Hot Rolled Vs. Cold Rolled Steel: What’s The Difference?
The top four most common metals used in the U.S. construction industry include carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper. When it comes to choosing steel for a construction project, there are often questions about the differences between hot rolled and cold rolled steel.
The fundamental differences between these two types of metal are largely based on how the metals are processed in the mill.
What’s The Difference Between Hot Rolled And Cold Rolled Steel?
Steel that’s rolled at high temperatures is hot rolled steel. And steel that’s processed in cold reduction mills with additional annealing or tempers rolling is cold rolled steel.
The mill process for hot rolled steel involves rolling the steel at a temperature over 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit. This is above the steel’s recrystallization temperature, which allows the steel to be easily shaped.
Hot rolled steel is often used in construction and welding when specific shapes aren’t necessary for a project’s success. Common products that use hot rolled steel include railroad tracks and I-beams.
Cold rolled steel is similar to hot rolled steel. But cold rolled steel goes through additional processing.
Cold rolled steel is taken to a cold reduction mill. Here, the steel is cooled down to room temperature. The steel is then going through annealing or tempers rolling, which produces steel at a wide range of surface finishes.
When cold rolled steel is made for bar products, the process is referred to as cold finishing. This process consists of cold turning, grinding, and polishing which results in a higher yield point.
Cold finished bar products can be more difficult to work with compared to hot rolled bar products due to an increase in carbon content. But cold rolled sheets aren’t more difficult to work with compared to hot rolled sheets.
In fact, with steel sheets, cold rolled sheets have a lower carbon content. This low carbon content is usually annealed, which helps to make it softer and easier to work with compared to hot rolled sheets.
Cold rolled steel is most often used on construction projects where straightness and surface condition are critical factors.
Where can I find steel suppliers of cold rolled steel sheets?
JD Fields offers cold formed sheet piling and steel tubes for your industrial and construction needs. To learn more about our cold rolled steel prices, contact JD Fields today.