ASTM D2395 - 17

    Standard Test Methods for Density and Specific Gravity (Relative Density) of Wood and Wood-Based Materials

    Active Standard ASTM D2395 | Developed by Subcommittee: D07.01

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.10

      Format Pages Price  
    PDF 13 $56.00   ADD TO CART
    Hardcopy (shipping and handling) 13 $56.00   ADD TO CART
    Standard + Redline PDF Bundle 26 $67.00   ADD TO CART

    Significance and Use

    5.1 Density and specific gravity are cornerstone terms that help define many useful properties of wood and wood-based materials. These terms designate concepts that have distinct definitions though they relate to the same characteristic (mass in a unit volume). Generally, in the US and Canada, density of wood is measured in terms of specific gravity, or relative density. In the wood-based composites industry and internationally the term density is often preferred.

    5.2 The basic density and basic specific gravity of wood are used in the forestry industry for calculating the oven-dry weight of wood fiber contained in a known wood volume of various wood species. Thus, it serves as an indicator of the amount of wood pulp that could be produced, the workability of the material or its shipping weight. This information is referenced in various resources, including Wood Handbook.5 Note that specific gravity varies within a tree, between trees, and between species. Since the specific gravity of wood cell wall substance is practically constant for all species (approximately 1.53), it is apparent that individual specific gravity value is indicative of the amount of wood cell wall substance present. It affords a rapid and valuable test method for selection of wood for specific uses. In US and Canadian building codes, the oven-dry specific gravity is correlated to various strength characteristics of wood products (for example, compression perpendicular to grain, shear strength and fastener holding capacity).

    5.3 It is often desirable to know the density or specific gravity of a living tree, a structural member already in place, a log cross section, a segment of a research element, or the earlywood or latewood layer. Therefore, it is possible that specimens will be large or small, regular or irregular in shape, and at a variety of moisture contents. These test methods give procedures that include all of these variables and provides for calculation of density and specific gravity values to degrees of precision generally needed.

    5.4 In the wood-based composites industry, the product density or specific gravity also provides an important indicator of potential product attributes. For wood-based materials, the same test methods are used; however, the measurements typically combine the mass from the wood substance with any resin, wax, or other solid additives present in the material. These properties are not to be confused with equivalent specific gravity of structural composite lumber used to characterize its fastener-holding capacity determined in accordance with Specification D5456.

    1. Scope

    1.1 These test methods cover the determination of the density and specific gravity (relative density) of wood and wood-based materials to generally desired degrees of accuracy and for specimens of different sizes, shapes, and moisture content conditions. The test method title is indicative of the procedures used or the specific area of use.



    Test Method A—Volume by Measurement


    Test Method B—Volume by Water Immersion


    Test Method C—Flotation Tube


    Test Method D—Forstner Bit


    Test Method E—Increment Core


    Test Method F—Chips


    Test Method G—Full-Size Members


    1.2 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.3 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

    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

    D9 Terminology Relating to Wood and Wood-Based Products

    D2555 Practice for Establishing Clear Wood Strength Values

    D4442 Test Methods for Direct Moisture Content Measurement of Wood and Wood-Based Materials

    D5456 Specification for Evaluation of Structural Composite Lumber Products

    D7438 Practice for Field Calibration and Application of Hand-Held Moisture Meters

    E1547 Terminology Relating to Industrial and Specialty Chemicals

    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 79.040 (Wood, sawlogs and sawn timber); 79.060.01 (Wood-based panels in general)

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/D2395-17

    Citation Format

    ASTM D2395-17, Standard Test Methods for Density and Specific Gravity (Relative Density) of Wood and Wood-Based Materials, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017,

    Back to Top