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Wikipedia.png This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Kilogram-force. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Units of Measurement Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under Creative Commons License see Wikia:Licensing.

The kilogram-force (kgf or kgF), or kilopond (kp, from Latin pondus meaning weight), is a gravitational metric unit of force. It is equal to the magnitude of the force exerted by one kilogram of mass in a 9.80665 m/s2 gravitational field (standard gravity, a conventional value approximating the average magnitude of gravity on Earth).[1] Therefore one kilogram-force is by definition equal to 9.80665 N.[2][3] Similarly, a gram-force is 9.80665 mN, and a milligram-force is 9.80665 uN.

One kilogram-force is approximately 2.204622 pounds.

History Edit

The gram-force and kilogram-force were never well-defined units until the CGPM adopted a standard acceleration of gravity of 980.665 cm/s2 for this purpose in 1901, though they had been used in low-precision measurements of force before that time. The kilogram-force has never been a part of the International System of Units (SI), which was introduced in 1960. The SI unit of force is the newton.

Prior to this, the unit was widely used in much of the world and it is still in use for some purposes. The thrust of a rocket engine, for example, was measured in kilograms-force in 1940s Germany, in the Soviet Union (where it remained the primary unit for thrust in the Russian space program until at least the late 1980s), and it is still used today in China and sometimes by the European Space Agency.

It is also used for tension of bicycle spokes, for torque measured in "meter-kilograms", for informal references to pressure in kilograms per square centimeter (1 kp/cm² = 1 at ≈ 1 bar ≈ 1 atm), for the draw weight of bows in archery, and to define the "metric horsepower" (PS) as 75 meter-kiloponds per second[2] or the technical atmosphere (at) as 1 kilopond per square centimeter.

Three approaches to mass and force units[4][5]

v · d · e


force, length, time weight, length, time mass, length, time
Force (F) F = m·a = w·a/g F = m·a/gc = w·a/g F = m·a = w·a/g
Weight (w) w = m·g w = m·g/gc ≈ m w = m·g
Acceleration (a) ft/s2 m/s2 ft/s2 m/s2 ft/s2 gal m/s2 m/s2
Mass (m) slug hyl, also called “metric slug” or “TME” lbm kg lb g t kg
Force (F) lb kp lbF kp pdl dyn sn N
Pressure (p) lb/in2 at PSI atm pdl/ft2 Ba pz Pa

Related units Edit

The tonne-force, metric ton-force, megagram-force, and megapond (Mp) are each 1000 kilograms-force.

The decanewton or dekanewton (daN) is used in some fields as an approximation to the kilogram-force, being exactly rather than approximately 10 newtons.

Units of force

v · d · e

(SI unit)
dyne kilogram-force,
pound-force poundal
1 N ≡ 1 kg·m/s² = 105 dyn ≈ 0.10197 kp ≈ 0.22481 lbF ≈ 7.2330 pdl
1 dyn = 10−5 N ≡ 1 g·cm/s² ≈ 1.0197×10−6 kp ≈ 2.2481×10−6 lbF ≈ 7.2330×10−5 pdl
1 kp = 9.80665 N = 980665 dyn gn·(1 kg) ≈ 2.2046 lbF ≈ 70.932 pdl
1 lbF ≈ 4.448222 N ≈ 444822 dyn ≈ 0.45359 kp gn·(1 lb) ≈ 32.174 pdl
1 pdl ≈ 0.138255 N ≈ 13825 dyn ≈ 0.014098 kp ≈ 0.031081 lbF ≡ 1 lb·ft/s²
The value of gn as used in the official definition of the kilogram-force is used here for all gravitational units.

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  1. The international system of units (SI)United States Department of Commerce, NIST Special Publication 330, 2008, p. 52
  2. 2.0 2.1 NIST Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI) Special Publication 811, (1995) page 51
  3. BIPM SI brochure, chapter 2.2.2.
  4. Lindeburg, Michael, Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam 
  5. Wurbs, Ralph A, Fort Hood Review Sessions for Professional Engineering Exam,, retrieved October 26, 2011 

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