Cold rolling is used to further treat hot rolled steel sheet to increase its strength and its strength-to-weight ratio and enable it to hold tighter tolerances during fabricating and machining. In addition, cold rolling is used to smooth and finish the surface of hot rolled steel. The processes used to improve the surface finish and to size the cold rolled sheet more precisely include chemical or mechanical descaling and cold rolling or polishing.
When the protective oxide surface normally found on hot rolled sheets is removed during cold rolling, it leaves a surface finish that is considered perishable. Great care must be taken during handling, storage, and shipment to preserve and protect this smooth, slick, surface.
Cold rolled steel sheet is used for engineered products that require tight tolerances and coated surfaces. These include:
Appliances, including stoves, ovens, refrigerators, washers, dryers and small appliances
Exposed automotive and aircraft components