Cubic Feet Conversion

Cubic Feet

Abbreviation/Symbol:

  • There is no universally agreed symbol for the cubic foot/feet.
  • Various abbreviations are used, dependent on context, including (but not exclusively) cubic ft, cu ft, cb ft, cbf, ft3, foot3, feet³, ft³.

Unit of:

  • Volume (quantifying a three dimensional space)

Worldwide use:

The cubic foot is used mainly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as a measurement of volume.

Description:

The cubic foot is a unit of volume used in the imperial and U.S. customary measurement systems.

The cubic foot can be used to describe a volume of a given material, or the capacity of a container to hold such a material.

Definition:

A cubic measurement is the three-dimensional derivative of a linear measure, so a cubic foot is defined as the volume of a cube with sides 1 ft in length.

In metric terms a cubic foot is a cube with sides 0.3048 metres in length. One cubic foot is the equivalent to approximately 0.02831685 cubic metres, or 28.3169 litres.

Common references:

  • A standard (20 ft x 8ft x 8 ft 6 in) shipping container has a volume of 1,360 cubic feet.
  • 19-22 cubic feet would describe an average size refrigerator sufficient for a family of four.

Usage context:

The standard cubic foot (scf) is a measure of a quantity of gas under defined conditions (typically at 60 °F and 1 atm of pressure).

When applied to a particular specified material under defined conditions, the cubic foot thus ceases to be a unit of volume and becomes a unit of quantity.

The cubic foot is often used to describe the capacity for storage of household appliances such as refrigerators, and in industry for shipping containers.

Commercial storage providers generally describe the storage units they provide in terms of cubic feet.

To calculate the volume of a given item or space in cubic feet, measure the length, width and height in feet and multiply the results together.

For example, a storage unit 10 ft long, 6 ft wide and 8 ft high could be described as having a capacity of 480 cubic feet (10 x 6 x 8 = 480).

Component units:

  • A cubic foot is the equivalent of 1,728 cubic inches (since a foot is twelve inches, a cubic foot can be imagined as a cube with sides of twelve inches, or 12 x 12 x 12 one inch cubes stacked together).
  • In practice, cubic feet and cubic inches tend to be distinct units that would not be used together.

Multiples:

  • 1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet
  • One yard is three feet, so a cubic yard can be imagined as a cube with sides of three feet, or a cube comprising 27 individual cubes with sides one foot in length.
  • In practice, multiples of cubic feet (such as in the oil and gas industries) are described as Mcf (thousand cubic feet), MMcf (million cubic feet), Bcf (billion cubic feet), with Tcf and Qcf as trillion and quadrillion cubic feet respectively.

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