Re: SI for inch-pound

Subject: Re: SI for inch-pound
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 3 Feb 1996 08:33:00 EST

>>Which metric measurement would be used in place of the US "45 inch-pounds"?
>>The only two choices I know of are "52,000 grams-centimeter" and "0.5
>>meter". (Or should I have said "52.000 grams-centimer" and "0,5 kilograms-
>1) I think it should be "kilogram-metres" outside the US (Note (a) the
>placing of the plural, (b) the spelling "metre".)

>2) I can't think of any English-speaking country that uses a decimal comma,
>rather than a decimal point. Doubtless somebody will enlighten me.

1. Foreign readers usually recognize "meter-metre" as being synonymous,
especially in the context. As to the replacement for "inch-pounds," being a
unit of torque, the measurement has to include both a distance and a force,
in this case mass and gravity combined. The usual SI (not metric) unit is
"kilogram-meters". But from a mechanical point of view, "gram-centimeters"
would do just as nicely for tiny torques, although it may be somewhat
confusing. I think ".5 kilogram-meters" is suitable, unless you need greater
Remember that the entire unit is plural, not a component of the unit, so
it's "kilogram-meters," not "kilograms-meter." The user can then decide
which component he'll vary.

2. I know of no native-English country that uses the "dot" convention. The
Brits use our comma system for the most part. The Continent, on the other
hand, uses periods or spaces for large numbers. But it would be stretching a
point to call Germany, France et al "English-speaking" and I suspect that
citizens there would take exception (especially in France).

Tim Altom
Vice President
Simply Written, Inc.
Technical Documentation and Training
Voice 317.899.5882
Fax 317.899.5987

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