Density of Common Substances

Ice Block
Find out the density of common substances, including ice. Erik Dreyer/Getty Images

The table below shows the density of some common substances, in units of kilograms per cubic meter. Some of these values may certainly seem counter-intuitive ... one would not expect mercury (which is a liquid) to be more dense than iron, for example.

Notice that ice has a lower density than either water (freshwater) or seawater (saltwater), so it will float in them. Seawater, however, has a higher density than freshwater, which means that the seawater will sink when it comes in contact with freshwater.

This behavior causes many significant ocean currents and the concern of glacier melting is that it will alter the flow of seawater -- all from the basic functioning of density.

To convert the density to grams per cubic centimeter, merely divide the values in the table by 1,000.

Density of Common Substances

MaterialDensity (kg/m3)
Air (1 atm, 20 degrees C1.20
Aluminum2,700
Benzene900
Blood1,600
Brass8,600
Concrete2,000
Copper8,900
Ethanol810
Glycerin1,260
Gold19,300
Ice920
Iron7,800
Lead11,300
Mercury13,600
Neutron star1018
Platinum21,400
Seawater (Saltwater)1,030
Silver10,500
Steel7,800
Water (Freshwater)1,000
White dwarf star1010
  
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Jones, Andrew Zimmerman. "Density of Common Substances." ThoughtCo, May. 13, 2017, thoughtco.com/density-of-common-substances-2698949. Jones, Andrew Zimmerman. (2017, May 13). Density of Common Substances. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/density-of-common-substances-2698949 Jones, Andrew Zimmerman. "Density of Common Substances." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/density-of-common-substances-2698949 (accessed November 21, 2017).