ASTM D7481 - 09

    Standard Test Methods for Determining Loose and Tapped Bulk Densities of Powders using a Graduated Cylinder

    Active Standard ASTM D7481 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.24

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.09


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    ASTM D7481

    Significance and Use

    The data from the loose bulk density test can be used to estimate the size of bags, totes, small bins or hoppers for the storage of a fixed mass of powder in its loose condition. It can also be used to estimate the mass of powder that will fit in small size containers such as drums. It cannot be used to estimate powder quantities of large vessels such as silos.

    Values of loose bulk density obtained using this test method should be used with caution, since they can vary considerably depending on the inital state of dispersion of the test specimen, height-to-diameter ratio of specimen in graduated cylinder, dryness of powder, and other factors.

    The data from the tapped bulk density test can be used to estimate the needed volume of small containers holding a fixed mass of powder that has been compacted. An example would be a packing line where vibration is used to tamp powders into a small container for effective packing purposes.

    Bulk density values can vary significantly if the particle size of the actual material to be handled is different than tested. A bulk solid consisting of large and small particles often has higher bulk densities than the fine particles by themselves. For powders, lower densities are possible if the fine particles are fluidized or aerated.

    The results of this test method are most applicable to containers with volumes up to about one cubic meter. Another method (such as D 6683) should be used when considering larger silos.

    Note 1—The quality of the results produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D 3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection/etc. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D 3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D 3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors. Practice D 3740 was developed for agencies engaged in the testing or inspection (or both) of soil and rock. As such it is not totally applicable to agencies performing this standard. However, users of this standard should recognize that the framework of Practice D 3740 is appropriate for evaluating the quality of an agency performing this standard. Currently there is no known qualifying national authority that inspects agencies that perform this standard.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the apparatus and procedures for determining the bulk densities of free flowing and moderately cohesive powders and granular materials up to 3.5 mm in size in their loose (Method A) and tapped (Method B) states.

    1.2 This test method should be performed in a laboratory under controlled conditions of temperature and humidity.

    1.3 This test method is similar to those of Test Methods B 212, D 29, and D 2854.

    1.4 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D 6026.

    1.4.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected/recorded or calculated in this standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition they are representative of the significant digits that generally should be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variations, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the users objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to be commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of this standard to consider significant digits used in analysis methods for engineering design.

    1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    B212 Test Method for Apparent Density of Free-Flowing Metal Powders Using the Hall Flowmeter Funnel

    B527 Test Method for Determination of Tap Density of Metallic Powders and Compounds

    C29/C29M Test Method for Bulk Density (Unit Weight) and Voids in Aggregate

    D29 Test Methods for Sampling and Testing Lac Resins

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

    D2854 Test Method for Apparent Density of Activated Carbon

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4164 Test Method for Mechanically Tapped Packing Density of Formed Catalyst and Catalyst Carriers

    D4753 Guide for Evaluating, Selecting, and Specifying Balances and Standard Masses for Use in Soil, Rock, and Construction Materials Testing

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    D6683 Test Method for Measuring Bulk Density Values of Powders and Other Bulk Solids as Function of Compressive Stress


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.060 (Measurement of volume, mass, density, viscosity)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D7481-09

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