From Civil Engineering Formulas

Civil engineers throughout the world accept both the United States Customary System (USCS) and the System International (SI) units of measure for both applied and theoretical calculations. However, the SI units are much more widely used than those of the USCS. Hence, both the USCS and the SI units are presented for essentially every formula in this book. Thus, the user of the book can apply the formulas with confidence anywhere in the world.

To permit even wider use of this text, this chapter contains the conversion factors needed to switch from one system to the other. For engineers unfamiliar with either system of units, the author suggests the following steps for becoming acquainted with the unknown system:

  1. Prepare a list of measurements commonly used in your daily work.

  2. Insert, opposite each known unit, the unit from the other system. Table 1.1 shows such a list of USCS units with corresponding SI units and symbols prepared by a civil engineer who normally uses the USCS. The SI units shown in Table 1.1 were obtained from Table 1.3 by the engineer.

  3. Find, from a table of conversion factors, such as Table 1.3, the value used to convert from USCS to SI units. Insert each appropriate value in Table 1.2 from Table 1.3.

  4. Apply the conversion values wherever necessary for the formulas in this book.

  5. Recognize here and now that the most difficult aspect of becoming familiar with a new system of measurement is becoming...

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