Looking for steel products and not exactly sure what type you need? This guide will help you make the right decisions when purchasing Houston steel. All you need to know is what the material will be used for and the size requirements.There are two types of steel: hot-rolled and cold-finished versions. Hot-rolled steel (also called mild steel) is the bread-and-butter steel product for many industries since it is more pliable (ductile) than cold-finished drawn products.
When choosing materials for a job, it’s important to know the different types of steel available, how they are used and the advantages of including them in construction or industrial projects.
Cold-Finished versus Hot-Rolled
The initial thing to remember is that the terms “hot-rolled” and “cold-finished” do not refer to any strengths or grades, but merely the procedure used to create the bar product at the mill.
Hot-Rolled Steel: A process at temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit is used to create hot-rolled steel. Houston steel products that have been processed in this manner have blue-gray finishes that feel rough to touch.Hot-rolled steel is pliable and softer than cold-finished steel. Hot-rolled steel products have light grey, rough finishes and round edges (in square and flat bars), and hot-rolled products are typically over-sized. This makes hot-rolled steel an excellent choice for the manufacturing of steel components such as simple cross-sections or I-beams, such as rail tracks. They are also used to produce sheet metals.
Cold-Finished Steel:A rolling process at temperatures close to normal room temperature is used to create cold-finished steel. This increases the strength of finished products through the use of strain-hardening as much as 20 percent. The cold process produces finished products that are more precise in dimension than their hot-rolled counterparts. This is because they are already closer to the finished dimensions since they have already gone through the cooling process.Unfortunately, due to the outlined properties, cold-finished steel is limited to few shapes such as flat, square, round and variations of those types of shapes. Other shapes can be rolled if cross-sections are uniform, and the traverse dimensions are small. A series of operations used in shaping (including finishing, roughing, semi-finishing, semi-roughing, breakdown and sizing) are required in creating cold-rolled shapes.Finished products created by the cold-rolled steel process include sheets, rods, strips and bars that are usually smaller than the same products produced through hot rolled processes. These small products are much more tolerant as compared to hot-rolled versions.Cold-rolled steel strips and sheets are available in a couple of different conditions including skin, quarter-hard, half-hard and full-hard rolled. Cold-rolled steel is as also more expensive than the hot-rolled variety.Cold-finished steel products typically have smooth, somewhat shiny finishes with square edges (in square and flat bars), and their sizes are more precise.
Choosing Complimentary Components: Your steel project will likely center on massive steel i-beams and other structural components, but don’t forget about other, smaller components that’ll be needed to complete the project. Choosing a reliable and robust supplier is key to secure access to the materials you’ll need. This will both speed up your completion date and get you better wholesale prices.
Hot-rolled steel bars are commonly used in the construction and welding trades where the projects under construction do not require tight tolerances and super-precise shapes.
Cold-finished steel bars are preferred in the machining world where the quality of steel is a major factor affecting the quality of final products, and where the appearance of the finished steel product is also a crucial factor.