At American Steel, customers often ask us about the differences between hot rolled steel and cold rolled steel. Fundamentally, there are some differences between these two types of metal. The differences aren’t related to the product specification or the grade but in the way these metals are processed at the mill.
Knowing the differences between the types of steel available, how it’s used, and the advantages or disadvantages will help you determine which is the best material for your job.
If the temperature of the metal is above its recrystallization temperature, (over 1700 degrees F), then the process is known as hot rolling. At this temperature, the steel can be formed and shaped easily, and can be made into much larger sizes. Typically, hot rolled steel is less expensive than cold rolled because it is often manufactured without any process delays.
Hot rolled products, like hot rolled steel bars, are used in the welding and construction trades to make railroad tracks and I-beams, for example. Hot rolled steel is used in situations where precise shapes and tolerances are not required.
If the temperature of the metal is below its recrystallization temperature, the process is known as cold rolling. In terms of usage, hot rolling processes more tonnage than any other manufacturing process, and cold rolling processes the most tonnage out of all cold working processes.
Essentially, cold rolled steel is hot rolled steel that has been processed further. The steel is processed in cold reduction mills, where the material is cooled (at room temperature) followed by annealing rolling. This process will produce steel with closer dimensional tolerances and a wider range of surface finishes. Cold rolling is equally applicable to both plain and alloy steels and non-ferrous metals and their alloys.
Cold rolled steel is limited to just a few shapes, such as round, square, flat and variations of those types of shapes. Finished products created by the cold rolled steel process include bars, strips, rods and sheets which are usually smaller than the same products available through hot rolled methods. The smaller products are also much more tolerant than the larger hot rolled versions.
We typically have a few select pieces of machinery available for purchase or can search the marketplace for the piece of equipment that best suits your needs. Our team is ready to help you with the right solution for your business.
With over 60 years of experience and a real focus on customer satisfaction, you can rely on American Steel Products for your next project.
We provide professional renovation and installation services with a real focus on customer satisfaction. We have proven results for setting exceptional standards in cost control, planning, scheduling and project safety. We have experience that gives us a competitive advantage over others in our field.