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Calculating Material Used in a Cylinder of given Thickness

  1. Oct 30, 2012 #1
    When given a cylinder with radius, height and thickness, how does one go about computing the amount of material used in making the cylinder?

    Initially I thought the amount would be:
    [itex]Material=2\pi r^{2}t+2\pi r h t[/itex]
    where [itex]t[/itex] is the thickness of the cylinder.

    Looking at this equation however, I realized that by default (without given a thickness for the cylinder) one would assume a thickness of one. This didn't make sense to me, however, because a surface with unspecified thickness should have no thickness right?

    Perhaps I am thinking about this in the wrong way.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2012 #2
    Your formula is good if t is small compared to r and h. Otherwise, a more precise method would be to calculate the volume of the solid cylinder V(r,h), and then subtract the volume of the empty space V(r-t, h-2t).
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