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How to calculate density from viscosity

Updated March 23, 2017

There are two types of viscosity: kinematic viscosity and dynamic viscosity. Kinematic viscosity measures the comparative rate at which a liquid or gas flows. Dynamic viscosity measures a gas's or liquid's resistance to flow as force is applied to it. You must know both the kinematic and dynamic viscosity of a gas or liquid to calculate its density. Knowing just one of the values is not enough, because neither viscosity value has a direct enough mathematical relationship to density.

Write the equation for density, given both the dynamic and kinematic viscosity of a substance. The equation is:

Density = Dynamic viscosity / Kinematic viscosity

Substitute both the values for dynamic and kinematic viscosity into the equation for density. For example, consider a fluid with a dynamic viscosity of 6 Pascal seconds and a kinematic viscosity of 2 square meters per second, the equation would look like this:

Density = 6 / 2

Perform the calculation and express the density in kilograms per cubic meter. In the example, the answer would look like this:

Density = 6 / 2 = 3 kilograms per cubic meter

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About the Author

Timothy Banas has a master's degree in biophysics and was a high school science teacher in Chicago for seven years. He has since been working as a trading systems analyst, standardized test item developer, and freelance writer. As a freelancer, he has written articles on everything from personal finances to computer technology.