If you are looking to construct a product or building, you may be looking to purchase steel. However, as you shop for rolled steel, you will find that some is labeled as cold rolled steel and other is labeled as rolled steel, which is hot or heat rolled steel. Just as the name implies, hot rolled steel is rolled when the metal is heated up, whereas cold rolled steel is rolled when the metal is cold. But you may wonder what this means for you or the steel that you purchase. Here are a few of the differences between hot and cold rolled steel.
One of the biggest differences between hot and cold rolled steel is shrinkage. When metal is heated up and then cooled, it shrinks a little bit. Unfortunately, the amount of shrinkage depends on many factors, including the metal composition of the material, the heat that the metal is heated and cooled too and the shape of the metal. At this time, there is no way to know exactly how much shrinkage will occur. As such, if your rolled steel items need to be exact to size, cold rolled is the only way to guarantee this as there is no shrinkage.
Another of the differences between cold and hot rolled steel is the strength of the steel once it has been rolled. If you take two identical sheets of steel and cold roll one and heat roll the other, the cold rolled one will be slightly stronger. This is because heat can weaken the steel, especially if it is applied in an uneven pattern. You can counteract some of the lost strength in heat rolled steel by using a thicker piece of steel or a pure steel composition rather than steel mixed with alloys. However, this may be more costly. If you need your steel item to be as strong as possible, cold rolling may be the better option.
Time to Manufacture
The last difference between hot and cold rolled steel is the time that it takes to manufacture. Heat rolled steel is the standard way to roll steel, primarily because it is considerably faster and easier than cold rolled steel. Heat rolled steel is heated up once, rolled and then allowed to cool to room temperature. Cold rolled steel has to be cooled multiple times to get it to roll. This slows down the process. If you need your rolled steel right away, hot rolled steel may be the better option for you.
The method used to roll steel affects the time it takes to manufacture the strength and the amount of shrinking in rolled steel. Learning about these differences can help educate you as you decide which is ideal for your project. For more information, talk to a company like A & C Metals - Sawing.