What Is The Difference Between Hot Rolled And Cold Rolled Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is versatile and stylish. It is the preferential choice for most of the surrounded applications and industries.

The fabrication and forming processes are fundamentals that can make stainless steel easy for application. Hot rolling and cold rolling are the forming processes that provide a finish to the stainless steel surface.

Stainless steel features are optimized by using hot rolling and cold rolling. The hot rolling and cold rolling can boost mechanical qualities significantly without altering its chemical composition.  The knowledge of both processes can aid in saving time, cost, and energy.

The central difference between the two is that hot-rolled stainless steel involves processing at high temperatures whereas cold-rolled stainless steel is processed further at room temperature. The stainless steel grades can either be hot rolled or cold rolled, depends upon the need of the application.

Hot rolled stainless steel 

In hot rolling processing, stainless steel is rolled and pressed above the re-crystallization temperature. The temperature is around 1100°C. Heating above re-crystallization temperatures refines the grains of microstructure and enhances the mechanical properties. At this point, stainless steel can be formed and shaped easily.

The processing starts with a large rectangular piece of metal called a billet. It is heated and rolled. Then the rolled metal is exposed to high temperature and continuously runs through rollers at high speeds.

 Hot rolling enhances stainless steel features such as toughness, ductility, formability, and weldability. Stainless steel shrinks a little as it cools. The accuracy of intolerances and shapes are compromised in hot rolled stainless steel products. Scaling can be deal with sandblasting and pickling.

 Hot rolled stainless steel is advised to use in applications where precision and dimensions are not a major concern.

Cold Rolled Stainless Steel

Cold workings are administered after hot rolling. It is done before proceeding further. Hot rolled stainless steel is again drawn at room temperature to attain precise dimensions and a smooth finish.

Cold drawn processes consisted of many processes like drawing, turning, grinding, belt polishing, etc. Cold rolled stainless steel has specified tolerances, smooth finished, well-defined angles and edges.

Cold rolled stainless steel has more visual appeal. Yes; it is more expensive because of the extra processing of cold workings. Cold working induces hardness, resistance against shock, and deformation.

Difference between hot rolled and cold rolled stainless steels

  • The cold-drawn bars have a better quality surface finish, precise tolerances, and straightness than hot rolled. Hot rolled stainless steel surface has scaling, imperfect edges with distortions.
  • Hot rolled stainless steel is less time-consuming and cheaper than cold-rolled stainless steel.
  • Cold rolled stainless steel is stronger and harder than hot rolled stainless steel.


What to choose, either hot rolling or cold working? It depends upon product design and its application. Both processes make stainless steel better for any exciting image of the upcoming application.

Ambica Steels is a pioneer in producing cold-drawn stainless steel products. We are the proud and expert producer of advanced cold-drawn flat bars and precision bars. Our multi-unit facility has separate plants equipped with the latest machinery and equipment. Inquiry and consultations are always appreciated.


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