Copyright

How to Find Surface Area of a Cylinder

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: How to Find Surface Area of a Pyramid

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 A Cylinder
  • 0:41 The Surface Area
  • 1:11 The Formula
  • 2:16 Using the Formula
  • 3:49 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Watch this video lesson to learn the formula you can use to find the surface area of a cylinder. Learn the measurements that you'll need as well as how to use them.

A Cylinder

In this video lesson, we talk about cylinders. What are they? We can define a cylinder as a straight, round bar. In math terms, a cylinder is defined as two parallel, flat, circular surfaces at either end of a curved section. I don't know about you, but it's easier for me to think of a cylinder as a straight, round bar. That's what they look like.

Picture a soda can, and you have a cylinder. Basic candles are also cylinders. What do they all look like? They all just look like straight, round bars. You can grab the 'bar' in the middle curved section, and these 'bars' have circular ends that are flat and parallel to each other.

The Surface Area

The surface area comes in when we consider the outside area. You can think of the surface area as the amount of wrapping paper you would need to completely cover a cylinder. Say you want to surprise your best friend with her favorite soda. You would want to wrap it up nicely with some nice wrapping paper. You might perhaps add a nice bow to it, too. If you need to buy some wrapping paper at the store, you first need to calculate the surface area of your cylinder to make sure that you are buying enough wrapping paper to cover your soda can.

The Formula

To help you do that, we of course have a formula! Isn't math great? We have a formula for almost everything and anything! Our formula to find the surface area of our cylinder is 2 times pi times the radius times the height plus 2 times pi times the radius squared.

cylinder surface area

This formula is actually the combination of two calculations. We first calculate the surface area of the curved part and then we add the two surface areas of our circles. If you ever forget this surface area formula for cylinders, you can always break apart your cylinder into its curved area and flat areas to find the surface area of each area separately before adding them.

Looking at our formula, we see that we need the radius and height measurement of our cylinder. That's not bad. We only need to know two measurements. In the real world, we can always measure our object. Usually, when working with math problems, you are given the measurements that you need. So for our problem, we are given that our height is 4.8 inches and our radius is 1.25 inches.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Free 5-day trial

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support