Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How do I calculate the volume of an irregular container using styrofoam beads?

  1. Feb 22, 2008 #1
    I'm trying to find the voulme of a irregularly shaped container by using very small styrofoam beads. Things I know: Cylinder A filled with water @ 18 c - net weight - 1231.0 g. Cylinder A filled with beads - net weight - 22.0 g. My unknown volume container holds 1678.7 g of beads. How the heck do I determine the volume of my container with this information?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2008 #2
    Of course, you are asked for an inexact solution. You need to make the assumption that the (weight of container filled with water) : (weight of container filled with Styrofoam beads) ratio is unchanged across containers. Are you sure this not a homework question?
     
  4. Feb 22, 2008 #3
    I wish - I'm 23 years removed from college, (forgot more than I've learned) and I'm trying to get this answer for a problem at my job.
     
  5. Feb 22, 2008 #4
    huh? i don't understand what information you have? you know how much the water weighs that fills the container?if you do then the volume of your container is that weight divided by the density of water.
     
  6. Feb 22, 2008 #5

    CRGreathouse

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    So you have

    A: 22g of beads = 1231g of water
    B: 1678.7g of beads

    If the bags fill similarly, then we'd expect bag B to hold 1678.7g * (1231 / 22) = 93931g of water. Water is roughly 1 mL/g -- at 18 degrees I think it's a little more, but the error in the bead/water conversion is probably large enough that I wouldn't bother -- making the volume 93931 mL = 93.931 L. This probably has no more than 2 significant decimal places, so I'd report it as 94 liters of capacity.
     
  7. Feb 22, 2008 #6

    CRGreathouse

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    If the containers are rigid (like a metal box instead of a backpack), then there's little enough error that dealing with the temperature makes sense. This page has densities for water based on temperature. In particular, it gives 0.998595 g/mL at 18 degrees C, giving volume per gram 1.00140698 mL/g. That gives a total volume of 94.063 liters.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: How do I calculate the volume of an irregular container using styrofoam beads?
  1. How do I use a:b ? (Replies: 1)

Loading...