NZ Level 5
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Volume of Cylinders I

We have already seen how the volume of prisms can be calculated using the rule

$\text{Volume }=\text{Area of Base }\times\text{Height of Prism }$Volume =Area of Base ×Height of Prism

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A cylinder is very similar to a prism (except for the rounded face), but the volume can be found using the same process we have already learnt.

$\text{Volume of Cylinder }=\text{Area of Base }\times\text{Height of Prism }$Volume of Cylinder =Area of Base ×Height of Prism

$\text{Volume of Cylinder }=\pi r^2\times h$Volume of Cylinder =πr2×h

$\text{Volume of Cylinder }=\pi r^2h$Volume of Cylinder =πr2h



You are at the local hardware store to buy a can of paint. After settling on one product, the salesman offers to sell you a can that is either double the height or double the radius (your choice) of the one you had decided on for double the price. Assuming all cans of paint are filled to the brim, is it worth taking up his offer?

If so, would you get more paint for each dollar if you chose the can that was double the radius or the can that was double the height?

Since the volume of a cylinder is given by the formula $\pi r^2h$πr2h, if the height doubles, the volume becomes $\pi r^2\times2h=2\pi r^2h$πr2×2h=2πr2h (ie the volume increases two-fold). 

Whereas if the radius doubles, the volume becomes $\pi\left(2r\right)^2h=4\pi r^2h$π(2r)2h=4πr2h (ie the volume increases four-fold).

That is, the volume increases by double the amount when the radius is doubled compared to when the height is doubled.

To see how changes in height and radius affect the volume of a can to different extents, try the following interactive. You can vary the height and radius by moving the sliders around.

Worked Examples


Find the volume of a cylinder correct to 1 decimal place if its radius is $6$6 cm and its height is $15$15 cm.


Calculate the volume of the solid. Assume that the solid is a quarter of a cylinder.

Round your answer to one decimal place.


Calculate the volume of the solid correct to two decimal places.



Find the perimeters and areas of circles and composite shapes and the volumes of prisms, including cylinders

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