Hydrostatic Weighing

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hydrostatic weighing

[‚hī·drə′stad·ik ′wā·iŋ]
(fluid mechanics)
A method of determining the density of a sample in which the sample is weighed in air, and then weighed in a liquid of known density; the volume of the sample is equal to the loss of weight in the liquid divided by the density of the liquid.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hydrostatic Weighing


a method of measuring the density of liquids and solids, based on Archimedes’ law. The density of a solid is determined by weighing it twice—first in air and then in a liquid whose density is known (usually distilled water). During the first weighing the weight of the object is determined. The difference between the results of the two weighings determines the volume of the object.

In measuring the density of a liquid an object—usually a glass float whose weight and volume are already known—is weighed in the liquid. Depending on the degree of accuracy required, hydrostatic weighing is done on technical, analytical, or standard balances. For weighing massive objects less accurate balances are widely used, which facilitate quicker measurement (for example, the Mohr balance).


Kivilis, S. S. Tekhnika izmereniia plotnosti zhidkostei i tverdykh tel. Moscow, 1959. Chapter 4.
Kivilis, S. S. Izmerenie massy, ob’ema i plotnosti. Moscow, 1972. Chapter 26.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Body volume is usually measured by body displacement techniques using either hydrostatic weighing or, more recently, the "Bod Pod" described by (Fields, Goran and McCrory, 2002) and (Yee, Fuerst, Salamone et al, 2001).
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The hydrostatic weighing procedure uses silicon as density reference standards (10).
The densities of the prototype kilograms K20 and K4 have been measured at the BIPM using hydrostatic weighing techniques with water as a reference standard; the measured values are 21 539.14 kg/[m.sup.3] and 21 531.77 kg/[m.sup.3], respectively with a relative standard uncertainty estimated at 0.003 %(13).
Prior to the mass calibration, the densities are determined using the hydrostatic weighing method with silicon reference standards, as described above.
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(14) compared DEXA, hydrostatic weighing, and air displacement plethysmography to a multi-compartment model in NCAA Division I female athletes.