Cold rolling – a premium technology for steel and stainless steel

PUBLISHED 10 April 2017

Every product has its best suitable manufactoring process. Every one of them creates a different result. Cold rolling is one of the best technologies for making high-end products.

Cold rolling stainless steel sheets

What is steel rolling?

Rolling metal means to put it through a series of heavy rollers. By this, its thickness is reduced and it gets a defined shape. So rolling steel enables sheet metal steel to be produced for a variety of industrial purposes, like rolling shapes for standard structural sections or special custom profiles.

What is cold rolling technology?

Cold rolling technology refers to a process whereby steel or stainless steel metals are rolled at room temperature rather than being heated to 1100 degrees Celsius. Rolling steel at room temperature by passing it through rollers enables shaping.
Furthermore, this thermal treatment can be used to produce flat sheets of metal, coiled products or sections. The raw material is thereby passed through rollers below its recrystallization temperature of the relevant type of steel or stainless steel. The crystalline structure is also deformed. Additionally, the grain size is reduced resulting in increased strengthening.
The steel must be passed through the rollers several times to obtain the level of thickness or the shape required, this can take longer than the hot rolling process.

What are the highlights of cold rolling technology?

  • Smoother finish
  • Increased strength of up to 20 percent
  • Higher precision than hot rolled products
  • Metal hardness is increased
  • Reduces grain size of the metal
  • Higher quality finish
  • Smaller production batches
  • Efficient manufacturing process

special cold rolled stainless steel section

Cold forming makes the surface finish of stainless steel more noble and appealing. While a hot rolled finish i.e. of plates (generally defined as 1D in the EN 10088) has a dull finish, the same plate in cold rolled execution (2D) is blank and has a nice and smooth surface.

Where to use cold rolled material?

Cold rolled plates are used where a nice, smooth surface is needed, and were the thickness tolerance has to be tight. The increased yield of the material is an additional advantage especially for standard austenitic stainless steels like 304L and 316L.

special cold rolled stainless steel profile

Also, custom shapes and sections are made by cold rolling. Generally, a hot rolled wire rod with a diameter of 25 millieters is used as raw material and shaped through various stands to the finished shape. The sections are rather small but complex shaping is possible combined with a high level of precision (h9).
Thereforde, cold rolled products are preferred when a final high-end finish like mirror polish will be added to it, as the polishing process turns out to be much easier and less expensive.

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