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Hot Rolled Steel vs Cold Rolled Steel



When choosing materials for the construction project, it is important to know the difference between the different types of steel available, how it is used and the advantages of including it in your industrial or construction project. This article will explain the differences between hot rolled steel and cold rolled steel, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.



Hot Rolled Steel 


A rolling process at temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit is used to create hot rolled steel.


Hot rolled steel actually reconfigures itself during the cooling process, giving the finished product looser tolerances than the original material and when compared to cold rolled steel products. Hot rolled steel is more malleable, allowing it to be forced into a variety of different shapes.


This makes hot rolled steel a good choice for the manufacturing of structural components, such as I beams or simple cross-sections, such as rail tracks. It is also used to produce sheet metal.



Cold Rolled Steel 


A rolling process at temperatures that are close to normal room temperature is used to create cold rolled steel. This increases the strength of the finished product through the use of strain hardening by as much as 20 percent. High-quality steel that has been processed in this manner has a gray finish that feels smooth to the touch.


The cold-rolled process creates a finished product that is more precise dimensionally than a hot rolled product. This is because it is already closer to the finished dimension since it has already gone through the cooling process.


Unfortunately, because of these properties, cold-rolled steel is limited to just a few shapes, such as round, square, flat and variations of those types of shapes. Other shapes can be cold-rolled if the cross-section is uniform and the transverse dimension is small. A series of shaping operations, which include sizing, breakdown, semi-roughing, semi-finishing, roughing and finishing are required to create cold rolled 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.


Cold rolled steel sheets and strips are available in a couple of different conditions, including full hard, half-hard, quarter hard and skin rolled. The full hard condition reduces the thickness of the steel by as much as 50 percent, while the other conditions create less of a reduction. Skin rolling is also known as a “skin pass” in the industry because it involves the least amount of reduction in thickness, somewhere between a half to one percent.


Advantages and Disadvantages rolled steel processes. When you are looking for high-quality steel or durable steel products, it is important to know what the materials will be used for, how they will be used and any shapes or sizing required ahead of time. All of these factors will help you decide which type of rolled steel will be best for your project.


Larger sized materials that need to be in more distinct shapes should be created with the hot rolled steel process. Smaller products that need to be more durable and tolerant, should be created with the cold rolled steel process. If you are uncertain about what your project requires, speak with one of the representatives at your rolled steel supplier for advice and suggestions for use.



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