Cubic meters do not naturally convert into tons because the two units measure different properties: cubic meters (m^3) measure volume; tons, also known as U.S. or short tons, measure mass. The two different units can be made equivalent using density, which is a measurement of mass in relation to volume. If you know the density of a specific material, you can convert the volume that the material occupies in cubic meters into its mass in tons.
- Material density
If you are using the K-TEK website, density measured in grams per cubic centimeter (g/cc) gives the same ratio as kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m^3) so no conversion is necessary.
Determine the volume in cubic meters of your material. For example, you have 500,000 m3 of rye.
Determine the density of your material with an online material density chart (see Resources). In this example, rye has a density of 705 kilograms per cubic meter.
Multiply the volume of the material by its density to obtain the material's mass. In this example, 500,000 x 705 = 352,500,000. You have 352,500,000 kg of rye.
Divide the mass in kilograms by 907.18 to convert it to tons. In the example, 352,500,000/907.18 = 388,566.77. You have 388,566.77 tons of rye.
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About the Author
Chance E. Gartneer began writing professionally in 2008 working in conjunction with FEMA. He has the unofficial record for the most undergraduate hours at the University of Texas at Austin. When not working on his children's book masterpiece, he writes educational pieces focusing on early mathematics and ESL topics.