Hot Formed Steel vs. Cold Formed Steel

There are more than 3,500 different grades of steel each having their own unique properties.  With all the different types it allows for wide diverse use in infrastructure, appliances, vehicles, even wind turbines.  Optimizing steel properties goes well beyond changing the chemical composition.  However, the manufacturing process plays a role in steel products even if the grades of the steel are the same.  

What is the difference between hot rolled steel and cold rolled steel?

The difference to note between both rolling methods is the process in which they are done.  Hot rolled steel takes place when heat is applied.  For cold rolling it is the opposite of hot rolled steel it happens at or near room temperature.  Both of these techniques play a role in overall performance and application.  Steels of all types of grades and specifications can be rolled both hot or cold.  That includes basic carbon steel and other alloy steels.  

Hot Rolled Steel

Hot-rolled steel is steel that has been heated up to extreme temperatures (over 1,700 degrees) which is well over the recrystallization temperature for the majority of steels.  This allows the steel to be able to be bent and shaped easier.  How is works is that manufactures start with a large piece of metal called a billet.  They begin by heating the billet before it is sent for pre-processing where it gets flattened into a large roll.  From there it is run through a series of rollers while being kept at a high temperature till it takes its final dimensions.  Sheet metal is a bit different of a process.  The rolled steel is spun into coils and left to cool.  Where they are made into bars, or plates.  

Benefits of Hot Rolled Steel

When it comes down to rolling steel there are two options to either hot roll it or cold rolling.  Hot rolling steel requires much less processing which is more cost effective. Hot rolling steel is the better option when dimension tolerance are not as important as overall material strength. 

Cold Rolled Steel

The process for cold rolling steel takes a bit longer as it involves just a few more steps compared to hot rolled steel.  Each product of cold rolled steel or sheets are pulled like bars and tubes.  Other cold finishing processes include turning, grinding, and polishing, each of which are used to modify the existing hot rolled steel into a more refined product.  

Benefits of Cold Rolled Steel

The first aspect that is noticeable between cold rolled steel and hot rolled is the surface characteristics.  So, when the job calls for more precise applications cold rolled steel will provide a more aesthetic feel.  The baring part of using cold rolled steel is the price tag that comes along with it.  Due to it having more steps and applications to get to the finished product.  Another winning aspect cold rolling brings to the table is the strength and resistance to tension.  


Contact Markham Metals Today!

If you are looking for an expert team to help with your next project do not overlook Markham Metals.  Our professionals have years of experience with cold and hot rolling metals. For more information on cold and hot rolling metals read more here.  To get in contact with us at 978-658-1121 or by filling out an online contact form.  

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