Is sand heavier than water

Which is heavier: wet or dry sand?

Are you building a house and wondering if wet or dry sand is heavier? Intuitively, one could immediately think that the wet sand has to be clearly heavier, since the weight of the water is added to the weight of the sand. But is it really that simple?

Wet and dry sand - density is crucial

The argument that the weight of the water is added to the weight of the sand is of course not helpful. The decisive factor is rather the density of the individual substances. Density is the ratio of the mass of a body to its volume. If you have specified a certain volume, then a greater density also leads to a greater mass, i.e. the body is heavier.

  • Water now has a slightly lower density than sand. The density of water is 1 kg / dm3, the density of sand (drier) varies between 1.3 kg / dm depending on the mix and type3 and 1.8 kg / dm3.
  • So you can already imagine that if you mix both substances, the weight of the sand-water mixture will be a little lower because the mean density is lower than that of pure sand. You can check this in a small experiment. Fill two cups of the same size with sand and use wet sand for one cup.
  • Now weigh both cups and your experiment should confirm your assumption. Wet sand is therefore lighter than dry sand.

More reasons why dry sand is heavier

  • Another reason why wet sand is lighter than dry sand is the adhesive forces between the two fabrics. When you moisten water, so-called water bridges form. Due to the water bridges, the distance between the individual grains of sand increases. It is also possible that air is trapped in the gaps.
  • The consequence of this is as already suspected above; moist sand has a lower density than dry sand. If you assume the same volume, then the greater density leads to a greater mass, so dry sand is heavier.

As you can see, at first glance the result seems a bit surprising. If you think about it for a long time, however, the connections become clear.

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