Understanding the differences between the common types of steel used for metal fabrication and forming purposes can help you more easily source the best material for your project. The two types of steel that I’m going to cover today are stainless steel and cold rolled steel.
First, it’s important to understand that stainless steel is an alloy and cold rolled steel is a process. So, in the case of stainless steel, the material is a metallic compound that’s composed of steel, along with other elements.
Cold rolled steel, on the other hand, isn’t an alloy. It’s a process that’s used to finish steel. Cold rolling begins with steel that has already been hot rolled. During the cold rolling process, tension from power rollers is added to the sheet, resulting in a thinner and harder final product.
Properties & Uses
With the right combination of selected elements, stainless steel can become stronger, lighter, and more easily machined. The 301, 302, and 304 stainless steel we carry is austenitic, meaning they contain 16-18 percent chromium and between 6 to 10 percent nickel. This combination gives stainless steel extremely high corrosion resistance. Plus, a low carbon content means they are not hardened by heat treatment. 304 stainless steel, which is perhaps the most common grade, is typically used in the aircraft and dairy industries.
Cold rolled steel is well-known for its fine, smooth finish. 1008/1010 cold rolled steel, which is the variety we stock, is easily formable for moderate draw applications. It is commonly used in the manufacturing of home appliances, furniture, and automotive bodies. We also carry A109 cold rolled strip steel, in hard, half-hard, quarter-hard, commercial quality, and dead soft.
Price differences between different steel products are always going to vary depending on the particular specs of a given material. Plus, you have to account for quantity-related pricing and market fluctuations. That being said, stainless steel is known to be more expensive than cold rolled steel. If you’re wondering about the price of a stainless steel or cold rolled steel order, you can always request a quote from us.