Test for Density of Hydraulic Cement


Determination of the density of hydraulic cement in connection with the design of Portland cement concrete mixtures

Equipment and Materials

  • Standard Le-Chatelier Flask as shown below
  • Heavy rubber pad about 12 in. × 12 in. square
  • Lead ring weight to fit around stem of the flask
  • Funnel
  • Thermometer
  • Portland cement
  • Kerosene
Le-chatelier Flask
Le-chatelier Flask

Test Procedure

  1. Fill the flask with kerosene to a mark on the stem between the 0 and the 1 cm mark. Dry the inside of the flask if there are any drops above the liquid level.
  2. Place the flask in a constant temperature bath and record the initial height of the kerosene in the flask. The constant temperature bath should be maintained at a temperature such that its temperature variation between the initial and final readings within the flask does not vary by more than 0.2°C.
  3. Carefully introduce about 64 grams of cement, weighed to the nearest 0.1 grams. Try to avoid the cement adhering to the inside of the flask or sticking to the neck. The cement should be introduced slowly through a funnel. Place the stopper on the flask.
  4. Remove the flask from the bath and place it on the rubber mat. Take off the lead weight and manipulate the flask on the mat so as to remove all air bubbles from the flask.
  5. Return the flask to the bath and check the temperature within the flask. If it is within 0.2°C of the original temperature inside the flask, take the final reading.


Density of hydraulic cement is calculated using following formula

Density, p = mass of cement/displaced volume

Conduct the density determination on two samples of cement. If they do not differ by more than 0.03 g/cm3, take the average. Otherwise, run three additional determinations until a pair of valves are obtained within 0.03 g/cm3.

Record the readings and complete the following data sheet.

Specimen Numbers






Initial bath temp., °C        
Final height, cm        
Initial height, cm        
Displaced volume, cm3        
Final bath temp., °C        
Specific gravity = 64grams/displacement, cm3        
Average specific gravity of accepted specimen result =  



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