When you're comparing types of sheet metal, one of the most fundamental considerations will be how that metal has been processed. This usually means choosing between hot-rolled metal and cold-rolled metal.
Hot-rolled metal is roll-pressed at high temperatures and then allowed to cool before being rolled into sheets. Cold-rolled metal goes through an extra step — after it has cooled, it is rolled again at room temperature.
Both options have their own pros and cons, so there really is no one right answer when choosing between them. However, here are just four signs you should pick hot-rolled metal sheets.
1. You Want to Control Costs
Price is always going to be a key concern when you're comparing different metal products, and you'll find that hot-rolled metal sheets are less expensive than cold-rolled sheets. This is down to the fact that cold-rolled sheets must go through an additional process. This produces added manufacturing costs and adds a slight delay to the process. If you're making a large order, the cost difference can really add up.
2. You're Facing Tight Deadlines
The additional step required for cold-rolled metal sheets affects timing as well as pricing. After being hot-rolled, those sheets must return to room temperature before going through more processing. This isn't always an issue, but it's worth keeping in mind if you need an order as soon as possible. Again, this will be a more important concern when larger orders are required.
3. You Require Superior Workability
Because of the extreme heat that hot-rolled metal sheets are subjected to, they offer excellent malleability and ductility. This provides exceptional workability, so hot-rolled metal sheets can be easily formed into a vast range of shapes and sizes to fit any application. In contrast, cold-rolled metal sheets are available in fewer shapes and are much harder to work.
4. You Need to Prevent Internal Stresses
Finally, it's worth keeping in mind that additional treatments can create internal stresses within metal products. In some cases, this can cause warping if the stress is not properly relieved before the metal is welded or cut. This isn't an issue with hot-rolled metal since it is allowed to cool at room temperature — as quenching and hardening processes aren't applied, it's safe from internal stresses. However, internal stresses can be a concern with cold-rolled metal.
If you would like to know more about hot-rolled or cold-rolled metal, contact a local sheet metal fabrication company.