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Geometry Tutorials: How to calculate the surface area of a cylinder

As so often in geometry when it comes to calculating surface areas, two different components need to be added up. With a cylinder we have the following components: the two circle areas at each end of the cylinder, and the surface that surrounds the pipe itself.

As you have probably guessed our first task based on the above information is to figure out the circle's surface area, and then multiply that result by two to account for both circles:

2Πr²

So, the two circle surface areas we get with the above formula, two times Pi times radius squared. Now all we need is to calculate the pipe's surface area between the two circles. This we will accomplish by first calculating the circumference of the pipe, and then multiplying it times the height:

2Πrh

Two times Pi times r time's height gives us the pipe surface area. Now that we have both formula components we just need to add them together to form our cylinder surface calculation formula:

(2Πrh) + (2Πr²)


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