Unit of Torque

Before we dive into the unit of torque, we need to understand what torque is and a few related things. Having said that, if we recall learning about force, it is basically a form of energy that causes an object to move in a certain direction and to a certain distance. Likewise, when we talk about torque, it is nothing but the measure of the force that makes an object rotate on an axis and acquire angular acceleration. Torque is classified as a vector quantity and is typically represented by the symbol τ, which is a Greek letter tau in lowercase.

Now, let’s look at some of the units that are used to measure torque.

SI Unit of Torque

The SI unit for torque is the Newton-metre or kgm2sec-2. How have we come to this? If we look at the formula Torque = Force X Distance. While distance is measured in metres and force is measured in newton, so torque is measured in newton ⋅ metres.

However, students should remember one main point, which is energy and torque are not the same concepts. Therefore, we use different unit names which is newton metres for torque and joules for energy. This is done to avoid confusions and misunderstandings.

Other Torque Units

Torque is also sometimes measured in imperial units like inch-pounds-force, pound-force-feet (lbf⋅ft), ounce-force-inches (ozf⋅in) and foot-pounds-force. Some of the other non-SI units of torque include metre-kilograms-force.

Torque Units


Common symbols

τ, M

SI unit

N⋅m

In SI base units

kg⋅m2⋅s−2

Other units

pound-force-feet, ozf⋅in, lbf⋅inch

Dimension

ML2T−2

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