Steel is available in many shapes, sizes, grades and specifications and can be used in numerous applications. The properties of each type of steel are unique, and those characteristics can be optimized to suit individual needs. This is why, when talking about the properties of steel materials, the terms ‘hot rolled’ and ‘cold rolled’ steel often come up. In this blog post, we will go through the key differences between hot and cold-rolled steel and what their processes include.
Why is Steel Rolled?
The terms hot-rolled steel and cold-rolled steel come from the process of producing the steel. The rolling process is used to enhance specific properties of the steel such as the mechanical characteristics, shape and uniformity. The differences between hot rolled steel and cold rolled steel are distinct and allow them to be suitably used for a range of applications.
Hot Rolled Steel
Hot rolled steel is roll-pressed under extremely high temperatures – these temperatures are often over 926oC or 1700oF, which is above steel’s standard recrystallisation temperature. Being heated to such high temperatures allows the steel to be formed and shaped more easily.
Once the steel has been rolled into the desired shape, it is then left to cool down. During the cooling process, the steel will shrink slightly and this means there is less control over the final shape and size of the product. As a result, hot-rolled steel is typically used where there are dimensional tolerances – meaning that the exact dimensions are not absolutely crucial.
Cold Rolled Steel
Cold-rolled steel goes through a similar process to hot-rolled steel but with an additional processing stage. After the hot rolled steel has cooled down, it goes through another stage of rolling to reach specific dimensions and enhanced surface finishes and mechanical properties.
When steel sheets are rolled, they undergo compression between rollers which helps to produce a more specific and refined steel product. It is worth noting that although the term ‘cold-rolled’ is used for all products, technically, cold-rolled products are flat-rolled sheets and coil products only.
There are a number of cold finishing processes that include turning, grinding and polishing as well as drawing and these are commonly used to manufacture steel bars or tubes.
Cold and Hot-Rolled Steel with Masteel
We provide a range of hot-rolled steels and cold-rolled steels for use in a number of applications. Some of our popular products include the S500MC and the S550MC high yield steels and certified steel angles.
The S550MC is a hot-rolled, high-yield steel that meets the EN10149: Part 2 specification. This steel has outstanding cold forming properties and can be used in a range of applications such as cold-rolled sections, steel-framed structures and structural pipes.
Masteel is a UK steel supplier with decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge in the industry. We provide high-quality steel and offer an excellent level of customer service to ensure our steels meet your applications.
If you’d like a quote or require more information about any of our cold or hot-rolled steel, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and a member of our team will be in touch promptly.