Apparatus to measure volume

  1. Could anyone recommend a piece of lab apparatus which will measure the volume of an irregular object? I cannot use displacement of water as the object will compress under pressure and I suspect submerging the object in water will give a different displacement from the actual volume at 1 atm.

    Ideally I would use something that could measure volume optically... Anybody know of an apparatus which does that?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

    If you know its density, you could just weigh it.

    Otherwise, you could use a 3-D digitizing device to digitize its outline. I've seen them in the past, but will have to do a quick search to see if I can find one. It's like a wand mounted on an articulated arm with rotary and linear encoders to pick up where the tip of the wand is.

    I don't think you'll be able to do it optically in the general case. If your object is always convex, then you could probably do it optically with a laser grid projected on the object, and a TV camera picking up the image as you rotate it.
     
  4. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

  5. Thanks alot! that's just what i needed.
     
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