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Surface Area of Cylinders I


Like finding the surface area of a prism the surface area of a cylinder uses a similar process.  

Let's see how it would look if we open up a cylinder to view its net.

Notice that when the curved surface is unfolded, it becomes a rectangle. By rotating the circle on top of the rectangle, can you see how the circumference of the circle is equal to the length of the rectangular piece?

This means that we can break down the total surface area of a cylinder in the following way:

Surface Area of a Cylinder = Area of 2 circular ends  + Area of 1 rectangular piece 

                                       = $\left(2\times\pi r^2\right)+\left(L\times W\right)$(2×πr2)+(L×W)  

Area of each circle: the radius of each circle is the same as the radius of the cylinder

Area of the rectangle: the width of the rectangle corresponds to the height of the prism, while the length of the rectangle is the circumference of the circle ( $2\pi r$2πr )

Surface Area of a Cylinder

$\text{Surface Area of a Cylinder }=2\pi r^2+2\pi rh$Surface Area of a Cylinder =2πr2+2πrh

Worked Examples


Consider the following cylinder with a height of $35$35 cm and base radius of $10$10 cm. Find the surface area of the cylinder.

A vertical cylinder is depicted with its top circle fully visible and the bottom circle shown as a dashed line, indicating it is not visible from this perspective. A double-sided arrow is drawn vertically along the height of the cylinder with a label 35 near its tail ends, suggesting the height of the cylinder. Another double-sided arrow spans the diameter of the top circle with the label 10 above it, indicating the radius of the circular top.
  1. Round your answer to two decimal places.


A cylindrical can of radius $7$7 cm and height $10$10 cm is open at one end. What is the external surface area of the can correct to two decimal places?

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