When in the market for stainless steel strips for a particular project, it is recommended that you know the differences between the cold rolled stainless steel strips and the hot rolled stainless steel strips.
Rolling refers to a metal forming procedure which uses different rollers to help change the shape to improve the materials mechanical properties and enhance uniformity.
The rolled steel can either be cold rolled steel or hot rolled steel.
The two types of rolled stainless steel strip help in demonstrate the different characteristics which make them perfect for different types of applications.
Let’s keep reading.
What Is Cold Rolled Stainless Steel Strip?
Cold rolled stainless steel strip refers to a hot rollers stainless steel that has been subjected through extra processing to help improve both its mechanical and dimensional properties.
In the cold rolling procedure, the cooled hot rolled stainless steel is passed through a set of rollers at room temperature. With the material no longer malleable and hot, a higher pressure amount will be needed to help compress it to the required shape.
Despite cold rolled stainless steel strip process being quite costly and more labor intensive, it can achieve greater surface qualities and tighter dimensional tolerances.
Cold rolled stainless steel is capable of exhibiting strengths of up to 20% more than the hot rolled stainless steel making it a perfect option for high stress applications.
Products made from cold rolled stainless steel do have a shiny and smooth surface and are free from scale and rust.
Cold rolled stainless steel never shrinks after forming procedure. This allows for highly precise components creation that needs little or no secondary processing.
What Is Hot Rolled Stainless Steel Strip?
Hot rolled stainless steel strip refers to steel that has been subjected through a rolling process at high temperatures above the recrystallization temperature.
When compared to stainless steel that is not processed, hot rolled stainless steel strip exhibits greater workability and formability.
This makes it easier to use in the future processing operations.
Hot rolling stainless steel strip process commences with a rectangular and large metal slab known as the billet.
The billet is heated and compressed to a roll. It is passed through rotating rollers when still hot to ensure it achieves particular dimensions.
Rolled stainless steel is coiled and left to cool. The material can later be cut in particular units and packaged.
Cold Rolled Stainless Steel Strip Vs. Hot Rolled Stainless Steel Strip Comparison
Production temperature is the main difference between cold rolled stainless steel and hot rolled stainless steel.
The cold rolled steel is rolled below the recrystallization temperature of the material whereas the hot rolled stainless steel is rollers above the recrystallization temperature of the material.
- Surface Quality: Cold rolled stainless steel strips have smooth and shiny surfaces that makes then suitable for in production operations. The hot rolled stainless steel strips have rough surfaces and edges that will need decarburization and other methods of treatments to help prepare them for future production operations.
- Hardness of the Material: When compared to the hot rolling stainless steel strip process, the cold rolling procedure produces stainless steel strips of higher hardness and strength.
- Internal Stress: Greater hardness and strength that comes with cold rolling procedure leads to a higher internal stress. However, the stress can be relieved before processing of the material or warping might be experienced. Stainless steel strip can be cold rolled or hot rolled without considering the grade or metallurgical specifications.
- Ensure you keep in mind that there are materials which will perform better than others for certain projects when you are evaluating stainless steel strips for a project.
What Are The Cold Rolled Stainless Steel Strip And Hot Rolled Stainless Steel Strip Applications?
Cold rolled stainless steel strip is mainly used for applications that need better surface finishes and tighter tolerances.
Some of the popular Cold rolled stainless steel strip applications include:
- Metal furniture
- Aerospace structures
- Mechanical components
- Home appliances
- Rods, bars, strips and sheets
The hot rolled stainless steel strip has a less control degree over its shape since it shrinks slightly during cooling process.
This explains why it is mainly used in applications that do not need tight tolerances like:
- Railroad equipment’s such as railcar and tracks components
- Agricultural equipment
- Construction materials like I-beams
- Automobile parts like wheel rims and frames
Which One Between Cold Rolled Stainless Steel Strip And Hot Rolled Stainless Steel Strip Is Better?
Knowing the difference between cold rolled and hot rolled stainless steel will enable you know which stainless steel strip suits your project.
They both exhibit features that make them great for different projects.
However, cold rolled stainless steel strip is known to offer better surface finish, dimensional tolerance and strength together with other advantages compared to the hot rolled stainless steel.
It is important that you properly understand the differences between cold rolled and hot rolled stainless steel strip before you make a decision on which one to use.
Cold rolling is best for use on small to mid-sized stainless steel profiles. The cold rolling process suits the austenitic stainless steel strips grades like 301 stainless steel strip, 316L stainless steel strip and 304 stainless steel strip.
However, you need to keep in mind that there are stainless steel grades that lose their characteristics whenever they are exposed to heat. This leaves them with unsightly features which would make them impossible to deform mechanically.
The surface between cold rolled and hot rolled stainless steel is their major difference.
The cold rolled stainless steel has sharp edges and an oily finish whereas the hot rolled stainless steel has edges that are slightly rounded and are non-oily.
Knowing the difference between these two will help you get perfect stainless steel strips for your projects.