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Unit Conversion Factors

ENGLISH UNITS The following English units are commonly used in geotechnical engineering.
TABLE 1 Common English Units Unit Foot Inch Pound Kip (kilopound) Ton Second Pound per square foot Pound per square inch Pound per cubic foot Measurement Distance Distance Force or mass Force Force or mass Time Stress or pressure Stress or pressure Unit weight Symbol ft in. lb kip t s lb/ft2 or psf lb/in.2 or psi lb/ft3 or pcf

SI AND METRIC UNITS The following SI (Systme International) units are commonly used in geotechnical engineering.
TABLE 2 Common SI Units Unit Meter Gram Newton Pascal Kilonewton per cubic meter Second Measurement Distance Mass Force Stress or pressure Unit weight Time Symbol M g N Pa kN/m3 s

These units are often accompanied by the following prefixes.

TABLE 3 Common SI Prefixes Prefix milli centi kilo mega Symbol m c k M Multiplier 10 -3 10 -2 103 106

Some non-SI metric units also are used, especially in Europe.The most common example is the use of kg/cm2 as a unit of stress.

CONVERSION FACTORS The conversion factors in Tables 48 are useful for converting measurements between English, metric, and SI units. Most of these factors are rounded to four significant figures. Those in bold type are absolute conversion factors (e.g., 12 in. = 1 ft). When units of force are equated to units of mass, the acceleration 1F = ma2 is presumed to be 9.807 m/s 2 132.17 ft/s 22, which is the acceleration due to gravity on the earths surface. There are at least three definitions for the word ton: the 2000-lb short ton (commonly used in the United States and Canada), the 2240-lb long ton (used in Great Britain), and the 2205-lb (1000 kg) metric ton (also known as a tonne). A useful approximate conversion factor: 1 short ton/ft2 L 1kg/cm2 L 100 kPa L 1 atmosphere. These are true to within 2 to 4%.
TABLE 4 Units of Distance To Convert ft ft in. in. m mm To in. m t mm ft in. Multiply by 12 0.3048 1/12 25.40 3.281 0.03937

TABLE 5 Units of Force To Convert k k kgf kgf kgf kN lb lb lb lb lb N N ton (short) ton (long) ton (metric) To kN lb lb N ton (metric) k k kgf N ton (short) ton (long) kgf lb lb lb kgf Multiply by 4.448 1000 2.205 9.807 0.001 0.2248 0.001 0.4536 4.448 1/2000 1/2240 0.1020 0.2248 2000 2240 1000

TABLE 6 Units of Volume To Convert ft gal


To gal ft3

Multiply by 7.481 0.1337

TABLE 7 Units of Stress and Pressure To Convert atmosphere atmosphere bar kgf/cm2 kgf/cm2 kPa kPa kPa kPa kPa kPa lb/ft2 lb/ft2 lb/ft2 lb/in.2 lb/in.2 lb/in.2 metric ton/m2 MPa To lb/ft2 kPa kPa kPa lb/ft2 atmosphere bar kgf/cm2 lb/ft2 lb/in.2 metric ton/m2 atmosphere kPa lb/in.2 kPa lb/ft2 MPa kPa lb/in.2 Multiply by 2117 101.3 100 98.07 2048 0.009869 0.01 0.01020 20.89 0.1450 0.1020 4.725 * 10-4 0.04787 1/144 6.895 144 6.895 * 10-3 9.807 145.0

TABLE 8 Units of Unit Weight To Convert kN/m3 kN/m3 kN/m3 lb/ft3 metric ton/m3 Mgf/m3 To lb/ft3 metric ton/m3 Mgf/m3 kN/m3 kN/m3 kN/m3 Multiply by 6.366 0.1020 0.1020 0.1571 9.807 9.807