Did you know that the US steel industry produced 6.4 million tons of steel in December 2020 alone?
Hot rolled steel is a custom metal that is increasingly being used when companies are looking for construction steel from a local metal supplier at an economical price. Custom metal fabricators can produce hot rolled steel for a wide variety of applications. Most builders who are just learning about this material are interested in learning about all of its different applications.
Whether or not you're looking for a stainless steel bar for a building construct, or if you're interested in developing automotive parts, hot rolled steel might be the right option for you.
In this article, we will walk you through everything you need to know about choosing hot rolled steel from custom metal fabricators and explain the most common applications for the material.
Overview of Hot Rolled Steel
Rolling is a way to produce metal that makes use of a variety of techniques and machines to shape the final product into a uniform layer. Steel benefits from rolling because it increases the overall mechanical strength. There are two different types of rolled steel that manufacturers develop.
These are hot rolled steel and cold rolled steel. Both of these will have unique features that are successful in different building environments.
It's important to understand the differences between hot and cold rolled steel so that you can use them correctly for your upcoming project.
Hot rolled steel uses a rolling process that reaches 1700°F or greater. That temperature is well above the recrystallization temperature of steel.
By getting the material up to this temperature, the product develops overall better malleability. Builders can use a more workable metal in more advanced building operations where the metal needs to be reshaped.
Overall, the process of hot rolling uses a rectangular piece of metal known as a billet. The billet enters the process by being compressed into a large role.
After the temperature is increased, it will go through several rotating rollers that press it down into the dimensions it will ship out in. For manufacturers who develop sheet metal, the rolled steel will be wound together into a coil and cooled down in this position.
It's also possible for the processing unit to cut the steel into prespecified smaller packages.
What Are The Advantages of Hot Rolled Steel?
Hot rolled steel has several advantages when bought from a manufacturer. Usually, it will be a lower cost because there is overall less processing that goes into its development.
Hot rolled steel will also be more workable. As mentioned before, builders will be able to form and shape the material to meet the needs of the project.
The rolling process involves a slow cooldown of the material. This leads to little to no internal stress in the material so that there is no wear and tear on the material by the time it gets to you as a builder.
What Are The Applications of Hot Rolled Steel?
Hot rolled steel has been used in a wide variety of settings. Because the steel will shrink down during the cooling stage, there may be less control over the final shape before it ships out. However, as long as the job doesn't require extremely tight tolerances, it can be used in a wide array of building procedures.
Hot rolled steel is commonly used in agricultural equipment where strength in repetition processes is paramount. Automobile parts like frames and rims for the wheels of cars are also common uses. Construction materials employ hot rolled steel, specifically the classic I-beams that most people tend to associate with steel.
Also, steel railroad equipment like tracts and components of individual railcars usually use hot rolled steel.
What Is The Difference Between Hot Rolled Steel and Cold Rolled Steel?
On the other hand, cold-rolled steel has a greater tensile strength due to production at lower temperatures. The tensile strength of cold-rolled steel goes all the way up to 85,000 psi. It also has a yield strength of 70,000 psi. This is much higher compared to 67,000 psi and 45,000 psi for the tensile strength and yield strength of hot rolled steel.
Cold rolled steel is processed at room temperature. It does not get heated up well above the recrystallization temperature of steel at around 1700°F.
Additionally, the edges and surfaces of hot-rolled steel are usually much rougher than cold-rolled steel. Cooling the metal down from extreme temperatures actually leaves remnants on the edges of the steel which can appear scaly.
Hot rolled steel is better for certain builds that involve surface treatments to repurpose the appearance. Cold rolled steel can be used out of the box without any additional surface treatments.
Similarly, hot rolled steel will show some slight distortions through the metal. This is because the cooling process leaves some trapezoidal shapes and residue on the material.
Choosing Hot Rolled Steel
At the end of the day, hot rolled steel is a great option for everything from agricultural equipment to automobile parts. Because it does not need to undergo further processing, it is often a more economical choice for construction. However, there will be some remnants from the processing present on the steel, so additional products may be needed to create the desired appearance for the build.
If you're interested in purchasing hot rolled steel for your next construction operation, please contact us today. We will be happy to discuss whether or not this material is right for your purposes.