Standard Test Method for Bulk Density of Granular Refractory Materials

A 3 mesh by 8 mesh specimen of about 70 gm is weighed, boiled in water, and its volume measured using a buret. A sample of at least 5.5 lbs. should be submitted as recommended by ASTM.

$190 per specimen



Granular refractory materials may be either refractory grain raw materials that are used in the manufacture of finished refractory products, or bulk granular refractory materials that are sold, with or without some degree of processing, to refractory consumers for various uses. In either case, characterizing the properties of a granular refractory material is essential in evaluating its quality or consistency of quality and in determining suitability for end use. One of the important properties is bulk density because of its relationship to end product quality, usage, and performance.

The refractories producer can use this test method as one of the quality-control tests for his manufactured or mined refractory grain raw materials or for evaluating potential refractory grain raw materials.

For the refractories consumer, the principal use of this test method is in the evaluation of the quality or the consistency of quality of the granular material in purchased refractory mixes or in bulk granular refractory materials used by the consumer.

This is a primary test method, and thus is suitable for use in specifications, quality control, and research and development. It can also serve as a referee test method in purchasing contracts or agreements and as a base for development of more rapid, secondary test methods for use in quality control on manufactured refractory raw materials.

Fundamental assumptions inherent in this test method are that the sample is representative of the material in general, the particle size of the sample is within the range specified by the test method, the material is not readily hydratable, and the size and quantity of pores in the material permits removal of surface water without drainage from the pores themselves. Deviation from any of these assumptions negates the usefulness of the test results.

In interpreting the results of this test method, it must be recognized that the specific gravity of the material as well as the porosity affects the value obtained for bulk density. Thus, comparisons of results should only be made between like materials or with full recognition of inherent differences between the materials being compared.


1.1 This test method covers a procedure for determining the bulk density of granular refractory materials, commercial products which usually have particles that are retained on a 0.265-in. (6.7-mm) or coarser sieve.

Note 1-This test method is not suitable for materials that hydrate in boiling water.


Extracted, with permission, from ASTM C357 Standard Test Method for Bulk Density of Granular Refractory Materials, copyright ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428. A copy of the standard may be purchased from ASTM International, phone 610-832-9555, e-mail:,


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