# Construction Converter

**Calculating Volumes or Mass Through Densities**

When working within the context of construction or engineering, we often stumble upon conversion problems between volume and mass, which are always tied to the concept of density.

Density is a value that is always expressed as *MASS / VOLUME.*

**Calculating Density Manually**

Working with density is not difficult, as the unit of density in question is directly the expression of the formula we need, to calculate it.

The general formula requires us to know the volume (V) and the mass (M) in order to calculate the density (D).

D=\frac{M}{V}

**Working With Construction Material**

The most common usage for this formula can be when working with construction material. The densities of individual materials can be easily found online, on the packaging of the material, they can be requested from the seller of the material, or, simply, they can be found in our calculator directly from a menu that offers a wide array of material choices with their densities.

We often need to know the mass of our construction material, especially when built on fragile ground, where heavy loads could cause issues.

This often requires knowing the dimensions of our construction, then knowing the material we are planning to use, and finally, being able to calculate the mass of that material, based on the density.

Some commonly used construction materials, including their densities, are as follows:

Material | Density |
---|---|

Cement | 1,440 kg/m^{3} |

Steel | 7,850 kg/m^{3} |

Bricks | 1,600 to 2,000 kg/m^{3} |

The exact densities of material can differ across the globe, as local regulations and laws may permit different additives and safety requirements for the material itself.

**Worked-our Example**

We can calculate by having two of the three values: mass, volume, or density.

**EXAMPLE 1**

*A 4,000-pound pile of a specific material fits perfectly into a container with a volume of 2.5 ft ^{3}. What is the density of this material?*

We substitute M = 4,000 lb, and V = 2.5 ft^{3} into the formula.

D=\frac{M}{V}=\frac{4,000}{2.5}

=1,600 lb/ft^3

We use a unit of lb/ft^{3 }since we have our mass in pounds and volume in ft^{3}.

**EXAMPLE 2**

*A 2.88-tonne pile of sand has been delivered. What volume will this pile take up, assuming a density of 1,440 kg/m ^{3}?*

We will convert 2.88 tonnes = 2,880 kg.

We substitute M = 2,880 kg and D = 1,440 kg/m^{3} into the formula.

D=\frac{M}{V}

1,440 = \frac{2,880}{V}

1,440V = 2,880

V = 2

This means, that the volume of this pile of sand is 2 m^{3}.

**EXAMPLE 3**

*How heavy are 7 m ^{3} of a material with a density of 1,200 kg/m^{3}?*

We substitute V = 7 m^{3} and D = 1,200 kg/m^{3} into the formula.

D=\frac{M}{V}

1,200=\frac{M}{7}

8,400 = M

Hence, the weight of this material is 8,400 kg.