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Specific Gravity and Bulk Density

SGS is a leader in providing accurate, bankable results from a wide range of mineral tests. This includes the determination of the specific gravity (SG) and bulk density (BD) of rocks, ores and aggregates using the pycnometer and water and air method or wax method if required. These tests are conducted regularly in many SGS laboratories. The independent results from our SG and BD tests are recognized worldwide and comply with various national and international standards. 

The qualitative and quantitative results from these relatively simple tests provide information that is vital to the success of a mining, industrial or construction operation. Data generated from these tests can yield the:

  • Precise and accurate identification of the mineral composition of samples, including pay metals and other elements that may complicate processing
  • Support the most effective processing method for your ore
  • Appropriate sizing of processing equipment   
  • The exact weight of ores which is necessary to calculate shipping and storage costs

“Specific gravity” is the density of a material relative to water. Since rocks are comprised of several distinct mineral phases, they do not have a fixed specific gravity. Instead, a rock’s “bulk density” arises as a result of the percentage of all minerals in a sample multiplied by the specific gravity of each. SGS has extensive experience determining these parameters, including identifying mineral phases using QEMSCAN®. 

SGS experts work under carefully controlled laboratory conditions to determine the specific gravity and bulk density of your sample. Our SG and BD test procedures include the industry standard pycnometer, and when necessary, the water and air method or the wax method.

SGS provides a full range of physical testing services to the mineral industry. Our specific gravity and bulk density tests provide key information you need to plan and design your processing operation.

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