Is Hot Rolled Steel Better than Cold Rolled Steel?

Is Hot Rolled Steel Better than Cold Rolled Steel?

Hot and cold rolled steel comprise some of the common types of flat metal sheets, yet knowing their main differences can still be confusing despite the simplicity of their names. Hascall Steel Company shares their insights.

Pros and Cons

Cold rolled steel has a better surface quality than hot rolled steel since the former undergoes the cold rolling process. You should consider cold rolled steel if you are after the quality of coating for a finished product. It normally feels smooth to the touch, which is the result of acid wash removing oxidized skin prior to press fabrication.

However, some disadvantages of cold rolled steel include residual stress that may be due to uneven cooling. On the other hand, hot rolled steel offers rapid forming speed and high yield. It can also be manufactured into different cross-sections for a variety of applications, including in metal buildings, farming equipment and automobile frames. You should consult an experienced local steel fabricator if you remain undecided between hot and cold rolled steel, especially since some states have adopted a “Buy America” rule.

New York Law

In case you clinch a contract for a road or bridge work in New York, take note that contracts worth more than $1 million will require the use of U.S.-made steel. The “New York Buy American Act” will require state agencies to include a provision on contracts for the use of American steel.

These agencies include the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Department of Transportation, Thruway Authority and the Bridge Authority. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed the bill into law, and it will take effect on April 1.

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While knowing the differences between cold and hot rolled steel may seem tedious, it still helps to be familiar with them before asking for a price quotation. A fair amount of knowledge will also help you reach an informed decision on the right type of product for the job.