How many tons is a cubic meter

Converting cubic meters to tons - this is how it works

Cubic meters and tons - two different units

  • A simple conversion of the two units mentioned is not possible at first, in the same way as you convert kilograms into tons. This is because they are two different sizes.
  • The unit "cubic meter" (abbreviated m³) includes the volume, also the volume, of a body. The unit "tons" (abbreviated t) belongs to a weight, physically also called mass.

The conversion takes place via a detour

  • Just as you cannot convert seconds to meters, neither can you convert cubic meters to tons. Just imagine that bodies of the same weight can take up different volumes - just think of feathers and irons. And one cubic meter of water will certainly have a completely different weight than one cubic meter of lead.
  • In the simplest case, the material is water. The simple rule that applies here is that one cubic decimeter (i.e. 1 dm³) weighs one kilogram (1 kg) under normal conditions. One cubic meter of water has exactly 1000 dm³. So this volume weighs exactly 1000 kg. And that's exactly a ton. In the case of water, the conversion is easy, 1 m³ of water weighs exactly 1 t.
  • With other materials, density plays a role. Density is defined as mass (weight) per volume. As a formula write d = m / V. In many cases the unit is kg / m³ or g / cm³.
  • Take iron as an example, the density of which is given as d = 7874 kg / m³ (table book, Internet). Accordingly, the conversion takes place that one cubic meter of iron weighs 7874 kilograms. That is 7,874 tons, so almost 8 tons. What a difference to water.

Conclusion: If the density of the material is less than that of water, then one cubic meter of the material weighs less than a ton. The conversion for water is 1: 1. For materials with high densities, such as iron, you have to deal with several tons of weight.

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