I have a German engineering thesis written in 1963 from Technische Hochschule Hannover.

In the results the author displays stress with the units of kp/cm² and the load as Mp. I am assuming the “p” is for Pfund which I am finding equal to 500 grams.

However, when I convert this to modern units of MPa and Newtons the results are too large to make sense. The results are about twenty times higher than what I expect:

1 kp/cm² ≙ (1 kp/cm²) · (500 g/p) · (9.81 N/kg) · (100 cm/m)² = 49,050,000 N/m² = 49.05 MPa

1 Mp ≙ (1 Mp) · (500 g/p) · (9.81 N/kg) = 4,905 kN

Could kp and Mp mean something else than Kilopfund and Megapfund?

  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is not a question about an aspect of German language. This is a question about units in technic and physics. Oct 20, 2015 at 17:07
  • 4
    @Hubert Schölnast: Hmm, but there are language-specific differences; e.g., in French it was called kilogramme-poids (or kilogramme-force) and abbreviated in a different way. If the question were to be closed, though, I’d think “general reference” would be a better reason (WP de, WP en, even WP fr). Anyway, voted to leave open.
    – chirlu
    Oct 20, 2015 at 18:03
  • Pfund would be abbreviated to Pfd. or as WIkipedia states (but I don't remember ever having seen it) to Pf, in both cases with a capital P.
    – guidot
    Oct 20, 2015 at 19:50
  • Pfund ist generell in der Wissenschaft nicht verwendet worden, nur an Lebensmitteltheken, zumindest nicht seit Einführung metrischer Maße vor mehr als 100 Jahren. Mar 17, 2016 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


That's a now deprecated unit:

Kilopond, (abbreviated "kp", the English term: kilogramm-force), that measured the force via gravitational acceleration of an object with a mass of one kg in standard gravity.

Expressed in modern SI units it is equal to 9.80665 N.

Mp is Megapond, 1000 kp

  • 3
    As the German Wikipedia article says, In Germany the Kilopond has been replaced by the Newton in 1978. I passed my Abitur in 1980, and can remember the kp being used in schoolbooks, probably until 1977, or maybe one or two years before. Oct 20, 2015 at 19:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.