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W. Mocroft, Philanthropist, Master Degree in International Business, Las Vegas
Answered Aug 29, 2019
Specific gravity and density are commonly used for different things, but these terms may be discussed more when Science is being discussed. To measure density, you need the mass divided by volume. Specific gravity is commonly divided a reference material which is usually water.
This means that density will only measure the density of an object depending on its mass while specific gravity is the density of the substance divided by the density of water. There are times when people need to know the specific gravity because this will help understand the required temperature required for the substance to reach its maximum density.
Both specific gravity and density are mostly common in science subjects like physics and even chemistry. Specific gravity and density are not the same when you consider their meanings and how they are calculated. Specific gravity can be defined as the ratio of the weight of a substance with the weight of an equal volume of water, while density can be defined as the ratio of the mass of an object to the volume.
Specific gravity does not have any unit because it is talking about the ratio of two weights, which means the unit of each ratio would have canceled each other. Density on the other hand has a unit and it is kilogram per cubic meter. When calculating the density an object, the mass and the volume of the object must be known. Specific gravity sometimes can be used to determine the concentration of a given solution that is in large quantity.