4 Things To Consider When Choosing Between Cold And Hot Rolled Steel For Your Project

Whether you are buying steel for a brand new building, you have a lot of options. One of the first decisions you might make is to determine whether you want to use hot or cold rolled steel. Here are some things to consider when making that choice. 

Strength and Cost

Cold rolled steel is pressed at temperatures that are cooler than hot rolled steel. As a result of not being exposed to heat, cold rolled steel is able to maintain its integrity. It is generally less likely to buckle and become weaker over time, making it stronger than hot rolled steel.

Because cold rolled steel is stronger than hot rolled steel, it tends to be more expensive. Depending on what type of building you're constructing, the additional strength may be worth the extra cost. 

Width of Steel 

If you need a particular width for your steel panels and beams, you may need to opt for hot rolled steel. Because the steel is heated during that process, any piece can be flattened or shaped by the metal fabricator to your specifications. 

With the cold rolling process, you are not able to adjust the width, because high heats are not used. A metal fabricator may have to place a special order if they do not have the steel width you need. That could end up delaying your process for a while.

Visual Differences

Cold rolled beams tend to have a shinier, smoother appearance than hot rolled beams, which can feel rough and seem unfinished. For this reason, the steel used in homes and cars is generally cold rolled. If your building's design calls for exposed beams or poles, you may opt for cold rolled steel if you are concerned about the visual appeal of the beams. You might ask your contractor to get a look at a piece of both types before making your final decision about which steel to use.

Unique Shapes

During the hot rolling process, the steel is heated, making it easier to shape and bend than if it were cold rolled. Therefore, you may want to use hot rolled steels if your building design incorporates unique shapes.

Now that you know some of the things you should keep in mind as you choose between cold and hot rolled steel for your project, talk with a local contractor, such as one from A & C Metals - Sawing, and steel supplier. They should be able to provide more guidance so that you make the appropriate choice for your building.