A cylinder is a 3D figure with a circular base and a curved surface. Cylinders are often used in architecture, especially for pillars and columns.

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What is a cylinder – definition?

A cylinder is a 3D shape that has two parallel surfaces and an axis of symmetry. The axis of symmetry is the line around which the object can be rotated and remain the same object.

The cylinder can be formed by rotating a straight line about its center point, or it may also be formed by taking a rectangle, rolling it into a tube (known as extrusion), and connecting the ends together with caps/rims/bowls to produce two separate circular surfaces on opposing sides.

How to find the surface area of a cylinder

The surface area of a cylinder is found by multiplying the area of its base by its height.

The formula for the surface area of a cylinder:

A = 2\pi rh + 2\pi r^2

What’s the surface area of a cylinder formula?

The surface area of a cylinder is equal to the area of the base times the height.

The formula for finding the surface area of a cylinder is A=2πr(h+r). What this means is that you take the circumference of your circle (2πr) and multiply it by both your radius and diameter.

Understanding the Formula for Cylinder Surface Area

The surface area of a cylinder is the sum of the areas of its curved surface and its two circular bases. We can express this mathematically as:

A = 2\pi rh + 2\pi r^2

where A represents the surface area, r represents the radius of the cylinder’s base, and h represents the height of the cylinder.

The first term in the equation (i.e., 2\pi rh) represents the area of the curved surface of the cylinder. The second term (i.e., 2\pi r^2) represents the area of both circular bases.

Identifying the Key Measurements: Radius and Height

To use the surface area formula for a cylinder, we need to know the values of its radius and height. The radius is the distance from the center of the circular base to its edge, while the height is the distance between the bases.

Using the Formula to Calculate Surface Area Step-by-Step

To calculate the surface area of a cylinder, follow these steps:

Measure the radius and height of the cylinder.
Plug these values into the surface area formula: A = 2\pi rh + 2\pi r^2
Simplify the equation by multiplying out the terms: A = 2\pi r(h + r)
Calculate the surface area using a calculator or by hand.

Tips and Tricks for Avoiding Common Calculation Mistakes

To avoid common calculation mistakes when finding the surface area of a cylinder, make sure to:

Use the correct units of measurement throughout the calculation.
Double-check that you have plugged in the correct values for the radius and height.
Simplify the equation before calculating the final answer.

Applications of Cylinder Surface Area in Real Life

The surface area of a cylinder is an important concept in many real-world applications.

For example, it is used in:

Engineering: to calculate the surface area of pipes and other cylindrical structures for construction and manufacturing purposes.
Science: to calculate the surface area of cells or other cylindrical structures in biology and chemistry.
Packaging: to determine the amount of material needed to cover cylindrical products, such as cans or bottles.
Cooking: to calculate the surface area of a cylindrical baking dish for a recipe, which can affect cooking times and temperatures.


What is a cylinder?

A cylinder is a three-dimensional solid that contains two parallel bases connected by a curved surface.

What kind of object is a cylinder?

The cylinder can be defined as a solid geometrical figure with straight parallel sides and a circular or oval cross-section.

How do you calculate the volume of a cylinder?

The formula for the volume of a cylinder is V=Bh or V=πr2h .