There are many types of steel out there on the market but the key types used in building steel constructions are hot rolled and cold rolled steel. Before we can understand just what a cold rolled building is we need to understand the distinction between hot and cold rolled steel.

Hot Rolled Steel

To get the hot rolled steel for construction involves roll-pressing it at extremely high temperatures, rendering the steel easier to manipulate and work with.

The key characteristics of hot rolled steel must be understood before you can compare them with cold rolled steel and understand the unique properties of this kind of steel.

Hot rolled steel benefits from the following:

  • Scaled surface as a result of the cooling process after extreme heating
  • Minor distortions as cooling has left the surface with imperfect angles
  • Edges with slight rounding and corners where applicable as a result of shrinkage and imprecise finishing

Cold rolled steel

This article is all about the cold rolled steel and now we understand hot rolled steel we can move on to the main contender. Cold rolled steel for buildings involves further processing after the creation of the hot rolled steel.

In order to end up with cold rolled steel hot rolled steel is cooled then subjected to further rolling to create more precise dimensions and smoother surfaces. The ‘rolling’ process can involve a wide variety of finessing techniques like grinding, polishing and turning.

The finished cold rolled steel differs from hot rolled steel because it has:

  • Better finishing and closer tolerances
  • Truer and squarer bars with great definition of edges and corners
  • Uniform and straight tubes
  • Surfaces that are smooth and oily

In summary cold rolled steel is a better defined material and better in finesse, precision applications that need aesthetically pleasing results and often where cutting costs is eschewed for better finished results.

Cold rolled steel buildings

Finally we are ready to look at cold rolled steel buildings. In fact, in a construction context you can find that cold rolled steel is more economical than its counterpart, especially in portal frame designs. As a result of the processing and galvanisation cold rolled steel is rust protected, saving time and costs involved with treatments. Cold rolled steel frames will last for over 60 years in general, without hassle or repair and as cold rolled steel is relatively light, the components for buildings can be put together on site saving lots of money and carbon footprint involved with transportation and installation.

Cold rolled steel structures benefit from a high strength to weight ratio, making the building incredibly strong but also lightweight. This characteristic eliminates the need for very deep foundations cutting cost and again the carbon footprint associated with construction. A 150mm deep floor slab is normally enough to support the building.

Which types of buildings suit cold rolled steel?

In Short, cold rolled steel is ideal when constructing industrial units, storage warehouses and workshops or car show rooms that have fairly uniform, constant and limited functions.