PSI – Pounds per square inch
The pound per square inch or, more accurately, pound-force per square inch (symbol: lbf/in2; abbreviation: psi) is a unit of pressure or of stress based on avoirdupois units. It is the pressure resulting from a force of one pound-force applied to an area of one square inch. In SI units, 1 psi is approximately equal to 6895 N/m2.
Pounds per square inch absolute (psia) is used to make it clear that the pressure is relative to a vacuum rather than the ambient atmospheric pressure. Since atmospheric pressure at sea level is around 14.7 psi (101 kilopascals), this will be added to any pressure reading made in air at sea level. The converse is pounds per square inch gauge (psig), indicating that the pressure is relative to atmospheric pressure. For example, a bicycle tire pumped up to 65 psig in a local atmospheric pressure at sea level (14.7 psi) will have a pressure of 79.7 psia (14.7 psi + 65 psi). When gauge pressure is referenced to something other than ambient atmospheric pressure, then the units would be pounds per square inch differential (psid).
Multiples of PSI
The kilopound per square inch (ksi) is a scaled unit derived from psi, equivalent to a thousand psi (1000 lbf/in2). KSI are not widely used for gas pressures. They are mostly used in materials science, where the tensile strength of a material is measured as a large number of psi.
The conversion in SI units is 1 ksi = 6.895 MPa, or 1 MPa = 0.145 ksi.
The megapound per square inch (Mpsi) is another multiple equal to a million psi. It is used in mechanics for the elastic modulus of materials, especially for metals.
The conversion in SI units is 1 Mpsi = 6.895 GPa, or 1 GPa = 0.145 Mpsi.
We recommend all Supreme Air Products such as our industrial air knives, should monitor PSI to achieve process goals.