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An Experimental Study on Measurement Methods of Bulk Density and Porosity of Rock Samples

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DOI: 10.4236/gep.2015.35009    3,812 Downloads   4,903 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Density and porosity are fundamental and important physical properties of rocks in various geological problems, and affect the other physical properties. Therefore, measurements of density and porosity of rock samples are important investigation items in both geo-science and geo-engineering areas. Several measurement techniques of the density and porosity are available and being applied currently. To ensure the data quality and to conduct its quality assessment, comparison of measurement results by different measurement techniques is necessary since the techniques are based on different principles and test procedures. In this study, we collected eight types of rock samples including a gabbro, a granite, four sandstones, a welded tuff and a mudstone as study materials, and also prepared several metal specimens for the experimental comparison. The porosities of the eight rocks covered a very wide range from 0.3% to 50% approximately. We employed three methods (caliper, buoyancy and helium-displacement pycnometer) to measure volumes of regularly-shaped specimens and to determine their bulk densities and porosities. As a result, the three techniques yielded almost same bulk densities and porosities for all the specimens. In addition, we also applied mercury intrusion porosimetry to measure density and porosity as well as to determine pore size distribution of the rock samples. Porosity values obtained by the porosimetry method were underestimated in the case of high-porosity (soft) rock samples and overestimated for the very low-porosity rock samples. Ability to determine pore size distribution, however, is a very important advantage of the porosimetry method.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Lin, W. , Tadai, O. , Takahashi, M. , Sato, D. , Hirose, T. , Tanikawa, W. , Hamada, Y. and Hatakeda, K. (2015) An Experimental Study on Measurement Methods of Bulk Density and Porosity of Rock Samples. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 72-79. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.35009.

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