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Re: Conversion to Metrics

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Fellow engineers,

This is one of my pet topics. There are three points I would like to bring to your attention. I will save the best for last.

1.) When Britain, Australia, and other British commonwealth countries changed from British Imperial measurements to SI metric Canada would have been the only country in the world left on the old system. It was, therefore, necessary for us to change to something, either U.S.A. standard or to SI metric; we chose SI metric.

2.) Regarding the use of a 12 based system instead of a 10 based system: the major difference, as I see it is that the 12 has two sets of factors (2,6) and 4,3) whereas 10 has only one (2,5). There would be significant benefits in changing, however, the the extreme complications of changing everything would would be far, far worse than staying with the system we have.

3.) For a really terrifying example of what can go wrong during metric conversion you need only consider the case of the "Gimli Glider". You can Google it under Gimli Glider. This was Air Canada Flight 143, a brand new Boeing 767, set to fly non stop from Montreal to Edmonton in 1983. Due to a mistake in metric conversion complicated by faulty fuel gages (on a brand new plane, yet) they ran out of fuel, in the middle of the Canada, about half way through the flight. Fortunately, the pilot knew how to fly a glider; and someone, either in the flight crew or on the air traffic control team, remembered that there was an abandoned WW II airfield near Gimli, Manitoba where they were able to land. I'm sure that more than a few people had to wash underwear after that experience!



On 20/03/2015 10:40 AM, Lloyd Pack, P.E. wrote:
Hello Alex,

First the disclaimer:  I'm not as good or proficient at this as
my brother who introduced it to me, so I might not get it quite
right, but I'll give it a try.

The issue with base 12 in packaging has to do with a couple of different

(BTW, you can find an article here:
<> , it's about
2/3 of the way down on the right hand column)

Firstly, most of our shipping and packaging is in cuboidal containers.
Semi-truck trailers are big cubic boxes.  The filling of this is most
efficiently done in a cubic fashion. So we use pallets that are rectangular in shape. We then have to load a pallet in as most efficient manner as
possible, because the most expensive thing to ship is wasted space/air.
This efficiency demands cuboidal boxes or containers.

Truncated 3006 characters in the previous message to save energy.

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