What is Specific Gravity of Cement?

Specific gravity of a material is defined as the ratio between weight of a given volume of material and weight of an equal volume of water. Therefore, specific gravity of cement is the ratio of weight of a given volume of cement with weight of an equal volume of water at a specified temperature.

Specific gravity of a material is a dimensionless quantity.


Why is Specific Gravity Test of Cement Important?
Specific gravity is an important property of cement being related to its density and viscosity. It is one of the factor to determine the density of cement. Moreover, density of the cement and other materials is one of the vital parameter, which determines the design of the concrete. If the specific gravity of cement is more than 3.19 then it has more moisture content, which will affect the mix and bonding.


When water is added to the cement then the hardening of the cement starts. Once the cement hydrated with water, it becomes useless. So kerosene is used to determine the specific gravity of cement.

Specific Gravity of Cement by Le-Chatelier Method, IS 4031-Part 11-1988

Specific Gravity of Cement by as per IS: 4031 Part-11 (1988)


Hi friends, you are welcomed in the world of Civil Allied Gyan. Here I have explained about determination of the specific gravity of cement. Read definition, apparatus, IS code, test procedure, observations, formula,result, lab report about specific gravity of cement by Le-Chatelier method.


IS: 4031 (Part 11)-1988, Methods of physical tests for Hydraulic cement for determination of specific gravity of cement


  1. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)
  2. Le-Chatelier Flask of 250 ml or Specific Gravity Bottle / Pycnometer of 100 ml
  3. Weighing Balance with 0.1g accuracy
  4. Kerosene (free from water)
  5. Glass Funnel
  6. A Shallow Tray
  7. Constant Temperature Water Bath

Specific Gravity of Cement by Le-Chatelier Flask as per IS 4031 Part-11 (1988)

Procedure for Specific Gravity Test of Cement by Le-Chatelier Method:-

  1. Dry and clean the specific gravity bottle and weigh it with the stopper (W₁).
  2. Fill the specific gravity bottle with cement paste sample at least half of the bottle and weigh with stopper (W).
  3. Fill the specific gravity bottle containing the cement sample, with kerosene oil (free of water) placing the stopper and weigh it (W). Until doing this, do not allow any air bubbles to remain in the specific gravity bottle.
  4. After weighing the specific gravity bottle, the bottle will be cleaned and dried again.
  5. Then fill the specific gravity bottle with fresh kerosene oil and weigh it with stopper (W).
  6. Remove the kerosene oil from the specific gravity bottle and fill it with full of fresh water and measure the weight of bottle along with stopper (W).
  7. All the above weighing should be done at the room temperature of 26°C to 28°C.

We can use Le-Chatelier Flask instead of specific gravity bottle. 


Observations:-
Description of item
Trial 1
Trial 2
Weight of empty bottle (W g)


Weight of bottle + Cement ( W g)


Weight of Specific gravity bottle + Cement + Kerosene ( W g)


Weight of bottle + Full Kerosene( W g)


Weight of bottle + Full Water ( W g)




Calculations:-
Specific Gravity of Cement by Le-Chatelier Method, IS 4031-Part 11-1988

Specific Gravity of Cement by Le-Chatelier Method, IS 4031-Part 11-1988

The specific gravity of kerosene is 0.79.
Therefore, also
Specific Gravity of Cement by Le-Chatelier Method, IS 4031-Part 11-1988

Results:-
Specific gravity of Cement (Given Sample) =-----------------------

Report:-
Two tests will be carried out and their average value is reported. If the difference between the two values differs by more than 0.03, the test shall be repeated.


  1. Clean the apparatus thoroughly before testing and after testing.
  2. The test should be performed away from vibrations and other disturbances.
  3. Wear helmet, shoes and hand gloves during the test.
  4. While pouring cement in the specific gravity bottle (or Le-Chatelier flask), care should be taken to avoid splashing and cement should not adhere to the inside of the flask above the liquid.
  5. The kerosene oil or Naphtha should be completely free from water.
  6. The specific gravity bottle should be kept in a constant temperature water bath sufficiently long to ensure same temperature before each weighing is made.
  7. All air bubbles will be eliminated in filling the apparatus and inserting the stopper.
  8. Duplicate results of specific gravity of cement should agree within 0.01.


Standard Value of Specific Gravity of Cement:-
The value for specific gravity of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) is nearly 3.15 while the specific gravity value of Portland-Blast-Furnace-Slag and Portland-Pozzolan cements is nearly 2.90.

As per Portland cement Association (PCA 1988) and Design & Control of Concrete Mixtures.


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