The Complete Guide to Selecting Cold-Finished Carbon Steel Bars

How Are Cold Finished Bars Produced Compared to Hot Rolled?

Hot-rolled bars are created by melting specific elements at high temperatures and cooling them into slabs, bars, and billets. In contrast, cold-finished bars are produced by running hot-rolled bars through a die at room temperature.

Benefits of Using Cold Finished Bars:

  1. Surface Quality: Cold-finished bars are free of mill scale and have smoother surfaces with fewer imperfections than hot-rolled bars.
  2. Tighter Dimensional Tolerance: Cold-finished bars are slightly undersized and held to a closer tolerance, reducing the need for additional machining.
  3. Increased Strength: The drawing process during cold finishing strengthens the bars.
  4. Precise Straightness: Cold-finished bars are very straight, minimizing vibration during machining.

Downsides of Cold Finished Steel Bars:

The main downside is cost—cold-finished bars are more expensive than hot-rolled ones.

Types of Cold Finished Bars:

• Flat Bars • Square Bars • Round Bars • Hexagonal Bars (Hex)

Available Lengths:

  • Flats, Square, and Hexes: Typically come in 12-foot lengths.
  • Rounds: Available in 12-foot or 20-foot lengths.
  • Precision Shafting: Usually 24 feet long.

Main Grades of Cold Finished Steel:

  • 1018: Low carbon steel (strength and hardiness increase as the carbon content increases) with medium manganese (contributes to the strength and hardness but decreases weldability) content. It is easily welded, with a machinability rating of 78% based on 1212 as 100%.
  • 1045: Medium carbon steel with higher strength properties than 1018. It is not readily weldable due to its higher carbon content—machinability rating: 64% based on 1212 as 100%.
  • 1045 Turned, Ground, and Polished (TG&P): Offers the highest degree of overall accuracy, concentricity, straightness, and surface perfection attainable in commercial practice. After being ground on centerless grinders, bars are polished to a high finish and carefully straightened. It is packaged in cardboard tubing to protect its finish. Its machinability rating is 64% based on 1212 as 100%. It is not readily weldable.

Can You Cut Cold Finished Bars to Size?

Absolutely! We can cut these bars to size, whether you need small quantities or large production-cutting jobs.

How Can Steel Cities Assist You:

  • Grade Selection: We'll guide you on weldable grades and those with better machinability.
  • Length Information: We can help you with the lengths available for specific bars.
  • Additional Grades: Beyond 1018 and 1045, explore free machining grades like 1215 and 12L14.
  • Packaging and Tolerance: We'll address your packaging preferences and cutting tolerance requirements.

Contact Us:

At Steel Cities Steels, we're here to help you make informed decisions for your steel orders. With over 70 years in the steel industry, our experienced professionals can help you with your cold-finsihed carbon steel bar questions, and more!

Mike Anderson, VP of Sales, Email:, Tel: 219-916-3935


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