How to Convert a GPA to N/MM2

by Petra Wakefield

Engineers and scientists often use units gigapascals or newtons per square millimeter to describe the strength and elasticity of materials. Yield stress, the force it takes to permanently bend a material, measures one type of material strength. It typically has units of N/mm^2, sometimes called MPa. Young's modulus measures elasticity, the amount of force a material can take before it breaks or becomes permanently bent, and has units of gigapascals, or GPa. A material with high elasticity usually has a high yield stress. Because they represent related material properties, learn to convert between GPa and N/mm^2.

Set up a unit conversion between GPa and N/mm^2. There are 1,000 MPa in 1 GPa and 1 N/mm^2 per MPa, so for 3 GPa, for example, the conversion is (3 GPa)*(1,000 MPa/GPa)*(1 N/mm^2/MPa).

Multiply out the numbers and the units in the unit conversion. For example, (3 GPa)*(1,000 MPa/GPa)*(1 N/mm^2/MPa) = 3,000 GPa*MPa*N/GPa*MPa*mm^2.

Cancel like units out of the numerator and denominator. In 3,000 GPa*MPa*N/GPa*Mpa*mm^2, for example, GPa and MPa cancel, leaving 3,000 N/mm^2. Therefore, 3 GPa = 3,000 N/mm^2.

Things You Will Need

  • Calculator


  • Divide by 1,000 to convert from N/mm^2 to GPa.
  • One GPa equals 1 kN/mm^2, so (1 GPa)*(1 kN/mm^2/GPa)*[(1,000 N/mm^2/kN/mm^2)] is an alternate unit conversion.

About the Author

Petra Wakefield is a writing professional whose work appears on various websites, focusing primarily on topics about science, fitness and outdoor activities. She holds a Master of Science in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M; University.