Steel is simply iron to which small amounts of carbon have been added. In the case of alloys, nickel, chrome, or other elements are added as well to produce desired characteristics. One of the methods that can be used to prepare steel for marketing is called rolling and it is done by passing the stock through a series of rollers to bring it to the desired thickness. There are two classifications of rolling; hot rolling and cold rolling.

How Cold Rolled Steel is produced

Cold rolled steel is produced when the metal is run through the rollers when it is below the recrystallization temperature (this usually means room temperature). This not only increases the strength of the metal, but it also gives it an improved surface finish and will adhere to tighter tolerances. Cold rolled strips and sheets can be found in several conditions: quarter-hard, half-hard, full- hard, and skin rolled. These conditions generally refer to the amount of thickness reduction that occurs in the rolling process. Full-hard rolling involves reducing the thickness of the stock by 50% with the others involving a lesser amount of reduction and skin-rolled involving the least amount. It is most often used to produce a uniform thickness and a smooth surface.

The Different Types of Cold Rolled Steel

Cold rolled steel is typically available in four different types; drawing steel, commercial steel extra deep drawing steel, as well as extra deep drawing steel plus. Drawing steels tend to be more ductile than other forms. Cold rolled steels often have less carbon content than that of hot rolled steels, which gives them more durability. They can also be given more specific dimensions because, unlike hot rolled steel, there is no shrinkage after the rolling process. In addition to these things, cold rolled steel can be easily manipulated in many ways to enhance its structural strength. The downside to this is the fact that often increasing the hardness and strength will negatively affect the ductility of the steel.

When cold rolled steel typically has a matte appearance and can be painted once the pre-shipping lubricants have been removed. Some of the more common uses for cold rolled steel are in metal furniture, filing cabinets, desks, appliances, lighting fixtures, and a huge variety of products that are used in construction.

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