Volume of a Cylinder


A cylinder is a closed solid having parallel circular bases attached by a curved surface. It is a three-dimensional shape with two circular ends called bases which are congruent and parallel to each other. The surface that connects the two circular ends is basically a rectangle.


Height is the perpendicular distance between two circular surface and radius of a cylinder is basically the radius of the circular base.


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A cylinder can be viewed as:

  1. Elongated circle made by circles kept one above the other. Examples- Cylinder made out of bangles.

  2. Combination of two circles and a quadrilateral (square, rectangle, etc) 

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A cylinder can be hollow or solid. A hollow cylinder is empty from inside whereas a solid cylinder is packed up with the same material. Layers of circular surfaces can be extracted from a solid cylinder if it is dissected cross-sectionally.


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The volume of a Cylinder

The volume of a cylinder is the space occupied by a cylinder. For a hollow cylinder, it is the space enclosed inside a cylinder and for solid cylinder, it is the amount of material the cylinder is composed of.

How to Calculate Volume of a Cylinder of Unknown Height and Radius

Take a cylinder of unknown radius, a container, a trough and a measuring cylinder.

Arrange the apparatus as shown below. Fill the container with water up to the brim and then carefully place the cylinder in the container. This will make some water flow out of the container which will get collected in the trough. Pour the water from trough to measuring cylinder to find out the amount of water displaced by the cylinder.


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The amount of displaced water is equal to the space occupied by the cylinder.

The Volume of Cylinder = Amount of Displaced Water

Cylindrical Volume Formula Of Known Height and Radius.

As discussed earlier, a cylinder can be seen as circles kept one above the other. If the breadth of the circle is of unit length then the height of the cylinder will be equal to the number of circles. The cylinder volume formula is shown below:

Volume = length x breadth x height

Volume = area of surface x height                       -----------------------(i)

Where area of surface= length x breadth


Now for a cylinder, the area of the surface is equal to the area of the base (circle)

The volume of c formula = area of circular base x height

                                             = πr2 × h


The Equation for Volume of a Cylinder = πr2h.

r= radius of the circular base

h= the perpendicular distance between two circular bases.

The Volume of a Hollow Cylinder of Known Height and Radius.

Let us suppose a hollow cylinder of outer radius R, inner radius r and height h. The hollow cylinder is actually the result of a smaller cylinder cut out from the bigger cylinder.

The formula for calculating the volume of a cylinder (hollow): 

= Volume of the bigger solid cylinder - Volume of the smaller solid cylinder.

= πR2h - πr2h

= πh (R2 - r2)

Therefore, the cylinder formula = πh (R2 - r2) cubic units.

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The Conversion of the Volume of a Cylinder 

Unit of the volume is cubic centimetre. Thousand cubic centimetres is equal to one litre. Thus, to convert a value from litre to cm3, 1000 is multiplied to the number. Similarly, to convert cm3 to litre, the number is divided by 1000. 


1 Litre = 1000 cubic cm or cm3

1 cm3 = 1/1000  litres

Solved Examples:

1) A cylinder has a base of radius 14 cm and the height of 10 cm. Find the volume.


2) If the base of a cylinder is of area 30cm2 and height is 6 cm then find the volume of the cylinder.


Volume = Area of the base x height of a cylinder

               = 30 cm2 x 6 cm

              = 180 cm3 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1) What is the Difference Between Right Cylinder and Oblique Cylinder?

Answer: Right Cylinder has two bases right on top of each other at the same y-axis such that the angle between the curved surface and base is 90 degrees. In case of the Oblique Cylinder, the two bases are not exactly on top of each other. One of the bases of the oblique Cylinder is slightly displaced as compared to the position of another base such that the angle between the surface and base of the cylinder is not 90 degrees.

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Q2) What is the Area of a Cylinder?

Answer: Number of square units required to cover the curved surface area and the two bases of a cylinder is called the area of a cylinder.  The surface area of a cylinder formula is 2πr2 + 2πrh.