Hot vs Cold Rolled Steel: What Are the Differences?

If you're reading this right now, chances are excellent that you've got something made out of steel in your vicinity. Iron and steel manufacturing is a $124 billion business today. 

Learning how this durable metal goes from raw to finished product will help you if you're interested in the construction and manufacturing industries. 

Hot rolled steel and cold rolled steel are two of the main production processes that this metal undergoes. The tips below will help you when you're studying the differences between hot vs cold rolled steel.

Cold Rolled Steel

Cold rolled steel refers to a type that is manufactured at or below room temperature. The material is rolled into thinner, more even cylinders of metal, not unlike rolling dough when baking. 


hot vs cold rolled steel

So, what are some of the pros and cons? 

The Benefits of Cold Rolled Steel

  • It's best when you're looking for precision
  • Cold rolled steel is stronger than hot rolled steel
  • The finished product gets tighter tolerances and more strength

Always familiarize yourself with the process as you enjoy the benefits. 

The Cons of Cold Rolled Steel

You might have good reason to try a different method, depending on what kind of work you're producing. 

Here are some of the cons of cold rolled steel:

  • It's more expensive than hot rolled steel
  • The work can take more time
  • Malleability is lower

If cold rolled steel won't work for you, it's best that you learn more about the other option.  

Hot Rolled Steel

What is hot rolled steel? Unlike the other practice, metals involved in the hot rolled process are exposed to heat. Many different types of steel are made this way. 

Here are some benefits: 

The Benefits of Hot Rolled Steel

  • It's less expensive than cold rolled steel
  • You'll get your finished product sooner
  • The steel won't have stresses 

A hot rolled steel guide isn't complete without discussing the negatives. 

The Cons of Hot Rolled Steel

Make sure to familiarize yourself with some cons of hot rolled steel. A few disadvantages include:

  • It's not as strong as cold rolled steel
  • The finished product is rougher and less refined
  • The metal might cool unevenly

Knowing the whole picture will let you figure out what is the most important when looking into steel manufacturing.  

Applications and Things to Consider

There are more than 3,000 grades of steel that you can choose between. Both hot and cold rolled steel are used in a variety of processes. Start exploring your options and come up with a priority list for your projects. 

There are subtle differences, and as you can see, there are plusses and minuses to both. 

People might choose to use cold rolled steel for anything from fabricating car parts to making outdoor furniture. Hot rolled steel is used in projects like erecting skyscrapers and building car frames.  

A Guide to Hot vs Cold Rolled Steel

Understanding hot vs cold rolled steel will help you understand more about the manufacturing and industrial process. This hot vs. cold rolled steel guide will serve as an excellent primer.  

Check out our other posts so that you can get up to date on everything related to construction, industrial, and other sectors. 

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