 Everyday maths 2 (Wales)

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

# 3 Volume

The volume of a shape is how much space it takes up. You might need to calculate the volume of a space or shape if, for example, you wanted to know how much soil to buy to fill a planting box or how much concrete you need to complete your patio. Figure 34 A volume cartoon

You’ll need your area skills in order to calculate the volume of a shape. In fact, as you already know how to calculate the area of most shapes, you are one simple step away from being able to find the volume of most shapes too! Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

## Example: Calculating volume Figure 35 Calculating volume

The cross-section on this shape is the L shape on the front. In order to work out the area you’ll need to split it up into two rectangles as you practised in the previous part of this section.

Rectangle 1 = 7 × 4 = 28 cm2

Rectangle 2 = 5 × 2 = 10 cm2

Area of cross-section = 28 + 10 = 38 cm2

Now you have the area of the cross-section, multiply this by the length to calculate the volume.

V = 38 × 10 = 380 cm3

## Example: Calculating cylinder volume

The last example to look at is a cylinder. The cross-section of this shape is a circle. You’ll need to use the formula to find the area of a circle in the same way you did in the previous part of this section. Figure 36 Calculating cylinder volume

You can see that the circular cross-section has a radius of 8 cm. To find the area of this circle, use the formula:

A = πr2

A = 3.142 × 8 × 8

A = 201.088 cm2

Now you have the area, multiply this by the length of the cylinder to calculate the volume.

V = 201.088 × 15 = 3016.32 cm3

Now try the following questions. Please carry out the calculations without a calculator. You can double check with a calculator if needed and remember to check your answers against ours.

## Activity 7: Volume

Find the volume of the following shapes without using a calculator. The shapes are not drawn to scale.

1. Figure 37 Rectangular prism (cuboid)

1. The area of the rectangular cross-section is:

• 5 × 12 = 60 cm2

To get the volume, you now need to multiply the area of the cross-section by the length of the shape:

• 60 × 3 = 180 cm3

1. Figure 38 Circular prism (cylinder)

1. You can see that the circular cross-section has a diameter of 20 cm. To find the area of this circle, you need to find the radius first:

• radius = 20 ÷ 2 = 10 cm

To find the area of the circular cross-section, use the formula:

• A = πr2

• A = 3.142 × 10 × 10

• A = 314.2 cm2

Now you have the area, multiply this by the length of the cylinder to calculate the volume:

• V = 314.2 × 35 = 10 997 cm3

1. Figure 39 Triangular prism

1. The cross-section on this shape is the triangle at the front of the shape. To find the area of a triangle you use the formula:

• A = (b × h) ÷ 2

In this case then:

• A = (1.5 × 1.5) ÷ 2

• A= 2.25 ÷ 2

• A = 1.125 m2

Now you know the area of the cross-section, you multiply it by the length of the shape to find the volume (V):

• V = 1.125 × 3 = 3.375 m3

1. Figure 40 Trapezoidal prism

Hint: Go back to the section on area and remind yourself of the formula to find the area of a trapezium.

1. The cross-section is a trapezium so you will need the formula:

• A =

• A =

• A =

• A =

• A = 35 cm2

Now you have the area of the cross-section, multiply it by the length of the prism to calculate the volume:

• V = 35 × 20 = 700 cm3

## Summary

In this section you have learned:

• that volume is the space inside a 3D shape or space

• how to find the volume of prisms such as cuboids, cylinders and triangular prisms. #### Find out more

*Eligibility rules apply for financial support.