The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 47 (1969) > Issues > Issue 12 > Ci=omment on 'Change to Metric' by Peter S. Rhodes
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Ci=omment on 'Change to Metric' by Peter S. Rhodes

Mr. James Stevenson of Paisley and six colleagues at a College of Further Education commented that 'Change to Metric' lacked clarity in dealing with mass and weight; they conceded that the Imperial and metric systems confuse unit mass with unit force, 1 Ib with 1 Ibf and 1 kg with 1 kgf and that this results in misunderstandings during the analysis of problems involving both quantity and weight. The SI system, they point out, clearly differentiates between mass and force (as the author explained) but in the final paragraph on p. 335 the author mixed them up. Weight, they say, is a specific type of force and thus must always be quoted in Newtons; the same argument must also be applied to loads, whether gravity loads, dead loads or wind loads.