kilogram force

Convert between the kilogram-force and other major units of force.

Convert between kilogram-force per square centimeter and other major units of pressure.

Convert between kilogram-force meters and other major units of torque.

A unit of force, approximately the weight of a 1-kilogram mass on Earth, but the effects of location are eliminated by including in the definition a standard value for the acceleration due to gravity (or if you prefer, a standard weight-to-mass ratio). Symbol, kgf, but see below. One kilogram force is the force that a 1-kilogram mass exerts at a place where the acceleration due to gravity is 9.80665 meters per second per second. There is a corresponding gram-force. One kilogram force = exactly 9.806 65 newtons.

The symbols, kg, kg*, kgf, and kp have been used. In 1955 the International Standards Organization Technical Committee 12 discussed the possibility of standardizing on the symbol kgf. Austria, German and Sweden strongly objected, as in those nations the symbol kp (kilopond) had been adopted.  This difference led the SUN Commission to suggest that perhaps an entirely new name might be appropriate (see kilofors).¹

The term was once often hyphenated (for example, in the 1991 edition of NIST Special Publication 330, page 15), but the spelling currently preferred is kilogram force (as in the 2008 edition).

According to the current national standard in the United States², the kilogram force is not to be used. The newton should be used instead.

In 1971, the European Economic Community directed that use of this unit cease by 31 December 1977.3

1. SUN Commission Report. Document SUN 56-7.
Physics Today, volume 10, number 3, pages 30-35 (March 1957).

2. IEEE/ASTM SI 10™-2002.
American National Standard for Use of the International System of Units (SI): The Modern Metric System.
New York: IEEE, 30 December 2002.

See Section 3.3.3.

3. European Economic Community, Council Directive of 18 October 1971 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to units of measurement (Directive 71/354/EEC), Annex, Chapter III.

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