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Metric Ton - Unit of Weight

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What is a Metric Ton?

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The metric ton is a measuring unit of weight. It is used in a maximum number of countries and one metric ton means a thousand kilograms of weight. Generally, one metric ton is also equivalent to 2204.6 pounds. The terminology metric ton is derived from the word tun. Usually, tuns are large or huge barrels used to trade wine in most regions of the world. The term tun again has been derived from the French word Tonnerre which means thunder. It is because of the large rumbling noise these barrels produce while being transferred from one location to the other due to rolling. Let’s take a deeper look into what metric ton means actually.

What is Mt in Weight?

Often mt is used in measuring weight. But what is mt in weight? The abbreviation mt means in weight as simply the unit metric ton. In the avoirdupois system of units, the ton is one of the major units of weight. It is approved worldwide. In the United States of America, one metric ton means 907. 18 kilograms or two thousand pounds. While in Britain, per metric ton is equivalent to 1016.05 kilograms or two thousand two hundred and forty pounds. The former is known as the short ton while the latter is known as the long ton. Now, a metric ton is acclaimed in most of the countries worldwide as thousand kilograms or 2204.6 pounds as stated before. The metric ton or tonne is equivalent to 0.984 long tons and similarly 1.102 short tons. The same weight can be expressed as Mega gram which is the official SI unit. But this unit is not as popular as ton in general.

Symbol of Metric Ton

Now, that we know what is a metric ton, we can proceed with knowing its symbol and abbreviations. The international bureau of weights and measures has given the symbol t for tonne. It was later accepted as the official unit back in 1879. The metric ton in the USA has also been officially accepted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. But one thing to be remembered is that it is the symbol and not the abbreviation. It should not be followed by a period. But some letter case combinations can lead to confusion. For example, MT, mt, mT, T, and Mt are SI units used for mega tesla, millitonne or a kilogram, mini tesla, tesla, and megatonne respectively. Like, in terms of energy a megaton of TNT is equivalent to 4.184 pent joules. 

Alternative Metric Ton Usage

Metric ton in the US metal trading industry usually means ten kilograms. Generally, it also refers to the metric ton of an ore that will contain one percent of the original metal. Also, in the case of MTU, it is referred to as metric tons of uranium or thousand kilograms of uranium. In the coal mining industry gigaton is also used. 

Ton also gave birth to a new unit of force just like kilograms and grams. It is known as a tonne force and is equal to 9.8 kilos Newton. It is also referred to as metric ton or tonne, in general, to be referred to as a unit of force. The metric tonne force or tonne force is not acceptable by the SI unit standards. While tonne as a mass unit is acceptable. It is because tonne force is not an exact multiple of Newton which is the SI unit of force.

Ton as a Unit of Volume

Often, the freight itself or a ship’s cargo capacity is also referred to as ton. Here ton or metric ton is referred to as a unit of volume. Forty cubic feet is known as measurement ton. The register ton refers to hundred cubic feet. 35 cubic feet is also known as a long ton of seawater traditionally. The English water ton is equivalent to 224 BIS gallons used to measure petroleum products. We also have a wheat ton and timber ton of 20 bushels and 40 cubic meters respectively. But generally, metric ton means a 1000 kilograms. The units of Imperial United States Customary as well as tonne or metric ton, both are spelled as ton in English. But they may differ in mass.

Did You Know?

  • In 1985, the Weights and Measures Act of the UK banned the use of many imperial units which included tons.

  • A full tun or barrels used for wine trade easily weighed one tonne due to which the term ton or tonne was developed from the word tun and is equal to a thousand kilograms.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Derived Units of the Metric Ton?

Answer: Thousands of millions of tons are usually said concerning multiples of the ton. TNT equivalent mass or energy emitted during a nuclear explosion is measured in terms of gigatonne, megatonne, or kilotonne. Tens multiple of three is known as kilotonne. Similarly, for multiples of 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 we have megatonne, gigatonne, teratonne, petatonne, and exatonne respectively. One metric ton or simply a tonne is equivalent to thousands of kilograms. Further, it is also the mass of a cubic meter of pure water at 4 degrees centigrade. Hence, the absolute mass of about a thousand liters of water is one metric ton. It is equal to 2204.6 pounds, 0.907 short tons, and 1.016 long tons approximately.

2. What is a Metric Ton?

Answer: One of the very basic questions to ask is what is a metric ton. A metric ton is a very basic unit of measurement used to measure weight. It is equivalent to a thousand kilograms and can be interconverted. The full form of mt in weight is also metric ton. In the English language, the original spelling is a tonne. In the USA, the tonne is referred to as the metric ton as recommended by the prestigious NIST as they also have concepts of short ton and long ton. The imperial ton was considered to be twenty hundredweights or 2240 pounds before the UK metrication. Tun is the word from which tonne or ton was developed which means large barrels or casks. These were used for the wine trade across France and Germany.