Abstract In this report approximated formulae for calculation of the pressure distribution in the contact between a hydraulic cylinder piston rod and a scraper ring are presented. The formulae are partly based on analytical solutions and partly on finite element method (FEM) calculations. Approximated functions are fitted to the results from the FEM calculations by using a regression technique. The agreement between the approximate method and the FEM calculations for the whole structure is satisfactory for the case examined. The maximum difference between the approximation and the FEM calculations is 10%. The formulae could easily be implemented in a computer and the calculation time would be decreased significantly compared with an FEM analysis. Furthermore, pressure distributions can be calculated without any knowledge of FEM.