Basic difference between hot rolled and cold rolled steel is the way they are processed. Hot rolled steel involves rolling the steel above re-crystallization temperatures. Whereas cold rolled steel is processed in cold reduction mills followed by annealing and tempering. In this article we will discuss compare hot rolled vs cold rolled steel sheets.
Hot Rolling Steel
It involves rolling steel above re-crystallization temperature. Size and shape of the steel will be less predictable because during cooling process steel shrinks.
Cold Rolling Steel
It involves rolling of steel in reduced mills at below re-crystallization temperature. This process is done at room temperature. As a result there are very less chances of steel shrinkage.
Hot rolled steel manufacturing cost is less compared to cold rolled steel. Therefore cold rolled steel cost more compared to hot rolled steel.
Sheet Quality & Finish
Cold Rolled steel will have closed thickness profile, good surface texture and flatness compared with Hot Rolled Steel.
Cold rolled has a smooth and shiny finish while hot rolled has a grey and scaly finish.
Hot Rolled steel sheets are available in the range of ” 1.6 mm to 10 mm” thickness. Whereas Cold rolled steel sheets are available from “0.1 mm to 4 mm” thickness.
Hot rolled steel sheets are used in fabrication work where aesthetics and quality are not very important. For example railway track, automotive frames, structural frames, low accuracy sheet metal parts etc.
Whereas cold rolled steel are used for precision and quality fabrication work. For example, consumer electronics and telecom products, Metal furniture, automobile industry etc.
Hot Rolled vs Cold Rolled Steel Steel
|Properties||Hot Rolled Steel Sheet||Cold Rolled Steel Sheet|
|Processing Temperature||Above Re-Crystalization Temperature||Below Re-Crystalization Temperature|
|Strength||Low Strength||High Strength|
|Quality and Finish||Moderate||Good|
|Available Thickness||0.1mm to 4mm||Good|
To sum up, hot rolled steel sheets are used to take impact load and for low cost fabrication work. Whereas cold rolled steel sheets are used for very precise and quality work. Read this article for more details on sheet metal materials.
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