# Piston Force Calculator

With this piston force calculator, you'll be able to calculate the different variables of a cylinder-piston system. Therefore, you can use this tool in various ways, such as:

- Piston force calculator;
- Cylinder pressure calculator;
- Bore diameter calculator; and
- Bore area calculator.

Cylinder-piston systems are present in many applications, so you can use this tool to calculate the force of hydraulic cylinders, pneumatic cylinders, internal combustion engines, and many more!

🔎 If you need to calculate the force of a double-acting cylinder, you can use our pneumatic cylinder force calculator.

## What is a piston?

A piston is a moving component used in many machines to transmit the forces caused by the pressure inside a cavity. This cavity arises with the junction of the piston and its surrounding housing.

Usually, we find two types of pistons:

**Reciprocating piston:**this is the most common type of piston, usually encountered in internal combustion engines. To the right, you can see a**reciprocating piston**(in grey) acting inside its**cylinder cavity**(green). The pressure inside the cylinder exerts a force over the piston area, which consequently exerts the same force on the**piston rod**(blue). This piston rod usually consists of a connecting rod that transmits its reciprocating motion to another system (i.e., a crankshaft).

**Rotary piston:**this type of piston operates under the same principle: a piston and a housing form a pressurized cavity that constantly changes its volume to create movement. An example is the Wankel engine, an internal combustion engine in which the gas experiences the cycles of a conventional combustion engine, with the difference that the piston is rotating.

As they are the most common ones, with this calculator, you can calculate **reciprocating engines**' cylinder force (or piston force). Now, let's look at the formulas to calculate the forces of hydraulic, pneumatic, and many other cylinders.

## How do I calculate the piston force?

The pressurized fluid inside the cylinder is in contact with the piston and exerts a force over it. As we saw in our pressure calculator, this force equals the pressure times the area of application. Therefore, the formula to calculate the piston force is:

where:

- $F$ — Piston force, in Newtons (
**N**); - $A$ — Bore area, in square meters (
**m²**) (you can use our area converter); - $P$ — Cylinder pressure, in Pascals (
**Pa**); and

The bore area is simply the area of a circle whose diameter equals the bore diameter:

where $D$ is the bore diameter in meters (**m**) (you can use our length converter)

## How do I calculate cylinder pressure and diameter?

To calculate the cylinder pressure of your hydraulic, pneumatic, or any other application, we can solve for $P$ in the previous formula:

Or, in terms of the bore diameter:

From the previous equation, we can solve for $D$ and obtain a formula for the bore diameter:

Hopefully, with this set of formulas, you're ready to calculate the cylinder force of hydraulic, pneumatic, and many other systems.