Many people don't know this, but steel comes in two main varieties: cold-finished and hot-rolled. The type steel contractors, developers, and other professionals prefer depends on what they're looking for in their metal. Below, American Metal Supply Co., a metal supplier based in Louisville, KY, and Cincinnati, OH, explains what cold-finished steel is, and how it’s different from the hot-rolled variety.
What Is Cold-Finished Steel?
- How It's Made: Cold-finished steel is steel that's been rolled into its final form in room-temperature conditions. This is distinguished from steel's more prevalent form, hot-rolled, which is shaped while the metal is heated somewhere between 1,600 and 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, making it extremely soft and malleable.
- Smooth Finish: One of the primary differences between cold-finished and hot-rolled steel is appearance. Because hot-rolled steel is shaped and finished at temperatures often exceeding 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, it develops a rough, scaly surface. Exposure to such extreme heat can also give hot-rolled steel a bumpy, bubbly, or dirty-looking appearance. Cold-finished steel, on the other hand, retains a smooth, shiny appearance once its completed.
- Limitations: Because steel is so difficult to manipulate when it's at room temperature, cold-finished steel cannot be molded into the same range of shapes and profiles as its hot-rolled counterpart. As a result, cold-finished steel only comes in a few simple shapes, and it typically doesn't have the intricate designs of hot-rolled steel products.
American Metal Supply Co. has been a top metal supplier for businesses in Cincinnati and Louisville for over 30 years. The resourceful team will help you source whatever metal or plastic you need. In addition, their warehouses offer a wide array of some of the most in-demand steel in America, including bar steel, flat sheets, and cold-finished steel. Visit the metal supplier's website to learn more about their products, or give them a call at (502) 634-4321 for their Louisville location, or (513) 396-6600 for their offices in Cincinnati.