Steel Products

Cold Drawn

COLD DRAWN STEEL BARS

Northlake has two of the largest cold draw benches in North America, capable of producing cold drawn (or also referred to as cold finished) bars to 6” diameter rounds in lengths to 40’. All bars are cleaned by shot blasting before drawing to remove hot mill scale then pulled through a carbide die which results in a product with higher tensile and yield strength, smoother surface finish and closer size tolerance. Bars are then straightened on one of our 2-roll straighteners, saw cut to length to produce a clean, usable end, oiled and shipped.

ROUNDS
The most common shape and pillar of the bar industry.  We produce a wide variety of grades and sizes from 1” thru 6” as cold drawn.  Bars can be produced in both standard and heavy draft cold drawn (ex. ASTM A311-B).

FLATS
Northlake produces and stocks many common sizes over 1” thick, and special sizes can be requested.

SQUARES
Northlake produces sharp and round corner squares.  We produce and stock many common sizes, and can produce sizes and grades per customer request.

HEX BARS
Used in a variety of industrial applications, Northlake can produce most commercial sizes over 1” hex.

Get Quality Cold-Drawn Steel Bars

Navigate the realm of high-performance materials with cold-drawn steel bars, cold-drawn steel rods, and more from Northlake Steel. Synonymous with engineering brilliance, our cold-drawn steel champions superior mechanical attributes. Our unparalleled dimensional precision makes it indispensable for diverse industrial applications.

The Benefits of Our Cold Drawn Steel Products

Superior Strength

With unmatched strength, our cold-drawn steel is tailored for applications demanding high strength.

Dimensional Precision

Our cold drawing technique yields consistent dimensions and conforms to industry standards.

Surface

We ensure a smooth, scale free finish, reducing the need for added machining.

Unwavering Straightness

Enhanced straightness means our steel bars fit seamlessly in precision-demanding tasks.

Optimized Machinability

Shape, mold, and fabricate with ease, thanks to the machinability of our steel.

Types of Cold Finished Bars

There are three main types of cold finished (CF) categories. First, are cold drawn (CD) bars, which represent the largest in the way of tonnage. The second type is turned & polished (T&P) bars. The third type is turned, ground & polished (TG&P) bars. While there are other variations on these types, such as cold drawn + turned & polished (CD-T&P), turned & ground (T&G), and others, they are just variations on the main three types. Note that the term cold rolled (CR) is used alternatively.

Differences Between Cold Finished and Hot Rolled Bars

Many people have heard of, seen, and used cold finished bars, but what are the actual differences between a hot rolled bar and a cold finished bar? There are five very distinguishable and significant

features of cold finished bars which set them apart from all others. Those features are size & roundness, straightness, surface finish, mechanical properties, and machinability. These features are the biggest reasons why people use cold finished bars, and sets the cornerstone for the establishment of the cold finished bar industry from back in the 19th century.

For that reason, it’s important to understand what end use application the product is intended for, and which of these five features are needed. This is especially true as cold finished bars are more expensive than hot rolled bars, and each extra cold finishing operation adds more costs.

Let’s review these five features in more detail.

Size and Roundness

The first feature is size. Comparing to a hot rolled bar, which is formed (rolled) at high temperatures, a hot rolled bar will vary greatly in size, with a larger variance the bigger the diameter. Hot rolled bars will also have an oval or eggy-shape to it. Roundness on a cold finished bar will coincide with size, being half the size tolerance.

The size tolerance on a 4” diameter 1018 HR bar is +.063” / -0”, compared to a 4” diameter 1018 cold drawn bar which has a tolerance of +0” / – .005”, or a 4” diameter TGP bar which Northlake holds to a .003” tolerance. With roundness tolerances of half the size tolerance, they are very small and accurate, giving you a nice round product.

The benefits of this feature are great, and many end-use applications can use these tolerances as-is. From air movement shafts, to threaded parts, to studs and fasteners. 

Cold drawing size capabilities range from 1” through 6” in size, lengths up through 40’.

Common cold drawn grades (but not limited to): 1018 – 1045 – 10V45 – 1050 – 1117 – 1141 – 1144 – 12L14 – 1215 – 4130 – 4140 – 4150 – 8620.

Straightness

Straightness is one of the most important features, but can be one of the most underappreciated. We define straightness as the bar extending continuously in the same direction without curving or bending, not deviating from a straight line. Straightness is critical for applications where the bar will be machined, whether on a lathe, grinder, screw machine, or similar operation. Bent bars that go into end-use shafting or hydraulic cylinder applications will inevitably fail.

The normal straightness tolerance of hot rolled bars is 1/4” in any 5 ft, with special straightness upon request of 1/8” in any 5ft. Compare that to cold drawn straightness of 1/16” in any 5 ft for a 1018 bar over 15’ long. For even greater straightness precision, we hold our TGP to .001” per ft max (or 0.010″ TIR over the entire bar length), which is serious accuracy.

Of course straightness is perishable, and it’s very important to take proper care in handling, supporting, and manufacturing cold finished bars as they can be bent after straightening.

Surface Finish

Probably the easiest of the features to see and verify is the third on our list, surface finish. One can easily recognize the difference in finish when comparing a cold finished bar to a hot rolled bar.

A hot rolled bar comes out of the mill with a rough, abrasive, discolored, and dirty surface. This is because the steel at the mill is finished at temperatures upwards of 1600° F to 2200° F, and at these high temperatures an iron scale forms on the surface of the bars. You’ll see in the areas where the scale flakes off, that there can also be pits and other marks in the bar. All in all it’s not very practical in that condition for many applications or end-uses.

Cold finished bars will be free from scale and an abrasive surface, whether it is from shot blasting & cold drawing, or rough turning & centerless grinding, CF bars will be suitable for thousands of end use applications.

Mechanical Properties

Another important feature is mechanical properties. The increases in mechanicals will apply specifically to cold drawn bars, as other cold finished bars such as T&P and TGP will have the same mechanical properties as their hot rolled counterpart.

You may be asking yourself, what increases in mechanical properties might there be? Let’s use a 1045 grade of steel for our example, and let’s say the hot rolled bar has a yield strength of 50,000 PSI and a tensile strength of 75,000 PSI. If we cold draw this same bar, we can increase the yield to 75,000 or 100,000 PSI, and increase the tensile to 100,000+ PSI. These numbers are only for demonstration purposes, and can vary depending on the grade, draft reduction, quality, producing mill, etc. As you can see, it’s possible to raise the cold drawn yield by 50% or more, and the tensile by 20%. This increases the strength and makes the cold drawn stronger than hot rolled or mild steel. This can reduce or eliminate heat treating, handling, shipping, and save overall costs.

Machinability

The final feature of cold finished bars is machinability. If you’re a machinist or parts manufacturer, this is probably your most important factor. Cold drawing, or cold working the steel, gives it a crisper structure, and makes the tooling cut much better and more efficiently. The chip will be springier and break much better, ahead of the tool, while reducing friction and heat. The finish of the part will be much improved as well, and may eliminate further operations in some cases. Compare this to machining hot rolled bars. The machinist will have a more difficult time and find the HR steel is “too hard to cut”… which likely means it’s too soft or gummy. Faster machining means more parts produced, more efficiently. This means maximizing cost savings from using cold drawn bars.

Why Trust Northlake Cold Drawn Steel?

At Northlake Steel, our Cold Drawn Steel is not another product. It’s a testament to our commitment to excellence. Our steel stands out with unparalleled precision. We ensure minimized waste and optimal component performance. It’s celebrated for its unyielding strength, making it the go-to for the most demanding of applications.

Beyond strength and precision, our steel boasts an adaptability that’s hard to find. We can easily tailor our products to diverse industry needs. With its superior machinability, coupled with reduced requirements for post-production modifications, it’s not only a high-quality choice, but a cost-effective one too. Choose Northlake’s Cold Drawn Steel and experience the gold standard.

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Northlake Steel’s Cold Drawn Steel emerges as the stalwart of strength, precision, and adaptability. We specialize in industries like automotive, construction, aerospace, and beyond. Ready to elevate your next project? Dive into the world of Northlake’s exceptional steel offerings now.

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