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Torque... We've been wrong all these years!
11

Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

(OP)
For many years we've rated our gear reducers in 'inch pounds'. Lately I've been noticing, mostly automotive and implement ads, torque being rated in 'pound inches' or 'pound feet'. Today I grabbed my Machinery's Handbook and there it is, "...pound-feet, pound-inches, kilogram-meters, etc." Wow, We've been wrong all these years!

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

The commutative property of multiplication at work.

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Ah... But they changed the sign convention at the same time, so if you rotate it 180̊ the old way still works. I learned and have used inch-pounds, etc. for so long that pound-inches seems awkward to me. I just assume the other guy doesn’t know any better.

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

2
kilogram-meter is an abomination

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

I am more accustomed to seeing units labeled "in-lbf" than "lbf-in" if that makes any difference. As far a I'm concerned they're interchangeable.

Keep em' Flying

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

I've always considered anyone who insisted it made a difference was a tool.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

2
For those who aren't aware, the issue arises from the fact that Energy and Torque have the same fundamental units, Force and Distance.

It could be confusing if one was dealing with Energy in Ft-Lbs and Torque in Ft-Lbs.

For example, 1HP is defined as 550 FT-Lbs per Second. Now, if you have an engine that can produce 1 HP, it has the power to lift an object with a weight of 550 pounds a distance of 1 foot in 1 second, or lift an object with a weight of 1 pound 550 feet in one second.

On the other hand, if you have a 550 Lb weight on the end of a 1 foot arm, it produces a torque of 550 Ft-Lb. It does it for one second if you leave it there for a second; it does it for an hour if you leave it for an hour. Noting is moving, there is no energy expended.

To keep the different uses of these fundamental units separate, the SAE (I think it was SAE) decided that energy would be described by Distance-Force, and torque by Force-Distance. The guys torqing nuts, bolts, etc..., however, didn't get the memo.

So Ft-Lbs describes the energy produced by an engine. Divided by time, it describes the power.
Lb-Ft describes the torque the engine can produce. When the RPM is defined, it also describes the power.

Ft-Lbs can also describe the tightening torque use on the head bolts. An engine that can produce 400 Lb-Ft or torque at 3800 RPM (280 HP) may need the head bolts tightened to 65 Ft-Lbs.

rp

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

(OP)
Thanks All. As it was explained to me way back in the dark ages by one of the Old Timers, "it is always easier to find a 1" long lever." K.

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Dgallup:
By ‘tool,’ do you mean a torque wrench?

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Quote (LiftDivergence)


I am more accustomed to seeing units labeled "in-lbf" than "lbf-in" if that makes any difference. As far a I'm concerned they're interchangeable.

Continuing with TheTick's point, what does that letter "f" tell us that the "lb" part did not?

--
JHG

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

2

The "f" in "lbf" refers to the word "force". This makes a distinction between pounds force and pounds mass. Simply putting "lb" is ambiguous, although it is generally easy to figure out from context. However, I always make a point to include the "f".

Keep em' Flying

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

I learned torque as lb-ft (actually lbf-ft) and work/energy as ft-lbf, but I can say it either way in conversation depending on the audience.

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Well, hopefully, you're a little more on top of your calculations so you don't have to tell torque from work by the order of the units.

One motivation for keeping the f on lbf is so you can figure out along the way if you need to throw a gc factor in there or not.

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

3
When it comes to lb vs lbm vs lbf I let them all just slug it out. Usually, the slug wins.

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Now don’t forget these “guys”… The blob is the inch version of the slug (1 blob = 1 lbf•s2/in = 12 slugs)
or equivalent to 175.126 kg. This unit is also called slinch (a portmanteau of the words slug and inch).
Slang terms include slugette, and a snail. Metric units include the "glug" in the centimetre-gram-second
system, and the "mug", "par", or "MTE" in the metre-kilogram-second system.

I cheated because I looked these up on the Net. In the past I worked with a loads engineer, RIP, who used
to call the inch version “sligs”… I like that better than any of the above. pipe

PS: I also was raised on inch-pounds as torque. I've been wrong for 60+ years!

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Quote (TheTick)

kilogram-meter is an abomination
True. we use Nm (newton-meter) over here...

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

1958 Edsel shop manual - "tighten all the (292 V8 connecting rod) nuts to 45-50 lbs. ft. torque."

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Tmoose,

In college, we were told by an instructor never to place an "s" after "lb". "lb" is Latin.

"lbi"?

--
JHG

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Until we hold some serious motivational seminars at NASA, including hot irons and bastinados, lbf vs lb is pretty stupid. We are trapped at the bottom of a 1G gravity-well. It would be real nice to have to engineer things for locations other than the surface of the Earth, but can't see it happening any time in my lifetime.

Unless i get to 'motivate' some folks.

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Any work that involves accelerations besides 1G cause a problem because one-lbm will not exert one-lbf.

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

To stretch the topic a bit, the units are actually a product of force times distance (or distance times force if you like). Therefore they would more properly be displayed as a product, e.g., ft•lb or lb•ft rather than either ft-lb (feet minus pounds) or ft/lb (feet divided by pounds).

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

metalonis,

ft/lb obviously is wrong. I use ft.lb. That middle dot comes from a mathematical font that may or may not be implemented on my computer, and that may or may not be implemented on the computer of whoever is reading my document.

--
JHG

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Duwe6(Industrial)... Were you around when NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter missed it's target in November 1999?
A failure occurred because one company worked with Newtons and the other company worked with pounds. Can't recall
but weren't there 2 space vehicles impacted? pipe

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Follow-up: 1999 was a bad year... Mars Climate Orbiter, Mars Polar Lander and Deep Space 2, Oops from 1999

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

GrandpaDave-

I have worked on numerous NASA programs over the past 25 years, including the ISS, Delta II, Delta IV, Space Shuttle, and the new SLS booster. All of the drawings, test requirements, etc. that I created used inches and pounds. For example, fastener torques were always defined in ft-lbs or in-lbs, areas were defined in in^2, pressures were defined in psig or psia, stresses were defined in lbs/in^2, etc. These programs all had a pretty good success rate. There was never a problem with how units were defined, in-lb or lb-in, since everyone involved knew what was implied.

While working on the Space Shuttle program at Rockwell, we had no problem working with Russian, Japanese, Italian, or even Canadian engineers and their engineering documents that used metric units.

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

If memory serves in that machinerys handbook it specifically notes that there is absolutely no difference
between ft.lbs and lbs.ft And besides common sense tells you its the same thing. Its the measure of torque with some unit of weight at the end of an arm. Isn't 100 ft lbs the same as 100 lbs ft?
Commutative property, so for example 12ft.lbs of torque.
You can either hang 12 pounds 1 foot from the center point on the arm, or you can hang 1 pound 12 feet from the center point, you get the same torque. Realistically the lever or arm has to be weightless, when hanging the weight out so far. I guess we can be picky about the "s".

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

I'm as picky about the s as I am with folks who want to call speed RPMS; neither should be done. Having spent 35 years working with torque motors, I have always used lb-in, lb-ft-s^2, same as all those who have used nm, kg-m, correctly since the beginning....

www.KilroyWasHere<dot>com

RE: Torque... We've been wrong all these years!

Back in university when working on assignments with classmates, I remember writing answers in "N*km" instead of the more common "kN*m" but nobody found it funny except me.

STF

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