What Is Cold Rolled Steel?

Cold rolled steel can be used for structural purposes.
••• Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Bill Jacobus

Steel is a variant of iron that has minute amounts of carbon added to it. Steel alloys may also add other elements, such as chrome or nickel, to produce specific characteristics. One method of preparing steel for market is called cold rolling.


Cold rolled steel is made by passing the steel through a number of rollers after the metal has cooled from initial production. The steel is reduced in thickness incrementally as it passes through the rollers.


Cold rolled steel in normally available in four types: commercial steel, drawing steel, extra deep drawing steel, and extra deep drawing steel plus. Drawing steels are more ductile.


Cold rolled steels tend to have lower carbon content than hot rolled steels, making them more durable. They can also be rolled to more specific dimensions due to the lack of shrinkage that occurs with hot rolled steels.


Cold rolled steel can also be manipulated to have increased structural strength, according to KeytoMetal.com. However, SteelStrip.co.uk reports that increasing strength and hardness will reduce ductility.

Finish and Appearance

Cold rolled steels are typically rolled to have a matte appearance. They may also be painted, if it is called for, by removing the lubricants that are frequently applied prior to shipping.

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