Specific Gravity


According to physics, different real-life applications of specific gravity are available. In the practice, specific gravity does not include any dimensionless quantity that has the correct implications. Measuring specific gravity needs to take the consideration of the refractive index scale, and the right scale is marked with the scale of g/100ml. Moreover, pressure also affects the substances of specific gratuity in the practice. In this tutorial, the applications of the specific gravity to real life and the factors that are affecting it have been described well.

Units to measure specific gravity by Refract meter

Figure 1: Units to measure specific gravity by Refract meter

Introduction to Specific Gravity

differences in specific gravity

Figure 2: differences in specific gravity

The substances of water are taken into the real-life consideration of the specific gravity, where the temperature plays a vital role. Based on the application of physics, specific gravity is the ratio between an object’s density and a substance’s reference. Based on the reference to the substance, the value is undertaken from the specific gravity to help understand if an item will float on the water or sink.

The application of the specific gravity can help measure if a boat will float on the water; hence, this equation can be resolved based on the density and temperature (Dynamixinc, 2022). In the practice, the substance is referred to as water, which has a specific density always. The density of water is 1 gram per millilitre.

Additionally, in the ideal scenario, the temperature value of pure water which is important for specific gravity is 4⁰C. The Greek character ρ is generally employed to illustrate density. Considering that the density is estimated from (m) mass and volume (v) via the equation ρ = m/V.

Applications of Specific Gravity

In the practice, multiple applications of the specific gravity are relatable to the density of a substance that is taken into consideration of calculating different values. With the comparison of the different scales, the purity of an item can be determined easily. Most of the time, the valuation of the purity with a referred substance can be determined in less time which makes the implication of the specific gravity more useful (Impactanalytical, 2022). In a real-life application, the value of specific gravity can be utilised by the Gemmologists to operate and characterise identical gems.

Moreover, the process that is followed during the measurement of the specific gravity can be utilised to recognise the mineral scope of any stone. In different cases, testing battery fluid is another vital application of the specific gravity.

Additionally, researchers and students also understand how to discover specific weight from specific gravity. As specific gravity help measure the density of any item, the urinalysis professionals estimate the specific gravity of urine to choose its ranges (Oke, 2021). Hence, researchers need to remember that the value of units in terms of the specific gravity for water is equal to 1.

Factors Affecting Specific Gravity

Multiple points are applied in terms of identifying the procedure of estimating the specific gravity. While calculating the value, the main perspective is the proportion of two densities of two entities or substances.

The primary factor that is affecting the specific gravity is the measurement of an object’s density with the comparison to the water’s density. This calculation is referred to the temperature and pressure of water to make the comparison accurately (Sciencedirect, 2022). This also referred to the violation of the specific gravity for any liquid and water.

Affecting factors of Specific gravity

Figure 3: Affecting factors of Specific gravity

While measuring the value, an expert needs to remember the values that are getting affected by the temperature and pressure of the substance. Moreover, standard temperature and pressure are utilised in the estimation of specific gravity (An, Lee & Yi, 2019). If forgotten to regulate the external influences, then the specific gravity will modify.

Specific Gravity for Gases

Calculation of the specific gravity is possible with gases with the reference to air. The ratio of density to the gas and the air density is calculated with specified temperature and pressure. At room temperature, the density of air is 1.20 kg/m3. The substance is required to examine with the value of air density.

Specific Gravity for Fluids

The variation of the specific gravity is reliable in the account of the determining values of pressure and temperature. While proceeding with the calculation, the reference is taken as water for fluids (Thoughtco, 2022).

The density of water can help in measuring the identification as either the item will float on the water or it will sink.


In this tutorial, the calculation of the ratio between a substance’s densities to a reference substance’s density delivers the appropriate idea for specific gravity. Moreover, this calculation is referred to as the ratio of volume and the substance of a material’s weight. Pressure and temperature are the two vital factors that can help determine accurate values. The process of calculation is referred to be measured in the specific temperature of the reference item. Any modification in the density and pressure can make significant changes in the value of specific gravity.


Q.1 What is the distinction between the specific weight and specific gravity?

The ratio of weight and an object’s volume is referred to as the specific weight. Whereas, the calculation process specific gravity is following the ratio of density between the object and the reference.

Q.2 What are the factors that can affect the value of specific gravity?

Multiple factors are accumulated as the reference between the factors that can affect the value of specific gravity. The parameters are primarily reliable to the temperature and pressure.

Q.3 What are the ideal values of temperature for the reference substances?

For instance, for liquid, water is taken into the consideration as a reference substance and the temperature will be at 4°C. Similarly, for gases, the reference substance is air and the temperature will be at 21°C.



An, J., Lee, I., & Yi, Y. (2019). The thermal effects of water immersion on health outcomes: an integrative review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(7), 1280. Retrieved from: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/7/1280/pdf

Oke, S. A. (2021). Specific Gravity Analysis of Onion Peel and Snail Shell Particulates as Composite Fillers in Ship Applications. International Journal of Marine Engineering Innovation and Research, 6(2). Retrieved from: https://scholar.archive.org


Dynamixinc, (2022), About specific gravity, Retrieved from: https://dynamixinc.com/specific-gravity/ [Retrieved on: 16th June 2022]

Geeksforgeeks, (2022), About affecting factors of specific gravity, Retrieved from: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/factors-affecting-acceleration-due-to-gravity/ [Retrieved on: 16th June 2022]

Impactanalytical, (2022), About specific gravity, Retrieved from: https://www.impactanalytical.com/services.aspx?id=73 [Retrieved on: 16th June 2022]

Sciencedirect, (2022), About density specific gravity, Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/materials-science/density-specific-gravity [Retrieved on: 16th June 2022]

Thoughtco, (2022), About specific gravity, Retrieved from: https://www.thoughtco.com/specific-gravity-2699007 [Retrieved on: 16th June 2022]

Vetnursing, (2022), About Specific gravity measurement, Retrieved from: https://www.vetnursing.ie/new-page-1 [Retrieved on: 16th June 2022]

Updated on: 21-Aug-2023


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