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post #1 of 4 Old 10-20-2013, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Torque Semantics

Every Sunday, when I watch football and am assailed by a barrage of Ram/Silverado/F150 pickup ads, I've noticed they express torque in terms of Pound/Feet.

I've always known torque to be Foot/Pounds.

Is there a difference, is it just a marketing thing?



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post #2 of 4 Old 10-20-2013, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
Every Sunday, when I watch football and am assailed by a barrage of Ram/Silverado/F150 pickup ads, I've noticed they express torque in terms of Pound/Feet.

I've always known torque to be Foot/Pounds.

Is there a difference, is it just a marketing thing?
Don't want to put too fine a point on it, but . . . there's such a thing as a pound mass, and a pound force.

Torque is always a product of pounds force times distance. Thus, whether ft-lbs [force], or lbs [force]-ft, the product is the same.

As the extract from Wikipedia shows, "force" is often left off the designation of values for torque units:
Quote:
In Imperial units, "pound-force-feet" (lb·ft), "foot-pounds-force", "inch-pounds-force", "ounce-force-inches" (oz·in) are used, and other non-SI units of torque includes "metre-kilograms-force". For all these units, the word "force" is often left out,[10] for example abbreviating "pound-force-foot" to simply "pound-foot" (in this case, it would be implicit that the "pound" is pound-force and not pound-mass). This is an example of the confusion caused by the use of traditional units that may be avoided with SI units because of the careful distinction in SI between force (in newtons) and mass (in kilograms).
A torque unit in the metric system is the Newton-meter; less confusing than dealing with foot-pounds (force), because--the Newton is ALWAYS a unit of force, a meter always a unit of length.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-20-2013, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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You would think that for anybody who really even cares how many "pound feet" of torque their pickups have, they would express it in a terminology more familiar to the masses, and especially masses of guys who have grown up with "foot pounds." I'll chalk it up as some kind of psychological/marketing thing aimed at those who have an urgent need to move boulders or drive up circular, spiraling ramps full of spitting flames.

Me? I completely understand the "torque is what gets the cap off your beer" pitch (Chevy, I think); now that's marketing a target audience......



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post #4 of 4 Old 10-21-2013, 12:47 AM
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Technically speaking, it's the same thing. As planalp mentioned, it is a product. A product is simply a multiplication. In torque's case, it's a distance (ft) times a force (lbs) and you get ft*lbs, more commonly expressed as ft-lbs.

In math land it doesn't mater if you reverse the order of the two when obtaining a product (multiplication), the result is the same. Example: 2x10 = 20 or; 10x2 = 20. Given this, ft-lbs is the same as lbs-ft.
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