Enter the gauge pressure (air pressure), and the full bore piston diameter into the calculator to determine the cylinder force.

Cylinder Force Formula

The following formula is used to calculate the force exerted by a pneumatic or hydraulic cylinder

F = P * pi * d2/ 4
  • Where F is the force exerted by the cylinder (N)
  • P is the gauge pressure (air pressure) (N/m^2)
  • d is the full bore piston diameter (M)

To calculate the cylinder force, multiply the cylinder pressure by the cross-sectional area.

Cylinder Force Definition

What is a pneumatic cylinder? A pneumatic cylinder is a device that converts pressure delivered by air into an output force. That output force is considered the cylinder force.

Example Problem

How to calculate a cylinder force?

  1. First, determine the gauge pressure.

    For this example, the air pressure supplied to the cylinder is 125 psi (pounds per square inch)

  2. Next, determine the piston diameter.

    The inner bore diameter in this example is 5 inches.

  3. Finally, calculate the cylinder force.

    Using the formula, the cylinder force is calculated to be: 125*3.14159*(5^2)/4 = 2454.36 lbf.


Does cylinder force change with size? As the diameter of a cylinder increases, the force generated increases with the square of the diameter increase. This means that going from a 1-inch diameter cylinder to a 2-inch diameter cylinder increases the force by 4 times.

Does cylinder force change with air pressure change? The force generated by a cylinder is linearly proportional to the air pressure. A 1 psi increase in air pressure generates a 1 lbf increase in force.

cylinder force calculator
cylinder force formula