Cross-Sectional Area of Different Shapes with Formula

4 minute read

The concept of Cross-Sectional Area is fundamental in geometry and different scientific fields. It refers to the area of the flat surface you get when you imagine cutting a three-dimensional object with a flat plane. Imagine you have a straw. When you look at the end of the straw, the shape you see is its Cross Sectional Area. Furthermore, it is like slicing the straw horizontally and looking at the shape of the slice. Moreover, for example, in plumbing the Cross cross-sectional area of a pipe affects how much water can flow through it. Consequently, this reduces the 3D object to a 2D shape, allowing us to calculate its area using standard formulas.

Also Read: Mensuration Formulas for Competitive Exams

Importance and Uses of Cross-Section Area

Furthermore, here are the importance and uses of Cross-section area:

  • Structural Calculations: The Cross-Sectional area is essential in structural engineering for calculating stresses in beams, columns, slabs, and other structural elements. 
  • Design Considerations: This helps engineers assess the amount of material needed, the volume of the object, and the strength of the structure. 
  • Specific Applications:
  • Rectangular Sections: The Cross-sectional area of a rectangle is used in structural buckling calculations of columns, compression verification of timber, steel, and concrete elements, and in the design of prestressed concrete beams.
  • I-Shaped Sections: The Cross-sectional area of an I-shaped section is utilised in structural axial stress calculations of steel columns and beams, as well as in the buckling calculations of columns.
  • Circular Sections: The Cross-sectional area of a circular section is applied in structural axial stress calculations of steel wind bracing rods and concrete columns.
  • Hollow Circular Tube Sections: The Cross-sectional area of a hollow circular tube is used in various structural calculations for components like pipes and tubes. Moreover, where the inner and outer diameters are crucial for determining the area.
  • Pressure and Speed Determination: In specific applications like water pipes, the cross-sectional area of the pipe influences the speed and pressure at which water flows through the pipe. 

Also Read: What is the Difference Between H Beam and I Beam?

Formulas for the Cross-Sectional Area of Different Shapes

Cross-Sectional Area of Cylinder

A cylinder is a common object with a circular base and top. When we cut a cylinder perpendicular to its base (like slicing a can of soup), the cross-section is always a circle.

Therefore, the formula for the Cross-Sectional Area of a cylinder is the same as the area of a circle:

  • Area = π (pi) x Radius (r) squared

Example: Suppose you have a cylindrical can with a radius of 2 cm. To find the Cross Sectional Area of the can (the circular top opening), you will use:

  • Area = π x (2 cm) ^ 2
  • Area ≈ 12.57 cm² (assuming π ≈ 3.14)

Also Read: Difference Between Feet and Square Feet

Cross-Sectional Area of a Wire

A wire is typically a long, thin cylinder with a very small radius. In many cases, we can simplify the calculation of the Cross Sectional Area by treating the wire as a perfect circle.

Here, the formula for the Cross Sectional Area of a wire is the same as for a cylinder:

  • Area = π (pi) x Radius (r) squared

Example: Imagine a copper wire with a radius of 0.5 mm (millimetres can be converted to centimetres for the formula).

  • Area = π x (0.05 cm) ^ 2
  • Area ≈ 0.0079 cm² (assuming π ≈ 3.14)

Also Read: Order of Operations and PEMDAS Rule

Cross-Sectional Area of a Rectangle

Imagine cutting a rectangular block of wood in half parallel to its flat surface. The exposed area would be a rectangle with the same length and width as the original block. 

Moreover, the Cross Sectional Area would be calculated by multiplying the length by the width.

  • Rectangle: Area = Length (l) x Width (w)

Example: If the length of a rectangle is 5 units and the width is 3 units, the Cross-Sectional Area would be 5 x 3 = 15 square units. 

Also Read: Conic Sections

Cross-Sectional Area of a Circle

Slicing a cylindrical pipe perpendicular to its base exposes a circular cross-section. Additionally, the area of this circle can be calculated using the formula for circle area, where the radius is the same as the pipe’s radius.

  • Circle: Area = π (pi) x Radius (r) squared

Example: If the radius of a circle is 4 units, the calculation would be as follows: 

A = π(4)^2 = 16π square units. 

Therefore, the Cross-Sectional Area of a circle with a radius of 4 units would be 16π square units. 

7 Types of Fractions with ExamplesWhat are Co Prime Numbers?
How to Find Percentage of Marks?Multiplication Tables of 1 to 20
Ordinal Numbers from 1 to 100! Table of 17: Multiples up to 20 & a Trick!  
Table of 12: Multiples up to 20!What is the HCF of Two Consecutive Odd Numbers?

I hope this helps! Did you like learning about Cross Sectional Area? Keep reading our blogs to learn more about the basic concepts of Maths!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *