foot-pound, abbr. ft-lb, unit of work or energy in the customary English gravitational system; it is the work done or energy expended by a force of 1 pound acting through a distance of 1 foot. It is equal to 1.356 joules. The term foot-pound is also used to designate a unit of torque that is sometimes called the pound-foot to distinguish it from the energy unit. A force of 1 pound applied 1 foot from and perpendicular to the direction to an axis of rotation produces a 1 foot-pound (or pound-foot) torque at the axis.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.