Everyday maths 2 (Wales)
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.

Free course

Everyday maths 2 (Wales)

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.

Described image
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!

Download this video clip.Video player: bltl_4_3_3d_shapes.mp4
Skip transcript

Transcript

In this video, you'll look at how to calculate the volume of prisms. A prism is a 3D shape where the cross-section, or slice, of the shape is the same all the way through. You can see that a slice of any of these shapes would remain the same wherever you cut it. To calculate the volume of any prism, all you need to do is find the area of the cross-section and then multiply this area by the length of the prism.

In this example, you firstly need to calculate the area of the rectangular cross-section. 12 times 10 gives an area of 120 centimetres squared. Now you know the area of the cross-section, all you need to do is multiply it by the length of the shape: 5 centimetres. Volume equals 120 times 5, which equals 600 centimetres cubed.

Let's try again with a different shape. Here, the cross-section is the triangle. You'll recall from your earlier work that to find the area of a triangle, you use this formula. So the area of this cross-section is 6 times 5, divided by 2. That is 30 divided by 2. This gives an area of 15 centimetres squared. Now, multiply the area of the cross-section by the length of the shape to find the volume. 15 times 12 gives a volume of 180 centimetres cubed. Look at a couple more examples of calculating the volume of prisms, before having a go yourself.

End transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Example: Calculating volume

Described image
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.

Described image
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.  

    Described image
    Figure 37 Rectangular prism (cuboid)

Answer

  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.  

    Described image
    Figure 38 Circular prism (cylinder)

Answer

  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.  

    Described image
    Figure 39 Triangular prism

Answer

  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.  

    Described image
    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.

Answer

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

    • A = open a postfix times prefix plus of times b close postfix times multiplication h divided by two

    • A = left parenthesis six plus eight right parenthesis postfix times multiplication five divided by two

    • A = 14 postfix times multiplication five divided by two

    • A = 14 divided by two

    • 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.

FSM_2_CYMRU

Did you know if you study a paid part-time course with the OU in Wales you could get up to £4,500* to help with your living costs?

Find out more

*Eligibility rules apply for financial support.