Does a Project Need Hot-Rolled Steel Instead of Cold-Rolled?

Metalworks may be vital to several projects, so it’s essential to determine the best kind to be used for yours. When you request certain materials such as steel, a specialist service will give you two different rolling options.

Hot-rolled steel and cold-rolled steel can have quite an effect on the outcome of your project. Continue reading to determine what may be a better option for you:

The Difference

Rolling is primarily done on different metals because it strengthens the material while changing its thickness, letting metal slip through a pair of rolls to shift its grain orientation. Each kind has its own grain orientation, which essentially refers to the material’s own direction and malleability as well. 

Hot rolling would require the material to be heated at a specific temperature above their usual recrystallization temperature, while cold rolling would require the opposite of that. The rollers still remain at the same temperature and are only changed to customize the thickness needed for a project.

However, it’s important to note that how the metal is treated is vital to how it ends up rolling and the finished result of it. Steel is quite versatile since it can be used in multiple applications, such as wind turbines, vehicle production, infrastructure, and more. 

Hot-rolled steel and cold-rolled steel have different textures and finishes, though they can also differ on the type of steel being rolled. For one, hot-rolled steel has a grainier and scaled surface, while cold-rolled steel looks a little smoother. The main contrast is also in its adaptability, with hot-rolled being a lot more pliable than cold-rolled.

The Benefits

The best advantage of hot-rolled steel is that it is still used considerably more in the industry because of its malleability. Although cold-rolled steel can also be shaped, it’s nowhere near as accommodating and versatile as hot-rolled steel is. 

Less energy is also needed in order to achieve hot-rolled steel. Hot rolling really takes out the need to reheat it and shift its grain orientation further. The production process is relatively shorter and more accessible as well.

Cold rolling is associated more with better metal strength, though it is only by a slight margin. The process behind it is a little more elaborate and complicated than the aforementioned, but it can be pretty effective if you’re looking for a flawless surface to the touch.

The Viability

Both hot-rolled and cold-rolled are deemed suitable for different applications as well. If your project prioritizes cost-efficiency and quickness, it may be more viable to go with hot-rolled steel rather than cold-rolled. 

Hot-rolled steel will be especially helpful if your project requires the steel quickly to be in different forms like bars, tubes, sheets, and more. Plus, if you’re worried about the surface, cold rolling is a good option, or you can request an additional process that can change the surface finishing of your hot-rolled steel.


In summary, hot rolling your steel can provide more perks than cold rolling. It can still differ depending on your wishes, so be sure to discuss with a specialist how exactly you will be using the procured metal to understand whether hot-rolled steel or cold-rolled steel will work best.

Need metal suppliers to get your steel from? KGS Steel, Inc. is a full-line structural steel and carbon steel service center and warehouse that has been servicing projects in Nashville, Tennessee and Bessemer, Alabama. Contact us today!

Bessemer, AL

3725 Pine Ln,
Bessemer, AL 35022


Mon - Fri7:30 AM–4:30 PM
Sat - Sun: Closed 

Nashville, TN

310 Herron Dr,
Nashville, TN 37210


Mon - Fri7:30 AM–4:30 PM
Sat - Sun: Closed 

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