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Why America Uses the Metric System and What Welders Do About It

Standards and rules are very important to the manufacturing world. They allow for consistency across industries. They promote safety and performance. They reduce cost and confusion. 

If it wasn’t for universally accepted standards, the fabrication world would be a mess, and the products it produces would likely be expensive and unsafe.  

But while so much of what we do is based off  of methods that are practically universal across the world, there is one dividing line that separates the United States from every other industrially developed country: how we measure lengths, weights, and distances. 

The United States uses what’s generally known as the standard system (technically US Customary Units”, Every other country (except Liberia and Myanmar) uses the metric system. 

Why Doesn’t the US Adopt the Metric System? 

There’s no easy answer for that. The update to the metric system, should it ever happen, will be costly, confusing, and met with a lot of resistance as people will be forced relearn something they’ve known their entire lives. Also, while the metric system is easier to add, multiply, and convert, proponents of the standard system argue that customary units are easier to visualize. 

An inch is about the first notch on your finger. A yard is about a step’s length. A foot is the length of your, well, foot. 

In fact, this system has much of its roots in using the body to measure things. While that means things don’t add as nicely together, they can appear more practical. Ironically, our system is based on English units, a system that shortly after evolved into Imperial units, the system England used before going metric. 

While the rest of the world was transitioning to the metric system, the US was experiencing explosive growth and prosperity, further ingraining customary units into everything we did. 

Though metric units make an appearance in many parts of our everyday lives, the US customary unit is still the standard for weight, distance, speed, height, and more here in America. 

Where Welders Fit In 

For people like ourselves who are manufacturing stuff that’s being used in the US and abroad, it can get a little tricky. The same is true for overseas companies who are manufacturing for the US. The system that’s used can vary depending on what project you’re working on. 

If you look at some of the products we have listed on our site, you’ll find measurements listed in both customary and metric units. 

While our primary system of units is customary, we have fabrications used in products worldwide, and we’re capable of adapting accordingly. It’s very possible the US will eventually give in and officially adopt the metric system. 

Whether that happens or not, we plan on continuing to make the best welds and fabricated products. For burner rings, wire rings, mandrel bends, and robotic welding services, contact Ever-Roll today. 

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