the
which the float remains stationary from the volumes of liquids column into the less dense liquid used in the preparation of the
used, taking care to apply corrections for fluid contractions. gradient column, and add them to the tube. If it is observed
that the floats group together and do not spread out evenly in Preparation of density gradient column the tube, discard the solution and repeat the procedures.

Alternatively, place the floats in the tube immediately upon Place the graduated tube in the thermostatically preparation of the column. If the floats appear to group
controlled bath (, maintained at t + 0.1 OC. Select a together and do not spread evenly in the tube, discard the solu-
suitable combination of liquids (5.4.2) from the table in the tion and repeat the preparation.
annex such that the resulting sensitivity of the column will
preferably be no poorer than 0,001 g/ml per centimetre of tube Cap the tube, and retain it in the constant temperature bath for
length. Satisfactory density ranges for a column are, for 24 to 46 h. At the end of this time, measure the distances of
example, 0,001 to 0,I g/ml. The extreme upper and lower floats from the bottom of the tube to the nearest millimetre and
portions of the tube shall not be used, and readings shall not be plot a curve of the density of the floats as a function of their
taken outside the calibrated part. distances. The curve so produced shall

a) be monotonic; Any of several methods for preparing the gradient
may be used, including the following :
bl have no discontinuity;
Assemble the apparatus as shown in the figure, using two
cl have not more than one point of inflection.
vessels of the same size. Then select an appropriate amount of
two suitable liquids which previously have been carefully de-
The solution shall otherwise be discarded.
aerated by gentle heating or application of a vacuum. The
volume of liquid used in the mixer (vessel 2 in the figure) shall
NOTE - Density gradient columns normally remain stable for several
be equal to at least one-half of the total volume desi;dd in the
months. A daily check of the original calibration will reveal when in-
gradient tube (see note Il.
stabilitv has been reached.

Place an appropriate mass of the less dense liquid into vessel 2

of suitable size and begin to stir, using a magnetic stirrer. Ad- Measurement of density
just the speed of stirring so that the surface of the liquid does
not fluctuate greatly. Place an equal mass of the denser liquid Wet three representative test specimens with the less dense of
into vessel I. Take care that no air is dispersed in the liquid. the two liquids used in the tube and gently place them in the
tube. Allow the tube and specimens to reach equilibrium,
Use the less dense liquid (starting liquid in vessel 21 to prime which will require IO min or more. Films of thickness less than
the siphon, which should be equipped with a capillary 065 mm require at least If h to settle. Rechecking specimens
tip at the delivery end for flow control; then start the delivery of of thin films after several hours is advisable.

IS 13380 (Par? 3/Set 1) : 1995
IS0 1183 : 1987

NOTES 6 Correction for buoyancy of air

1 A fine wire carefully manipulated ia suitable for removing air bub-
blea from specimens. Because the weighings are made in air, the values of the ap-
parent masses obtained shall be corrected, if necessary to
2 Old samples can be removed without destroying the gradient bv compensate for the different effect of the air buoyancy on the
slowly withdrawing a wire screen basket attached to a long wire. This
specimen and on the weights used, if required. (This will be the
can be done conveniently bv means of a clock motor. Withdraw the
case if the accuracy of the results is to be between 0,2 % and
basket from the bottom of the tube and, after cleaning, return it to the
bottom of the tube. It is essential that this procedure be performed at a 0.05 %.I
slow enough rate (approximately 10 mm length of column per minute)
in order not to disturb the density gradient. The true mass nlT is calculated using the equation

The densities

of the specimens rnsy be determined graphically

= mAPP

(1 + orE1,2- y: 2
or by calculation from the levels to which they settle, as follows : where

a) Make a plot of float density versus float position on a mAPP is the apparent mass;
chart large enough to be read accurately to fO,OllO 1 g/ml
and f ? mm. Plot the positions of the specimens on the es, is the density of the specimen;
chart and mad their corresponding den&ii, or
eL is the density of the weight used.
b) Calculate the density ~g,~ of the spscirnen by interpola-
tion, using the equation

1-x- Y) k?Q- &?F,)

@S.X=d?F, + ZY
7 Test report

The test report shall include the following particulars :

@F, and eF2 are the respective densities of the two stan-
dard floats bracketing the specimen; a) reference to this International Standard;

x is the distance of the specimen above an arbitrary b) complete identification of the material tested;
c) the method used (A, B, C or D);
y and z are the distances (measured from the same
arbitrary level) of the two standard floats. dl the individual values and the arithmetic mean of the
density (QS,, or Q~,.J, in kilograms per cubic metre, grams
NOTE - This method doea not reveal calibration errors, which can ba per cubic centimetre or grams per millilitre, where t is the
detected with the graphical method, and may be applied only when the temperature of the test, or the relative density fd$ and the
calibration is known to be linear within the range under teat. identity of the reference substance.
IS 13360 (Part 3/Set 1) : 1995
IS0 1183 : 1987

Vessel 1 (mixer)

Magnetic stirrer Y

Column tube

Capillary filling tube

Figure - Density gradient column filling devices

IS 13360 (Part 3/Set 1) : 1995
IS0 1163 : 1967


Liquid systems for density gradient columns

(This annex does not form an integral part of the Standard.)

WARNING - Some of the following chemicals may be hazardous.

System Density range

MethanoVbenzyl alcohol 0.08 to 0,92

IsopropanoVwater 0.79 to 1 ,oo
IsopropanoVdiethylene glycol 0,79 to 1,ll
Ethanol/carbon tetrachloride 0,79 to 1.59
Ethanol/water 0,79 to 1.00
Toluene/carbon tetrachloride 0,87 to 1.59
Water/aqueous solution of sodium bromide 1,co to 1.41
Water/aqzeous solution of calcium nitrate 1.00 to 160
Ethanol/aqueous solution of zinc chloride 060 to 1.70
Carbon tetrachloride/l,bdibromopropane 1.60 to 1.99
1.3~Dibromopropane/ethvlene bromide 1,99 to 2,18
Ethylene bromidelbromoform 2,18 to 2.89
Carbon tetrachloride/bromoform 160 to 2.89
Isopropanol/methylglycolacetate 0.79 to 1 ,OO

The following may also be used in various mixtures:


n-Octane 0.70

Dimethylformamide (-4%

Tetrachlorethane 159

Ethyl iodide 1,93

Methylene iodide 3,33

Bureau of Indian Standards

BIS is a statutory institution established under the &reau of Indian Standards Act, I986 to promote
harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods
and attending to connected matters in the country.


BIS has the copyright of all its publications. No part of these publications may be reproduced in any form
without the prior permission in writing of BIS. This does not preclude the free use, in the course of
implementing the standard, of necessary details, such as symbols and sizes, type or grade designations.
Enquiries relating to copyright be addressed to the Director (Publications), BIS.

Review of Indian Standards

Amendments are issued to standards as the need arises on the basis of comments. Standards are also
reviewed periodically; a standard along with amendments is reaffirmed when such review indicates that
no changes are needed; if the review indicates that changes are needed, it is taken up for revision. Users
of Indian Standards should ascertain that they are in possession of the latest amendments or edition by
referring to the latest issue of BIS Handbook and Standards Monthly Additions.

This Indian Standard has been developed from Dot : No. PCD 23 ( 1344 ).

Amendments Issued Since Publication

Amend No. Date of Issue Text Affected



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