The Pros and Cons of Custom Roll Formed Decking
The Pros and Cons of Custom Roll Formed Decking
The U.S. steel industry saw a 21% increase in production value in 2021, and this figure only continues to rise as the steel demand becomes higher. Most of the steel produced is used in construction, as it is valued for its reliability and versatility.
In custom roll formed decking, steel creates a durable roof and floor construction for both commercial and residential buildings.
Formed Deck In Use
Metal decking is used in buildings to support the insulation in a roof or to support the weight of concrete flooring. It has the added benefit of acting as a permanent steel foundation for concrete slabs.
The strength of the form deck is dependent on the depth of the panel; the deeper the panel, the more strength it provides. Take panel depth into consideration when planning for the thickness of the concrete slab.
Why Use Metal Decking?
There are many benefits to using metal decking over other materials, such as wood.
Slabs with metal decking have a superior strength-to-weight ratio, which allows the entire slab to be more lightweight, meaning fewer materials are used.
Using steel in construction will save you money. Building costs are lowered when less material is used in comparison with other options, and money is saved. With the durability of steel, maintenance costs are also lowered.
Buildings made from wood show wear and tear over time, whereas steel structures seem to have anti-aging properties. Standing up to the forces of nature and climate, steel requires very little maintenance. It is also resistant to pests, such as termites.
Steel is a very ductile material, which allows it to bend more easily under stress. This makes it an excellent choice in terms of building materials in a location more prone to earthquakes.
Safety is not as much of a concern when it comes to metal construction. Steel decking, with its integrated edge protection, offers an immediate, safe platform on which to work.
Quality control and the minimization of errors come with the ability to prefabricate structural steelwork. Cutting the material to specification prior to bringing it to the job site keeps the work running fast and smooth.
Steel is 100% recyclable, meaning that even as a building is in the demolition phase, the metal can be reused again as a building material or maybe in a completely different way.
As sustainability and efficiency continue to rise in interest and importance, the use of structural steel will become even more common. It is the perfect material to use in construction in a world that values dependable structures that can be built in a short amount of time.
Types of Steel
There are four general types of steel that comprise the larger structural steel category.
Carbon steel makes up approximately 90% of all steel production. There are three subtypes of carbon steel, which are low (containing about 0.3% carbon), medium (containing about 0.6% carbon), and high (containing about 1.5% carbon). Its appearance is dull and matte-like, but it is exceptionally strong.
Alloy steel is a mix of several different metals and tends to be cheaper and more resistant to corrosion than carbon steel.
It might not be a surprise that tool steel gets its name because this type of metal is most often used to make tools, especially hammers. This steel is resistant to heat and scrapes and is super hard and durable.
We hear about this type of steel a lot in our everyday households, with its use in silverware and cookware. It is also used a lot in hospitals and for exterior cladding of buildings. Stainless steel is very shiny and contains 10% to 20% chromium, making it very resistant to corrosion and malleable.
Custom Roll Formed Decking Options
Manufacturers using steel roll forming machines are able to produce various types of floor deck according to your needs. The steel can be rolled into various thicknesses, whether painted or galvanized.
Type B Floor Deck
Type B deck is the most used structural metal decking in the industry due to its light weight, easy installation, low cost, and strength. Its wide rib provides an excellent surface for various roofing materials.
Composite Floor Deck
Composite floor deck is metal floor deck that has a pattern embossed at regular intervals on its flutes, which gives concrete the ability to bond to the metal as the concrete cures. This makes the entirety of the structure stronger than the metal or concrete would be on its own.
Form Decking Finishes
Steel deck material is usually finished as either galvanized or painted, and either finish is achievable with a roll former.
The coating of galvanized metal is very durable and does not need painting for structural purposes, but is often desired for aesthetic purposes.
A prime-painted surface is meant as provisional protection to protect the steel during the installation period. It is considered a temporary coating rather than a finished product.
A Custom Fit
A major benefit of ordering deck from a company with a steel roll forming machine is that you can have it cut to any specific length you might need for your construction projects. This customization also comes with faster turnaround times, helping to meet project deadlines with ease.
The ability to order this material with the exact size specifications needed for a project means the deck is delivered to you exactly how you want it, when you want it.
A Formed Decision
When looking for metal decking to suit your building needs, finding a reputable company that can provide a custom fit is a must. With years of experience and a strong inventory of superior materials, Bushwick Metals has you covered.
Reach out today for your custom roll formed decking needs.
Hot Rolled Round Bar Steel Grades: A Full Breakdown
Steel that has been rolled at a temperature higher than its recrystallization temperature (often 1700 F or above) is referred to as “hot rolled”. The treated steel has more formability and workability than unprocessed steel, making it simpler to work with in the following processing steps.
The hot rolling process begins with a billet, which is a huge, rectangular piece of metal. The billet is first heated and rolled into a big roll. It travels through a sequence of spinning rollers while still hot to attain the correct size. The rolled steel is subsequently twisted into coiled rolls and allowed to cool in sheet metal manufacturing processes. The processed material is chopped into the appropriate units and packed into manufacturing activities involving additional forms.
The Benefits of Hot Rolled Steel
Hot rolled steel has various benefits in the production process, including:
- Affordability: Because it requires less processing, hot rolled steel is often less costly than cold rolled steel.
- Minimal internal tension: Hot rolling requires cooling steel over time, allowing it to normalize its microstructure and eliminate internal tensions.
- Improved usability: The hot rolling technique results in a material that is easier to mold and shape because of the material’s increased workability.
Hot Rolled Round Bar
The lower cost and low carbon content of hot rolled round bar (also known as long products, re-rolled bar, and merchant bar) make it an excellent choice for a wide range of applications. Forging, fabricating, and machining operations may be performed with no need for specific equipment or heat treatments because of the steel’s low carbon content (0.22 percent max) and low yield point (275N/mm2 min).
Pickling and oiling (P&O) or a variety of abrasives, including shot blasting, may remove the surface scale off the bar’s exterior while it is in the AR (as rolled) state. Due to a fast temperature shift during shot blasting the scale offers a limited level of protection against mild corrosion. A rust-like tint may emerge due to humidity and the steel’s mineral composition.
Hot rolled steel is no different from the rest of the metals when it comes to manufacturing tolerances. A billet or bloom is heated to roughly 1200C and passed through a sequence of rollers comprising roughing, intermediate, and finishing. The bloom length or billet is increased by using these rolls, which lower the cross-sectional area. At this point, the section is also generated in terms of its form and specified measurements. The pace at which the steel cools after exiting the furnace is essential to its qualities and appropriateness for use, as the steel cools from 1200C to roughly 900C.
The temperature drop from hot rolling to cold and no additional polishing before end usage makes it impossible to regulate section tolerances properly. Tolerances range from 0.4 mm to millimeters on bigger sections, depending on the size of the piece. Greater precision of 0.2 mm or less is necessary for bright drawn and peeled and ground components.
Hot Rolled Steel Bars Grades
For general-purpose applications, hot-rolled steel bars are employed. This steel has a low carbon content and high mechanical qualities in general. The standard structural procedures, such as moderate cold and hot shaping and welding, are simple to implement.
Below is a detailed breakdown of the grades, applications, and sizes available round shaped bars.
|1018||A576||Round from 1/2″ to 12″||20′ RL|
1018 is a manganese-rich, low-carbon steel that differs from mild steel as well as other low-carbon steel. This is superior steel for carburized components since it’s higher in manganese, which results in a tougher, more uniform casing. It also has improved machining qualities and mechanical properties, such as Brinell hardness. Chemical composition, heating, rolling, surface preparation, and other manufacturing controls are all employed in its manufacture. As a consequence, a high-quality product suited for forging, heat treatment, cold drawing, machining, and other applications is produced.
Application: Because 1018 is an excellent carburizing steel, it’s ideal for pinions, gears, kingpins, worms, chain pins, liners, oil tool slips, and ratchets that need a high surface hardness with a relatively soft core. Tie rods, anchor pins, studs, special bolts, and other items are often specified in 1018.
|1045||A576||Round from 1/2″ to 12″||20′ RL|
In the production of 1045, special controls for heating, rolling, chemical composition, surface preparation, and other aspects of medium-carbon steel manufacture are utilized. These bars may be used for forging, heat treatment (including flame hardening), cold drawing, machining, and other applications as a consequence of their meticulous preparation.
Application: When lower carbon steels aren’t strong enough, this steel should be used instead. It becomes even stronger when heat treated. Alloy steel is often used in the construction of automobile and heavy equipment components, as well as in stud bolts and other types of fasteners.
|1141||A576||Round 2″ to 12″||20′ RL|
1141 is manganese steel with modest carbon content. It’s melted to meet unique bar grade and fine-grain standards while maintaining excellent consistency and homogeneity. Strength properties are vital in the as-rolled form, and heat treatment may increase hardness and strength. Because of the inclusion of sulphur, the machinability is great.
Application: This grade is advantageous in applications requiring superior machinability and increased strength, such as shafts, studs, axles, tie rods, bolts, and so on.
|A36||A36||Round from 1/2″ to 3″||20′ RL|
This steel has a low carbon content and excellent overall mechanical characteristics. It is simple to make using standard structural procedures such as moderate cold and hot shaping and welding. It is simple to make using standard structural procedures such as moderate cold and hot shaping and welding.
Application: This material is utilized for non-critical and general purpose structural applications involving moderate cold bending, mild hot forming, punching, and welding. General machine components, agricultural tools, transportation equipment, and so on are examples of this kind of use for the material It’s employed in situations when seams and other minor flaws in the surface are acceptable.
What Is Hot Rolled Pickled And Oiled Steel?
Did you know that steel is the most commonly used metal on earth? It is strong and versatile, and it’s produced and used in every part of the world. The Brooklyn Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, and the Empire State Building are just three of the countless steel buildings that you can find around the world.
Because steel is so common, it’s available in a wide variety of forms and finishes. Choosing the right steel for your project is important, but it can also be overwhelming. If you’re looking for durable steel that is paintable, economical, and useful in a wide variety of situations, hot rolled pickled and oiled steel is a great option for you.
What Is Hot Rolled Pickled and Oiled Steel?
Hot rolled pickled and oiled steel, or HRPO steel, is steel that has been processed to remove surface impurities. When traditional hot rolled steel is pickled and oiled, it becomes more durable and rust-resistant. HRPO steel is a popular choice for construction because of its impressive workability.
The Hot Rolled Pickled and Oiled Steel Process
There are three major parts of HRPO processing: hot rolling, pickling, and oiling.
Hot rolling is when steel heats up to a very high temperature (usually a scorching 1700 degrees Fahrenheit) until it reaches its recrystallization point. At this point, it appears red-hot and can be easily formed into new shapes. The heated steel squeezes through large rollers that form the hot, pliable metal into the desired shape and thickness. The steel is reshaped into sheets as it passes through the rollers and then cools.
This kind of hot rolled steel is very popular and is used in many different settings. You can find it in construction, train tracks, car parts, and more.
After the steel has been hot rolled, it has a flaky surface covered in something called mill scale. Mill scale consists of surface oxides like iron oxide. Oxides form a film on the steel and give it a rough finish and a grey-blue tint. If the scale is not removed, it makes the steel harder to work with and less durable. That’s where pickling and oiling come in.
During the pickling process, the scale is removed from the surface of the steel with the help of acid. Hot rolled steel is placed in a Hydrogen Chloride acid bath until all scale, rust, and other impurities are stripped away. When the steel comes out of the acid bath, it is rinsed and washed with an alkaline solution. This neutralizes any acid that remains on the surface.
After the steel is pickled and washed, it is completely exposed to the elements and runs the risk of rapidly corroding. This is called “flash rusting.” In order to prevent flash rusting, pickled steel is immediately dried and oiled.
Oiling is the last step in the HRPO process. The oil that is applied to the surfaces of the newly pickled steel helps to prevent rust and oxidation. Once the steel is oiled, it can sit in storage for a long time without rusting. Depending on how you are using HRPO steel, you might need to remove the oil before fabricating the steel.
Industry Uses for Hot Rolled Pickled and Oiled Steel
Hot rolled pickled and oiled steel is achieved by using a multi-step process. The hot rolled steel is plunged into a special solution of acid. This causes any scaling on the steel to come off and is referred to as pickling of the steel. The final preparation of the HRPO steel is oiling it to keep the surface free of rust and oxidation. Some of the industries that use this type of smoothed steel include:
Every major form of transportation uses hot rolled pickled and oiled steel in one way or another. The automobile industry uses HRPO steel in part because of its welding and paint adhering capabilities. Auto parts like hinges and trim are frequently made from HRPO for weight, strength, durability, and safety. The shipping industry uses HRPO steel for beams, tubes, pipes, and grating. The aircraft industry uses hot rolled steel for fuel tanks and exhaust parts to alleviate most of the potential for rust and corrosion. The railroad industry uses hot rolled steel for tracks and different parts of the train cars.
HRPO steel is a favorite in the manufacturing of farm equipment like tractors and harvesters. Any machinery that could be a victim of the elements benefits from the qualities offered by hot rolled pickled and oiled steel. Coils and other parts of irrigation equipment last longer when made from RHPO steel.
Funeral and Burials
Hot rolled picked and oiled steel is often used for making caskets and various types of burial vaults. Steel offers the best protection from weather and other elements that might otherwise speed decomposition. The resting place of a loved one will be rust proof when made from hot rolled pickled and oiled steel.
One of the most commonly used areas of hot rolled pickled and oiled steel is in construction. HRPO steel offers the strength that skyscrapers and other commercial and industrial buildings require to uphold the safety of inhabitants and visitors to these structures. Hot rolled steel itself can help the buildings withstand weight, and the pickled and oiled steel parts of the process help to enhance workmanship, longevity, and sometimes aesthetics.
Steel suppliers take steel grades and overall metal processing methods into consideration when promoting their steel products. Your project managers can benefit from specs and industry numbers when shopping for the right type of steel for projects. Edging specifications can differ by job, and we offer specific edging to fit your job.
Advantages of Pickled and Oiled Steel
Pickled and oiled steel has a much cleaner surface than hot rolled steel that is not pickled or oiled. This clean and uniform surface is ideal for painting and enamel application. Other kinds of fabrication are easier with HRPO steel, too. For example, it is safer and easier to weld HRPO steel because there are fewer surface contaminants to worry about.
The oiling process enhances the rust resistance of the steel, so HRPO steel can form things like pipes and farm equipment. It has good longevity and can handle exposure to water and the elements. After the steel is oiled, it can sit in storage for longer periods of time without rusting or degrading.
HRPO steel is usually cheaper than cold rolled steel because of the comparative ease of the hot rolling process. Like all hot rolled steels, it also has good flexibility. It can be fabricated into many different shapes without cracking.
The pickling and oiling process is so effective that it is not just used with steel. Copper, bronze, and brass can also be pickled and oiled for better finish and longevity. These metals often use different chemicals in their pickling solutions, but the end result is the same.
When Should I Use HRPO Steel?
Construction projects use many different types of structural steel, and the steel you choose should be a good fit for your specific needs. Because HRPO steel is appropriate for many different applications, it is a popular choice.
HRPO steel is a great all-purpose steel. It is easy to cut and is useful for projects that require smaller steel pieces. It is also highly formable, which means that it can transform into beams, tubes, and other shapes without cracking or breaking.
HRPO steel is a good choice for things like shelves and machine parts, which are relatively protected from exposure. Because it is rust-resistant, it is also appropriate for things like car frames and farm equipment. Some other common uses of HRPO steel include construction, guard rails, truck frames, doors, wheel rims, and structural components like I-beams and sheet metal. The possibilities are almost endless!
We’ve Got the HRPO Steel You Need!
At Bushwick Metals, we’re proud to be experts on all things steel. Are you looking for hot rolled pickled and oiled steel? We can answer any questions you have and help you purchase exactly what you need for your project. We carry HRPO steel sheets, tubing, and more. Whatever your needs, we’ve got the metals for you.
Contact us today to find out why we pride ourselves on our customer service. We look forward to hearing from you.
Hot-Rolled Steel Grades Explained
We get it; you’re in the construction business—you’re not a spy. Why should you be expected to decipher a bunch of secret codes to get to the best hot-rolled steel components for your next construction project? And by secret codes, we mean the various grades of steel, of course. Despite how confusing they can be, those series of letters and numbers are packed full of useful information.
Keep reading this short guide to hot-rolled steel grades to crack the code and get on with your job!
What Is Hot-Rolled Steel?
Most modern steel manufacturing is either cold rolling or hot rolling. Hot-rolled steel is the least expensive and least complex type for steel mills to produce, and it sees extensive use in the automotive and construction industries.
Making hot-rolled steel involves heating a slab of steel to over 2000°F. The width and thickness of this heated slab are then reduced to desired values as it is run through a series of rolling mills. The resulting steel sheet is then cooled via several different processes, including pickling and oiling.
Even if you’ve determined by now that you need a component made of hot-rolled steel, you still need to figure out which particular steel grade is best for the application you have in mind.
What Are Steel Grades?
Steels are graded according to standards set by two different organizations. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) each have a unique system for classifying steel by type, application, characteristics, specific use, etc.
The SAE’s system uses a simple four-digit number, alternatively known as the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). For example, plain carbon steel grades start with 10 and end in two more numbers that indicate the steel’s carbon content. That would mean that the code “1095” refers to a plain carbon steel with a concentration of around 0.95% carbon.
The ASTM uses a letter prefix to indicate the type of metal (“A” is used for ferrous metals like iron and steel). This prefix is followed by a sequence of numbers that indicates the metal’s other properties.
What Are the Most Common Hot-Rolled Steel Grades?
The following are the most commonly used types of steel grades for hot rolling:
This is one of the most popular hot-rolled steels that we sell at Bushwick. With a carbon content of between 0.25% and 0.29%, this is low carbon steel. As mentioned above, the “A” in this ASTM grade denotes steel. And in this case, the “36” means that this steel’s tensile strength has a minimum yield of 36,000 psi. A-36 is easy to machine and weld, and its mechanical characteristics are superb.
A-36 is popular for use in structural applications. It is common steel for making bars, channels, angles, plates, tubes, and shafts.
This steel has a very low (from 0.08%–0.13%) carbon content. It is readily machinable and weldable, and it forms easily compared to higher carbon and alloy steels.
AISI 1018 is another fairly low-carbon steel (0.14%–0.20% carbon content). Aside from slight differences in ductility and tensile strength, it is nearly indistinguishable from AISI 1010.
Both 1010 and 1018 are ideal for use in structural, automotive, and furniture applications.
This designation is for high-strength low-alloy steel that contains trace amounts of other elements. It boasts improved formability and is extremely versatile.
A-1011 sees common use in structural steel sheets, automotive bodies, and drums.
The characteristics of AISI-designated 1026 are very similar to those of ASTM’s A-36 steel. They have similar chemical properties, and 1026’s 0.22%–0.26% carbon content places it on the upper end of the low carbon steels. When hot rolled, 1026 and A-36 also perform nearly identically. Both 1026 and A-36 are suitable when more strength and durability than 1010 or 1018 are required.
Hot-rolled 1026 is a regular constituent of structures, automotive components, and furniture.
A-500 is another low carbon (up to 0.26% by weight) steel that is commonly hot rolled. It is very similar to A-36, except that A-500 is only used to make tubing. Despite the specificity of the form in which it’s available, A-500 still sees common use in structural applications.
This steel contains 0.42%–0.50% carbon, making it a medium carbon steel. As such, it is generally stronger than other hot-rolled steels that have lower amounts of carbon. And due to its higher carbon content, it can be heat treated with quench hardening or annealing, which greatly alters its mechanical characteristics compared to lower carbon steel. However, because of its increased hardness, it is much less ductile. This should be kept in mind when considering what application to use it in.
Being another medium carbon steel, 1141 contains 0.37%–0.45% carbon. However, what sets it apart from similar “10” varieties of steel is its additional 1.35%–1.65% manganese and 0.08%–0.13% sulfur content. These additional elements make 1141 more conducive to heat treating than 1045 steel.
Despite its medium carbon content, which generally translates to greater hardness, 1141 is also much less harsh on machining tools. That makes it something called a “free machining steel.” However, the added sulfur means that 1141 is unsuited to welding.
AISI-designated 1141 is typically used to make a few different fasteners and other parts that require relatively heavy machining.
What Is Hot-Rolled Steel Used For?
Hot-rolled steel serves multiple purposes. Here are a few examples:
- Materials for buildings: From steel bars to steel beams, there is a good steel alloy for every project.
- Support for big rigs: Modern truck frames are constructed out of steel.
- Supplies for builders: Hot-rolled steel makes doors and shelves stronger.
Here are five industries that benefit from hot-rolled steel supplies.
The Automotive and Transportation Industry
Quality steel is a staple in the automotive industry because it has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. This is why the most aerodynamic cars will have steel components. Besides automobiles, steel also benefits
- Ship manufacturers
- Aircraft manufacturers
- Train manufacturers
The Best Hot Rolled Steel Grades for Automotive Businesses
In the automotive world, A36 is the preferred grade for most manufacturing projects. Unlike most steel materials, A36 hot-rolled steel is very affordable, so it’s the best option for lengthy manufacturing runs. Some companies also use 1011 steel sheets and plates to build different automotive products. This grade is durable, and it’s very easy to work with.
Hot-rolled steel tubes help automotive businesses too. An A513 is a good grade because it’s easy to cut and weld.
The Construction Industry
In the construction industry, steel is extremely useful because it’s
- Highly durable
- Energy efficient
Thanks to refined construction practices, steel structures are everywhere in the United States. It’s used for railroads, homes, commercial buildings, and more.
The Best Hot Rolled Steel Grades for Construction Businesses
Thousands of construction companies invest in A36 hot-rolled steel bars and A513 hot-rolled sheets. However, A36 steel bars are used more often because they have outstanding mechanical properties.
Energy Providers and Suppliers
The energy industry is always evolving. When there are big changes, all energy providers and suppliers must keep up with the latest advancements. If they cut corners, they will lose money. Every business in this industry needs the right infrastructure to be successful. There are many ways to create a sound infrastructure, but a typical blueprint will always require steel.
The Best Hot Rolled Steel Grades for Energy Suppliers
Typically, 1011 hot-rolled steel sheets and hot-rolled A513 steel bars are the best products roofing companies. They use high-quality 1011 steel sheets during roof repairs and A513 steel slabs for solar panels.
Steel packaging provides superior protection against the elements. It’s a staple for most food and beverage packages.
The Best Hot Rolled Steel Grades for Packaging Businesses
In this industry, most businesses use A36 hot-rolled steel because it’s malleable and cost-efficient.
Approximately 75% of all modern appliances are made of steel. Without steel, these products will lack structure and stability.
What Grade of Hot-Rolled Steel Do I Need?
Now that you’ve caught up with all the most popular hot-rolled steel grades, you probably know which one to order from us today at Bushwick Metals (especially if you want it delivered tomorrow). So, whether you’d like a quote on exactly what you need or you still have questions, you can easily get in touch with us—click here!
Cold vs Hot-Rolled Steel
Now that you’ve read all about cold and hot-rolled steel, it’s time to figure out which is right for you! When it comes to choosing between cold and hot-rolled steel, there are several different factors you should take into consideration. Cold-rolled steel is processed at low temperatures, then recrystallized through a rolling process. The process aids in giving the steel a smoother finish, thus making it easier to cut and form. Hot-rolled steel, on the other hand, is made by heating the steel beyond its recrystallization point, sometimes to temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and then cooling it quickly in order for it to retain its shape and strength.
The main difference between cold and hot-rolled steel is their mechanical properties. Cold-rolled steel tends to be more durable for molding than hot-rolled steel due to the way it has been processed. However, hot-rolled steel offers the advantage of being easier to work with overall.
Certain projects tend to be better suited for hot-rolled steel. This includes, but is not limited to projects like railway tracks, food and beverage packages, and agricultural equipment. Hot-rolled steel is also able to handle some give or stress, so it works well for things like bridges, that are supporting large amounts of weight. Hot-rolled steel offers an affordable, strong option for industrialized applications.
Cold-rolled steels are best used when a highly complicated design must be constructed because it cools more uniformly than hot-rolled steel. It works great for items such as automotive components or home appliances. In addition, its sleek and polished appearance offers an attractive, modern aesthetic. However, it is not as hard as hot-rolled steel and in addition, tends to be placed at a higher price point.
When selecting which type of steel is right for you, you should carefully consider what qualities are needed for your project or product requirements, since these can vary widely. If it’s construction equipment or materials, hot-rolled steel is likely a great option. However, if you need something with a highly-specialized design, cold-rolled steel may just be a more attractive alternative.
There are also a few things that you should always keep in mind when deciding between hot or cold-rolled steel. The biggest thing to remember is that hot-rolled steel simply just isn’t suited for certain applications. In general, you should avoid using hot-rolled steel for any projects that require highly-detailed or very intrinsic molding. Hot-rolled steel doesn’t offer as much design accuracy as cold-rolled steel does, so you may not be able to get the exact design you want. In addition, hot-rolled steel is also much rougher to the touch than steel that has been cold-rolled, because of how much faster it is cooled. However, hot-rolled steel also tends to be more affordable for large projects and is fast and extremely easy to mold. Ultimately you should take all of your project’s factors into consideration in order to decide what steel is right for you!
Important Differences Between Cold Vs Hot-Rolled Steel
Choosing between cold vs hot-rolled steel is essential to achieving the best results during a project. But, not everybody knows everything that they should in order to make this decision. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as you might think. Let’s take a look at everything you should keep in mind.
Differences in Manufacturing
The differences in cold and hot rolled steel begin at the manufacturing level. To begin the process, mined steel ore gets blasted at high temperatures. This process oxidized the steel, removing impurities and excess carbon.
Now, the molten steel is ready for processing. All steel gets hot rolled to begin with, while cold rolling refers to further processing and the application of finishes.
What Is Hot Rolled Steel?
Hot rolled steel is the initial steel manufacturing process after it is oxidized. As the name suggests, hot rolled steel requires massive amounts of heat to create. Hot rolled steel requires heat that surpasses the steel’s recrystallization threshold. This means that old, deformed crystal grains get replaced by stress-free grains, thus changing the structure of the steel itself.
Often, the temperatures required for recrystallization exceed 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This process creates more malleable steel that is easier to work with. Manufacturers take advantage of hot rolled steel’s unique properties for easy shaping, cutting, and forming.
One of the most commonly recognized types of hot rolled steel is sheet metal, which is the primary metal used to make air ducts or automobile bodies. After they get the right shape, the manufacturer allows the steel to cool at room temperature. Though other cooling methods are faster, they tend to create production problems.
Steel will shrink and warp as it cools. A quick cooling method such as quenching can make it difficult to control the final shape and size of the steel. Moreover, quick cooling methods affect the internal structure of the steel and can make it more brittle and weak. But, a room temperature cool allows for a better-controlled shape in the final project. Finished hot rolled steel tends to have a scaly surface. When it cools and shrinks, its edges and corners also round out.
What Is Cold Rolled Steel?
As you may have guessed, cold-rolled steel requires far lower temperatures during production than its hot-rolled counterpart. But, that doesn’t mean it’s pressed at freezing temperatures. Rather, we could think of cold rolling as “room temperature rolling.” Cold rolled steel is hot rolled steel that gets rolled yet again at room-temperature to suit various purposes. Most prominent is the need for precision, but cold rolled steel is also stronger and more pleasing to the eye than hot rolled steel.
As we mentioned before, metal shrinks and warps as it cools. While room-temperature cooling helps control this process, predicting metal’s final shape remains imprecise. To create a precise cut of steel, manufacturers employ the cold rolling method. Since they can forgo excessive high temperatures, they have accurate control over the final shape of the product. So, a cold-rolled metal sheet is customizable to precise measurements.
The cold rolling process also makes the steel stronger and less pliable, which is useful in appliance manufacturing. The downside of its superior strength is that there are limited options available for shape customization. Cold rolled steel uses finishes during the process, so it may have a slick or oily surface. Because it is processed at room temperature, you will notice it has nice, straight edges and corners when compared to hot rolled steel.
Cold vs Hot Rolled Steel
Of course, these manufacturing processes create steels that have unique advantages for unique situations. Making the wrong decision could cause numerous complications during your project. Let’s explore everything that you should know about the advantages of both hot and cold rolled steel.
Despite requiring extreme temperatures, hot-rolled steel is easier to manipulate. In fact, the entire process is relatively simple — all you need to do is heat the steel up, shape it, and cool it.
Price is also an important factor to consider when comparing the two types of processes. For those unaware, making hot-rolled steel is significantly cheaper, allowing you to keep a much tighter budget. As previously mentioned, hot-rolled steel is also cooled at room temperature. The complications that you avoid will prevent you from incurring unexpected costs in the form of material damage.
Perhaps the most significant advantage of using cold-rolled steel is the capability to form highly accurate shapes. This type of process is also renowned for how consistent and straight the results are. Due to the temperature at which that this type of steel is formed, you also have a much wider range of finishes that you can use for its surface. This allows you to achieve a smooth, shiny appearance that is more aesthetically pleasing than hot-rolled steel.
For this reason, cold-rolled steel is the preferred option when appearance is one of the most important attributes. This is especially useful for projects that require steel with highly defined edges and corners. In fact, cold-rolled steel is notably efficient at creating bars that are uniformly square.
What Types of Projects Are They Most Appropriate For?
Each process is better suited toward particular types of projects. But, is not always easy to tell which method your project should use. As you might guess, choosing the wrong one could create significant obstacles down the road. Let’s explore the information that you need to know.
Since hot-rolled steel is not as structurally precise as cold-rolled steel, it’s better suited for projects that don’t require highly precise shapes. The same can be said about structural tolerance. For this reason, hot-rolled steel is ideal for products like sheet metal, heavy equipment (like you would find in the agriculture industry), and railroad tracks.
This type of steel is also ideal for creating I-beams. Additionally, hot-rolled steel can be used for projects that require unique or unconventional shapes. In general, this type of steel is preferred for projects that require a large amount of material.
It should come as no surprise that cold-rolled steel is perfect for creating pieces that are highly straight or uniform. These include strips, bars, and rods. But, cold-rolled steel also comes with plenty of other utility. Projects centered around roof and wall systems or appliances make liberal use of cold-rolled steel. It’s also used in the creation of aerospace structural components.
So, Which One Is Best for Me?
It can often be overwhelming when it comes to making the right decision for your project. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to help you figure out the answer.
If your project requires large components that don’t need to be a precise shape, hot-rolled steel is likely the best option. In contrast, projects that require durable, smaller pieces will benefit from the use of cold-rolled steel.
If you’re still having trouble figuring out which is ideal, consider getting in touch with a professional. They will be able to point you in the right direction and help you avoid complications in the future.
Choosing Between Cold vs Hot-Rolled Steel Might Seem Complicated
The above information will ensure that you don’t have any trouble making your decision. From here, you’ll be able to tell if cold vs hot-rolled steel is ideal for your project. Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to reach out to us today and see how we can help.