Metrication — SI in America

by Cornelius Wandmacher, (F.ASCE), Dean; Coll. of Engrg., Univ. of Cincinnati, Ohio,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 1, Pg. 25-35

Document Type: Journal Paper


The modernized metric system of measuring units, officially known as Le Systeme International de Unites, commonly referred to as SI, is rapidly gaining recognition. SI builds upon the mksa system and introduces: Newton (N) as the unit of force; pascal(Pa) as the unit of stress, pressure, and modules; celsius (V—) for temperature; joule (J) for all forms of work, energy, and heat; and watt (W) for power. A real advantage of the changeover to SI would be closer relationships amongst all branches of Engineering and with science. SI is an absolute system, based on the kilogram (kg) as the unit of mass. It is essential to comprehend the intrinsic value of the whole pattern of SI as a system, over and beyond the bare details of direct numerical conversion in unit factors. By 1975 the United States may be the only major industrial country still committed to the foot—pound—gallon system. Change to SI would reinforce continuance of English as the major technical language worldwide. Increased United States participation in the work of the International Standards (ISO) is essential.

Subject Headings: Metric systems | Temperature effects | Numerical methods | Industries | Standards and codes | United States

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