Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Torque and pressure units

Conversions are a big part of translation. Google will convert a lot of measurements right from the search bar, but not torque. So I found two other converters (here and here).


I have had one heck of a time with these units in the past, so here’s some knowledge:

Torque is force + distance around an axis (how tightly something should be twisted or screwed, basically). Typically you’ll see the units lb-in (“pound inch” or “inch pound”) or lb-ft (“pound foot” or “foot pound”) in English source material, which should both be converted to N-m (Newton meters), abbreviated as N-m, N∙m, or N m to distinquish from nm (nanometers, length) and nM (nanomolars, concentration of solutions).

Also don’t confuse N-m with N/m2 – this is a pressure measurement (force per area). 1 N/m2 = 1 Pa (Pascal). These are the SI units where often PSI (pounds per square inch) or bars are the measurements seen in English source material. Bars are not technically SI units, but are acceptable and legally recognized by the EU and the most common conversion unit when PSI are used in the source.

Often times torque and pressure units are both present in technical documents, so be careful! 

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