August 28, 2021 in Sheet Metal, Steel

Differences Between Cold & Hot Rolled Steel

Using the wrong type of metal for your project can be detrimental. While the grade of the metal is one factor to consider, there are several others you should keep in mind. When it comes to steel, hot rolled and cold rolled steel are each suited for different types of products, regardless of their grade because each provides different benefits. In this article, we’ll help you understand the difference between them to help better inform you about which one to use with each unique project.

Hot Rolled

Hot rolled steel involves heating up steel to a temperature that allows it to be shaped properly, at which point the steel is rolled. The steel is then allowed to cool off at room temperature. 

This cooling process actually makes the metal more malleable. However, it also allows the steel to shrink variably throughout itself, which makes this kind of steel preferable for products that require less extreme precision. 

Though each variant of rolled steel comes in different grades, hot rolled tends to be cheaper overall, in part because it is made faster and requires less involvement. 

The characteristics of this steel make it optimal for larger end-products requiring less precision such as large structural components.

Cold Rolled

When hot rolled steel is further processed after it cools, it is called cold rolled steel. This steel is rolled at comparatively cooler temperatures (around room-temp). 

Cold rolled steel goes through more processes in its refinement, which help to eliminate the inconsistencies that arise during the first cooling process. Compared to hot rolled steel, these processes make it stronger, more consistent, more durable, and more precise. However, it is also less malleable, limited to less shapes that it can be produced into, and tends to have a higher price point. It can also be made in more finishes, allowing it to be more aesthetically pleasing than hot rolled steel.

The benefits of cold rolled steel, such as its precision and aesthetics, are ideal for smaller projects which may also require more accuracy

Your Steel Supplier in Phoenix & Tucson

As you can see, both hot rolled and cold rolled steel are suitable for different types of projects. We hope this article has been helpful in aiding you with your project. At Arizona Iron Supply, serving Phoenix and Tucson, we have been providing high quality cast iron, aluminum products, ornamental iron, hardware and steel since 1977. Call us today at 1-800-528-9875 to find the right products for your project. 


Photo by Levi Saunders on Unsplash 06/28/2019