In this article, you will learn what is capacity, what are the units of capacity, and how to convert one unit to the other. Let us start by explaining the concept of capacity first.

 

What is Capacity?

The capacity can be defined as:

"The amount that something can carry"

For instance, the capacity of this well is 108 gallons. It means that the well can hold up to 108 gallons of water. Consider another example below:

A bottle has a capacity of 2 liters. For instance, you put that bottle under the tab and become busy with some other task. What will happen? After some time, when the bottle will reach its full capacity, the remaining water will start overflowing. From this example, you get a lesson that you cannot hold anything in some object beyond its capacity.

 

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How Capacity is Measured?

There are two measurement systems to measure the capacity.

  • Customary: This measurement system is used mostly in the United States
  • Metric: This measurement is used all around the world

 

Some interesting facts about customary measurement are given below:

  • Gallon, cup, quart, or pint are examples of tools used in the customary measurement.
  • These measurement tools can be broken down into smaller parts, for instance, a cup can be divided into half, and a quarter cup, etc.
  • Pints, quarts, and gallons are employed for measuring the capacity of liquids. On the other hand, the measurements such as a tablespoon, teaspoon, and cup are used for measuring liquids other than water like milk or solids such as sugar.
  • The biggest measurement tool in customary measurement is a gallon. The smallest tool is \frac{1}{8} ^ {th} of a teaspoon.

 

Some interesting fact about metric measurement are explained below:

  • This measurement is used by all the countries in the world except three. Though in the United States, the customary measurement is used in many places, however, there are some places in the U.S that use the metric system.
  • The commonly used units to measure the capacity under metric measurement are liters and milliliters. For instance, you went to a shop and bought 2 liters of water. One milliliter is 1000th part of a liter.

 

In this article, we will specifically focus on metric measurements of the capacity.

 

SI Unit of Capacity Under Metric Measurement

The primary unit for measuring capacity under the metric measurement system is liter. In other words, it is the standard unit of measurement of capacity. There are also other units for measuring large and small quantities, that are multiples and sub-multiples of liters. The following table shows the bigger and smaller units that are related to liters:

Kiloliter (kl)1000 liters (l)
Hectoliter (hl)100 liters (l)
Decaliter (dal)10 liters (l)
Deciliter (dl)0.1 liter (l)
Centiliter (cl)0.01liter (l)
Milliliter (ml)0.001 liter (l)

Conversion of Units

One unit of capacity can be converted into the other. The problem of converting units to other units becomes an issue of multiplying or dividing the unit by one followed by as many zeros as there are places between them. In the next section, we will solve a couple of examples in which we will convert one unit of capacity into another.

 

Example 1

Convert 80 hl to cl.

Solution

Hectoliter (hl) is a bigger unit, and centiliter (cl) is a smaller unit as compared to liter. First, we will convert hectoliters to liters, and then the resulting amount in liters will be converted into centiliters (cl).

1 hectoliter (hl) = 100 liters (l)

80 hl = 80 x 100 liters

= 8000 liters

1 liter = 100 centiliters

8000 liters will be multiplied by 100 to get the centiliters:

8000 liters = 8000 x 100 cl

= 800,000 cl

Hence, 80 hectoliters are equal to 800,000 centiliters.

 

Example 2

Convert 3678 centiliters into liters.

Solution

Centiliters (cl) is a smaller unit than liters, therefore we will use the arithmetic operation of division for conversion.

1 liter = 100 centiliter

3678 = \frac{3678}{100} liters

Since the value in the numerator is divided by 1 followed by two zeroes, therefore we will move the decimal point 2 units from the left.

= 36.78 liters

Hence, 3678 centiliters are equal to 36.78 liters.

 

Example 3

Convert 6500 dal to kl.

Solution

Though, you can convert the decaliters directly into kiloliters if you know how much one decaliters equals to kiloliters, however, it is a good idea to convert decaliters to liters first, and then the resulting amount in liters to kiloliters. Both decaliters (dal) and kiloliters (kl) are bigger units than liter.

1 decaliter (dal) = 10 liters (l)

6500 dal = 6500 x 10 liters

= 65000 liters

1 kiloliter = 1000 liters

65000 liters = \frac{65000}{1000} kl

= 65 kl

Hence, 6500 decaliter is equal to 65 kiloliters.

 

Example 4

Convert 205 cl to hl.

Solution

Hectoliter (hl) is a bigger unit, and centiliter (cl) is a smaller unit as compared to liter. First, we will convert centiliters (cl) to liters, and then the resulting amount in liters will be converted into hectoliters (hl).

1 centiliter (cl) = 0.01 liters (l)

205 cl = \frac{205}{100} liters

= 2.05 liters

1 hectoliter = 100 liters

2.05 liters = \frac{2.05}{100} hl

= 0.0205 hl

Hence, 205 centiliters are equal to 0.0205 hectoliters.

 

Example 5

The milkman sold 2400 cl of milk on day 1, 2 liters 450 milliliters of milk on day 2, and 5 liters 5 deciliters of milk on day 3. What is the total amount of milk sold by the milkman in liters and milliliters?

Solution

This word problem has 2 parts. In the first part, we have to tell the total amount of milk sold in three consecutive days in liters.

Part a

To answer in liters, first, we have to convert the amount of milk sold on each day into liters and then take an aggregate of the amounts sold in three days.

Amount of milk sold on day 1 = 2400 centiliters (cl)

1 liter = 100 centiliters

2400 cl =  \frac{2400}{100} liters

= 24 liters

 

Amount of milk sold on day 2 = 2 liters 450 milliliters

In this part, we just need to convert milliliters into liters.

1 liter = 1000 milliliters

450 milliliters = \frac{450}{1000} liters

= 0.45 liters

Total amount of milk sold on day 2 = 2 + 0.45 = 2.45 liters

 

Amount of milk sold on day 3 = 5 liters 5 deciliters

Again, we just need to convert 5 deciliters into liters here:

1 liter = 10 deciliter

5 dl = \frac{5}{10} liters

= 0.5 liters

Total amount of milk sold on day 3 = 5.5 liters

 

Now, we will add all the amounts together to get the total amount of milk sold on three days.

Total amount of milk sold in liters = 24 + 2.45 + 5.5 = 31.95 liters

Hence, 31.96 liters of milk was sold in three days.

 

Part b

1 liter = 1000 milliliters

31.95 liters = 31.95 x 1000 ml

= 31950 ml

Hence, 31950 milliliters of milk was sold in three days.

 

 

Example 6

A bigger water tank can hold 64 decaliters of water at a time. There is another smaller tank that can hold 1/4th as much water as the bigger tank. If both the tanks are filled to their full capacity, what is the total amount of water in liters present in both the tanks?

Solution

We need to determine the total amount of water that is present in both the water tanks if they are filled to their full capacity.

The capacity of the bigger water tank = 64 dal

The capacity of the smaller water tank = \frac{1}{4} \cdot 64 = 16 dal

Total capacity of both the tanks = 64 + 16 = 80 dal

Amount of water present in both the tanks in liters = 80 x 10 = 800 liters (Remember 1 dal = 10 liters)

Hence, 800 liters of water is present in both the tanks.

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Rafia Shabbir