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# Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

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## Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

(OP)
Just received some calcs for a temporary structure that was designed in the USA.

the max uplift on a base plate is given as 0.73K

Is K used as a designation for Tons in the states?

Many thanks for any help.
Replies continue below

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

"k" is used to indicate "thousand".  Some lazy folks will substitute "k" for "ksi" which is actualy "thousands of lbf/in^2".  I will never understand it, but I've made myself learn not to roll my eyes when I see this crap.

David

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

"K" stands for "Kips" or 1000 pounds.

"T" stands for "Tons" or 2000 pounds.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

Agree with Mike...k is for kips or 1000 lbf.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

Good catch with the "f" Ron.  Everything is relative.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

Yes.  K = KIP = 1000 lbf.  My understanding of where we get the word "kip" is a shorthand version of mixing metric and imperial units to get the word "kilopound."

And while we're on the subject of ridiculous prefixes for mathematical notations, when you get your gas bill or see quantities of natural gas bought or sold, you will see it sold in units of "MCF."  One MCF is a thousand cubic feet.  The "CF" part is obvious, but the "M" is less so.  It comes from the Latin numerical notation, where, of course, M = 1000.

Engineering is not the science behind building.  It is the science behind not building.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

Addendum: Where I stated "Yes.  K = KIP = 1000 lbf," I was saying yes to indicate I agreed with the other repsonses, not that I was saying yes to the OP's original question of "Is k used as a symbol for Tons in the USA"

My response is a "no" to the original question and a "yes" to the responses.

Engineering is not the science behind building.  It is the science behind not building.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

Msquared48 - I thought T might stand for tonnes - 2200 pounds, approx.  I usually love it when I see signs showing 30 KM - what dose Kelvin-Mega have to do with 30?

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

EngineerTex,

The "M" gets even dumber.  Yes one thousand cubic feet of gas is MCF.  To a Roman, "MM" is "Two Thousand".  To the Oil & Gas Industry "MM" is "One Thousand Thousand" or "One Million".  So we start by using Roman Numerals, then use them wrong.

I have never seen "T" mean "ton".  Maybe I just don't run in those circles.  I have seen it mean "tonne", but rarely in the U.S.

David

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

Big H

At 2200#, I believe that you are referring to the British "Long Tonne".  In the states, a Ton is 2000# (force of course).

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

No, a long ton and a tonne are two different things.  A long ton is 2240 pounds, a tonne is 1000 kilograms, both units of mass.  There are/have been lots of different usages of the word ton, including as a unit of volume in transport.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

And as a speed, as in "doing the ton" for 100mph.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

A century made in cricket is also called a ton.  Very adaptable word.  But then, a kip in Australia means a nap, which I am due for.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

tonne means, as said, 1000 kg (or 2204.8 pounds).  Normally our specifications are in SI and this means kN, m, etc. but where I thought that things would be clearer, they are clouded by the fact that some report steel strengths in MPa (preferred), N/mm2 (which, yes, I know = MPa), kg/m3, t/m3 etc.  Damn, I liked ksi!

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

According to the SI symbology k = 103 and K is the kelvin a unit of thermodynamic temperature.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

K is also my daughter's first initial.

When we were in the process of conversion all those years ago, I seem to recall that "T" designated the new Tonnes, while "t" denoted the old tons (long tons generally, but there was always confusion about whether they meant short tons).

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

JohnGP,

In the SI metric system, "t" = tonne = 1,000 kg (unit of mass); "T" = tera = metric prefix for 10^12.

"Tt" = tera-tonne = 10^12 tonnes = 10^15 kg. (Rarely used; probably comes in handy for specifying the mass of a typical asteroid! )

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

Anyone here remember "old money", where prices were quoted using "lsd"?

- Steve

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

"k" as a standalone unit is generally used by city boys describing their salaries.  The kilo-pound/year.

- Steve

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

In mulling this over, I have the feeling that "k" is simply a shortened version of "ok"

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

BigH...according to my 17-year old, that's the texting version.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

That was our Asian dynamics lecturer.

OK was shortened to 'k' and was used to mean a rhetorical "do you understand?".

Which wouldn't have been so bad except almost every damn formula had one or more 'k' in it.

So the formula would be explained and then there'd be the question of if the 'k' at the end was part of the formula or him asking if we understood.

Not my highest graded subject.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

A lot of arithmetic in "Asian Dynamics".  Seems like it would be mostly partial derivitives and stuff without many constants.

David

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

Around where I live, you have to be sure to include the "o" in "ok."  Otherwise, it's often confused with "que?"  And that means something different altogether.

And while we're on the subject of "ok," the term "ok" has spread into every living language and is understood to mean the same thing across every culture.  No, I cannot cite my source, but I read it on the internet some time ago, so it must be true.

Engineering is not the science behind building.  It is the science behind not building.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

Every country in which I have worked has always use "ok" meaning, well, "ok." - until I went to India (correct me if I am wrong Arunmrao) - where they said "tk" (prounced tea-k".  It was close . . .

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

Don't forget the beer measure of a tun - 210 imperial gallons i.e. 1680 pints of beer!!!  3 firkins worth.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

That would last about a week or less at my Toronto fraternity!

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

To JohnGP and hokie66, this is because in the UK 'ton' is also slang for 100, quite often used to denote £100.
Informally, to distinguish between metric and imperial, ton is pronounced as spelled and tonne pronounced 'tonney'.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

I'm supprised no one has mentioned the HVAC notation for ton in sizing Air Conditioning systems.  I think it represents 12 000 BTU of cooling or something.  I'm thinking about this because my AC went out this weekend and I was most unhappy.  Replaced the blower motor and joy is restored.

-Kirby

Kirby Wilkerson

Remember, first define the problem, then solve it.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

To Axewielder, I think we started with saying 'tonneys' in Australia in the '70s for the new tonnes, but tons were always pronounced 'tunns'. Now it's just 'tonns' for tonnes.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

Although I work most of my calcs in kips, if I want to impress the attorney or the owner as to the urgency or importance of this number, I'll also provide the answer in tons.  Most of these people know it's a big number but rarely how big.

So for steel and concrete, we use kips - i.e. ft-kips, in-kips, kip/in2 or even ksi.

For lumber, it's always in pounds

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

IMO, if you have to question the usage of the symbol then you're better off just calling the company and asking an engineer that works there what they meant.  There are so many uses of symbols that people often confuse them and going to the source will solve your questions.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

NomLaser... while I have to agree and so many would too... I would hope to think that this forum is for discussion and learning, as appose to crystal balling into the author's mind...

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

The 'ton' unit in HVAC came from the amount of heat required to melt a ton (2000 lb-m?) of ice in an hour - which is how they used to do air-con, blowing air over block of ice.  12,000 BTUh is just an equivalent.  Still used extensively all over world, metric counties included, for large plant and basic unit sizing.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

KiwiMace,

Thanks, I wondered where the term came from.

-Kirby

Kirby Wilkerson

Remember, first define the problem, then solve it.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

One ton of refrigeration will freeze one ton of water in 24 hours (not one hour).

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

What's an order of magnitude between friends?

-Kirby

Kirby Wilkerson

Remember, first define the problem, then solve it.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

My bad. Think first then push enter.

### RE: Is k used to as a simbol for Tons in the USA

#### Quote:

Every country in which I have worked has always use "ok" meaning, well, "ok." - until I went to India (correct me if I am wrong Arunmrao) - where they said "tk" (prounced tea-k".  It was close . . .

The phrase is "thik hai"

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