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Metric to Imperial and Imperial to Metric Conversion Charts


In September 1999 the Mars Climate Orbiter, after taking almost 10 months to travel to Mars, broke into pieces and burned up. The cause of this disaster was found to have been a failure to use the correct units. The software controlling the Orbiter’s thrusters had calculated the force they needed to exert in pounds but a second piece of software assumed the correct metric unit, ‘newtons per square metre’ had been used. The standard practice for space missions, to convert all units to metric, had not been carried out by the contractor, Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Colorado, which, like the rest of the U.S. used English, imperial measurements.

Even though the US Congress had adopted the standard SI metric system as the preferred measurement system for the United States, way back in 1975, the vast majority of businesses continue to use US customary units which are based on the English imperial system. This extreme example from NASA demonstrates the importance of getting it right when converting to and from metric units.

Product Dimensions

Many of the security screws, bolts and fastenings we supply from Insight Security require the definition of size. While here in the UK we are comfortable and familiar with the metric system, imperial units (miles, yards, feet and inches) are still commonly used in the USA. So we’ve put together a couple of useful metric to imperial and imperial to metric conversion charts that will hopefully help avoid any costly errors.

Metric to Imperial Conversion Chart

Click on the link below to see and download our metric to imperial conversion chart in PDF format.

metric to imperial conversion chart
Metric to Imperial Conversion Chart


Imperial to Metric Conversion Chart

Click on the link below to see and download our imperial to metric conversion chart in PDF format.

imperial to metric conversion chart
Imperial to Metric Conversion Chart


If you would like some free advice and guidance on any aspects of safety and security please don’t hesitate to call us on: 01273 475500

This message was added on Thursday 10th December 2020

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