5 FAQs Regarding Hot Rolled Steel and Cold Rolled Steel

Steel is one of the most commonly used metals in all types of fields, including construction, aerospace, and even technology. Before the steel can be used, however, if must be treated. Two common treatments are hot rolling and cold rolling. If you need steel for your company, make sure you understand the difference between hot rolled steel and cold rolled steel. Check out these five frequently asked questions, so you are prepared.

What Is Hot Rolled Steel and Cold Rolled Steel?

Hot rolling is a treatment that, as the name suggests, uses heat. The metal is heated to a temperature that makes it soft. While soft, the metal can be molded and stretched. Cold rolling, on the other hand, is performed at room temperature, and it is used to strengthen the metal. Metal that is cold rolled is typically first treated with hot rolling. The cold rolling process simply takes it a step further to perfect the metal more. This is important because hot rolling leaves metal that isn't smooth or perfect, but cold rolling corrects those problems.

Which Type Is More Affordable?

Hot rolled steel is far more affordable than cold rolled steel. The process is also rarely interrupted, so the metal does not need to be reheated, which could increase the price. The cold rolling process, however, is more expensive to perform. In addition, you have to consider extra costs. For example, if you need cold rolled steel, it has likely already been hot rolled, so you must consider the cost of both treatments.

Which Type Is More Durable?

Cold rolled steel is more durable, but that is only because it has gone through two different treatments to strengthen the metal. This gives it better tensile and yield strength. This makes it less vulnerable when under pressure. However, even hot rolling alone with significantly increase the strength of the steel. In fact, hot rolled steel is so strong, it is commonly used for and railroads tracks to support the heavy wear and tear of trains.

Which Type Is More Accurate?

The problem with hot rolling is that you have to heat the steel. As a result, even if you use a mold, the cooled metal may change in size. In other words, it is harder to estimate the shape of the cooled steel after hot rolling. This is why it is fine to use hot rolling for railroad tracks. They don't need to be completely precise. Cold rolling takes the process farther. Because it smooths the metal, it helps create a more accurate shape. At the same time, because the steel doesn't change temperature during cold rolling, there is no need to worry about the metal changing size. As a result, you can predict the dimensions of the finished piece more accurately.

Which Type Should You Choose?

While it may seem like cold rolled steel is the better choice, that isn't always advisable. Remember that cold rolled still is far more expensive than hot rolled, so it is financially smart for you to know which type is better for your company. When choosing between hot rolled and cold rolled, it's more about dimensions than strength because both types are strong and durable. Instead, you must determine if your product needs precise measurements like components for cars and appliances. If you build I-beams or other pieces that don't need exact dimensions, save money and choose hot rolling.

Understanding different metal treatments helps you understand which one gives you what you need for less money. If you would like to know more about steel treatments, contact a company like Moorhead Machinery & Boiler Co.