What are the benefits of hot rolled steel?
Hot rolled steel can often be identified by the following characteristics:
- A scaled surface—a remnant of cooling from extreme temperatures
- Slightly rounded edges and corners for bar and plate products (due to shrinkage and less precise finishing)
- Slight distortions, where cooling may result in slightly trapezoidal forms, as opposed to perfectly squared angles
Hot rolled steel typically requires much less processing than cold rolled steel, which makes it a lot cheaper. Because hot rolled steel is allowed to cool at room temperature, it’s essentially normalized—meaning it’s free from internal stresses that can arise from quenching or work-hardening processes.
Hot rolled steel is ideal where dimensional tolerances aren’t as important as overall material strength, and where surface finish isn’t a key concern. Where surface finish is a concern, scaling can be removed by grinding, sand blasting, or acid-bath pickling. Once scaling has been removed, various brush or mirror finishes can also be applied. Descaled steel also offers a better surface for painting and other surface coatings.