Science, Tech, Math › Science Kilopascal (kPa) Definition Chemistry Glossary Definition of Kilopascal (kPa) Share Flipboard Email Print A kilopascal is a unit of pressure. Paul Taylor/Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated January 05, 2019 The kilopascal is based on the pascal unit. Here's the definition and a look at the unit's history. Kilopascal or kPa Definition The kilopascal is a unit of pressure. 1 kPa is approximately the pressure exerted by a 10-g mass resting on a 1-cm2 area. 101.3 kPa = 1 atm. There are 1,000 pascals in 1 kilopascal. The pascal and thus the kilopascal are named for the French polymath Blaise Pascal. Kilopascal Uses The pascal (Pa) and kilopascal (kPa) are the most common units of pressure throughout the world. Even in the United States, kPa is often used in favor of pounds per square inch (PSI). The pascal, kilopascal, and gigapascal (GPa) are used to express tensile strength, compressive strength, Young's modulus, and stiffness of materials. Sources International Bureau of Weights and Measures (2006). The International System of Units (SI) (8th ed.). ISBN 92-822-2213-6. IUPAC.org. Gold Book, Standard Pressure.