Cold rolled steel is essentially hot rolled steel that has gone through more processing. To get cold rolled steel, manufacturers generally take cooled-down hot rolled steel and roll it more to get more exact dimensions and better surface qualities.But the term “rolled” is often used to describe a range of finishing processes such as turning, grinding, and polishing, each of which modifies existing hot rolled stock into more refined products. Technically, “cold rolled” applies only to sheets that undergo compression between rollers. But forms like bars or tubes are “drawn,” not rolled. So hot rolled bars and tubes, once cooled, are processed into what are called “cold finished” tubes and bars.

Cold rolled steel can often be identified by the following characteristics:

  • More finished surfaces with closer tolerances.
  • Smooth surfaces that are often oily to the touch.
  • Bars are true and square, and often have well-defined edges and corners.
  • Tubes have better concentric uniformity and straightness.