Cold Roll forming Steel Structures


Cold-Formed Buildings (CF) have become increasingly popular in both commercial and residential applications. CF start as structural steel sheeting and are formed into c-shaped steel members. These members are rolled, without heat, to create a column and rafter assembly.

Upon completion, Cold-Formed Buildings are in fact, quite like our standard I-Beam product. However, there are 3 significant benefits in choosing this product:

  1. Timeframe- Cold Formed Buildings can be manufactured onsite
  2. Galvanized- Galvanized primary and secondary framing members conform with the ASTM 653 Grade 50, G90 requirements and come standard on all Cold-Formed Buildings.
  3. Foundation Engineering- CF not only include building engineering but also the foundation engineering, which can save over $2,000.
  4. 40 Year warranty on Painted Roof & Walls Panels and a 25 Year on Galvalume.

Cold Rollforming

Cold rollforming is one of the most versatile and productive manufacturing methods ever devised for forming metal.

The process takes the form of a continuous bending operation in which a long strip of coiled metal (usually steel) passes through a series of contoured rolls, progressively forming the metal to achieve the desired cross-section profile.

This advanced manufacturing process is:

  • Ideal for constant-profile parts with long lengths and in large quantities
  • Maintains a high degree of consistency and accuracy
  • Suitable for a wide range of metals
  • Allows for custom product design and manufacture
  • Effective solutions to complex challenges

Hyperion Structures is a market leading roll forming technology means that our profiles offer a number of advantages over extrusions, including significant savings in weight and increased strength (having been work hardened in a cold state). In addition, the rollforming process is more rapid and takes less energy than extrusion.

One of Hyperion Structures key strengths is the ability to translate complex custom requirements into high quality, effective solutions and our pioneering use of advanced software and technology enables more efficient product development and allows for a quicker turnaround for cold roll forming.

Hyperion Structures custom rollforming service combines our engineering capabilities and technological expertise, opening the door to new possibilities in terms of cross-section profiles. Our experts will work with you every step of the way to develop the most appropriate, efficient production solutions for your application, reducing design and manufacturing time whilst simultaneously ensuring outstanding quality and accuracy. We can offer:

  • Materials up to 8mm thick, up to 1.3m wide
  • Wide range of geometric possibilities
  • Tolerances as low as ±0.05mm
  • SPC and Process Capability Analysis
  • Suitable for ferrous, nonferrous, stainless steel and other malleable metals
  • Ability to form materials with polished surfaces and pre-coated materials
  • In-line features including hole punching, notching, embossing and cut to length
  • In-line welding enables enclosed shapes

Hyperion Structures is a major technical breakthrough in the development of rollforming, and can be applied to virtually any cold rolled profile. Visit our Hyperion Structures page for more information on this internationally patented process.


Advantages of Cold-Formed Steel Framing

Durability. Steel is inorganic, and thus impervious to termites, rot and mold.  A protective layer of zinc and other metallic coating steel provides long-term durability that research demonstrates can last hundreds of years without any deterioration.

Stability. Due to its consistent chemistry, steel behaves in a highly predicable manner when subjected to the structural loads and stresses imposed by high wind and seismic forces. Because steel cannot absorb moisture, its use also eliminates most of the expansion and contraction of construction materials that produces cracks, warps, and other defects in both internal and external finishes.

Non-combustibility. Steel does not burn and will not contribute to the spread or intensity of a fire. Because of this, cold-formed steel projects can easily be designed to meet code fire rating requirements.   Non-combustible structures, like those built with cold-formed steel framing, have a better loss history than combustible wood framing.  This often translates into lower costs and broader coverages for many types of construction insurance.  Read more in this white paper.

Sustainability. Steel is the only building material that is infinitely recyclable. As a recognized green building material, cold-formed steel framing projects can earn credits for green building ratings such as LEED and similar programs.

Cost-effectiveness. Cold-formed steel offers cost savings on a number of fronts. By helping to minimize fi re risk, the use of cold-formed steel results in lower insurance costs for builders and owners. Additionally, panelized cold-formed steel construction methods produce shorter construction cycles, allowing builders to complete steel-framed projects months faster than with other framing materials. Finally, framing with cold-formed steel generates far less material waste than traditional wood framing


Steel continue to be used in buildings because Its becoming cheaper whilst its durable  , Steel is  stronger , lighter and is a perfect material for green technology because of its renewable properties.  Steel buildings continue to stand decades after their construction and span to the future


Cold-Formed Construction Benefits for Key Stakeholders

This system helps to benefit every stakeholder of the project.

Owner Benefits

  • It speeds up construction time, creating an early ROI
  • It cuts down costs in comparison to a typical wood or steel structure. Cold-form wall construction doesn’t require fire stops, sheathing, house wrap, gypsum wallboard or separate steps for insulation and continuous insulation. Since there are fewer steps, cold-form wall construction uses fewer materials and reduces multiple trade requirements.
  • It increases the marketability of a project. A cold-formed panelized framing system eliminates the number of soffits that need to be used. This allows properties to have higher ceilings, creating more spacious and modern rooms which are more marketable to target renters and tenants.

General Contractor Benefits

  • Cold-form steel construction has been around since 1850 but has seen continuous innovation since then. This particular project utilized a TotalJoist system from iSpan Systems. This is a robust system with a simplified installation compared to steel or wood. It allowed the team to keep the speed without sacrificing quality.
  • It doesn’t require the complexity of service-heavy follow-up trades by taking advantage of large pre-cut service and wiring openings.
  • Reduced training time is greatly advantageous for offsetting any unforeseen delays in foundation work. Easy to learn, this framing has a quick transition from learning curve to trained labor. Skills for using wood studs can be transferred to using steel C-section studs. Formed steel single tracks are similar to top and bottom wood plates.
  • The list of tools required to work with cold-form structure is relatively small, including tools such as an adjustable torque screw gun, a hand seamer, clamps and a magnetic level.
  • Construction moves faster since there is little in the way of punching, cutting, or drilling steel onsite. Cold form beams and columns are easy to move and put in place without the need for heavy machinery

Engineer Benefits

  • Cold-formed metal panels are non-combustible with a One-Hour Fire Rating (UL, ULC Rated) and 50 STC Acoustic Rating with a single layer of gypsum.
  • Unmatched clear span vs. I-wood allows for open design and bigger rooms

Why You Should Consider Cold-Formed Steel Framing

Cold-formed steel framing is the perfect framing system to use for a 6-10 story building. Cold-formed steel is a cost-effective, easy to install solution that does not sacrifice on quality. Cold-formed steel is also durable, sustainable and it is one of the most resilient building materials on the market. Do you have an upcoming project that would benefit from Cold-formed steel framing? Contact Summit Design + Build to let us know how we can help.

Increase Speed & Accuracy Onsite

Hyperion structures technology automates the process of creating panel fabrication drawings in seconds, thanks to the software’s defined framing rules. This allows you to plan ahead and build more components offsite, increasing efficiency and keeping costs down during construction.

Hyperion structures automate the process of generating wall, floor, ceiling and roof panel fabrication drawings, structural layouts, cut lists, material reports and manufacturing data all from one BIM model.

Steel doesn’t have one particular production method. Rather, different types of steel are made using different production processes including hot formed and cold-formed methods. In both processes, the metal is rolled between machined rolls but at very different temperatures. In a nutshell:

  • Hot-rolled steel is heated above the metal’s recrystallization temperature (around 1700° F or higher) making it easier to bend and shape the metal. The steel used for hot formed steel can be much larger and the end results are weaker than its cold-formed counterpart, which makes it more affordable. This process is often used in construction for things like railroad ties, I-beams and other products that don’t require as precise of a shape. Its appearance is more scaly and rounded, and it has less precise corners than cold-formed products.
  • Cold-rolled steel is pressed at significantly cooler temperatures, often even room temperature, which means it doesn’t shrink or change form. It is a stronger product than hot formed steel and has a smoother appearance. The corners and dimensions are more precise, allowing it to be used for more visible, exterior applications. Cold-formed steel is used most commonly in the construction world to fabricate structural shapes and panels.

So, that’s the more concise version of the Hot-formed vs. Cold-formed steel story. Now we’ll focus a little more on cold-formed steel in particular and why it is so popular in the steel and metal building industry.


Cold-formed steel components are predominantly made from steel plate, sheet or strip materials. These plates are put through one of two processes: press braking or cold roll forming, where they are shaped according to the required specifications.

Press-braking is used to create simple shapes in small quantities. For steel and metal building fabrication, most components – such as floor, wall and roof panels – are manufactured via cold roll forming. Cees, Zees, and hat sections are also made using cold roll forming production methods. This process results in steel products that are stronger and harder. Plus, because they are mass-produced and relatively light weight, they are easier to transport and install.

The cold-forming process uses a series of rolls. These rolls continue to work the metal until it has been precisely manipulated into the desired shape. The more complex the shape design, the more rolls are used. Sheets of steel are fed through the rolls and, in typical cold-formed steel production, anywhere from six to 24 pairs of rolls are used. The machines can accommodate sheets or coils up to 60-inches wide and more than 3000 feet long.

There are several reasons why cold-formed steel is the preferred choice for most aspects of steel and metal building industry.

Strength and durability. When we say that cold-formed steel is stronger than its hot formed alternative, this is not to say that hot formed steel is weak. On the contrary, it is used to form I-Beams and other structural and building components that are incredibly strong. However, in the construction world – especially when it comes to visible finishes – precise edges and a consistent finish are important. So, we usually prefer products that are made using cold-formed steel. And, because the steel is pressed without the use of heat, there is less chance for flaws to occur that lead to future weakness and buckling of the thinner panels.

Sustainability. Hot or cold-formed, steel is the most recycled product in North America. That means the cold-formed steel used to for your construction project was made from high quantities of pre- and post-consumer steel and metals, and all of it can be recycled again at the end of your project’s lifespan. Additionally, steel building materials are incredibly durable, which means your maintenance and repair costs are significantly minimized. It’s resistance to pests, fire and other natural and man-made disaster increase steel’s sustainability and longevity when compared with traditional wood construction materials.

Cost-efficiency. In many cases, your first-time costs with cold-formed steel building products will be cheaper than lumber alternatives. However when you factor the additional cost-savings of the strength, durability and sustainability mentioned above, the lifetime costs of a steel building are dramatically less than those associated with traditional building materials. Adding on to an existing steel building is also easier than adding to a wood-framed building because of the inherent design consistency of pre-fabricated building materials. Finally, paying attention to a few energy-efficient options, such as cool metal roofing, will also help to trim your lifetime costs.

Find out more about cold-formed steel building products by contacting Whirlwind Steel. We provide high-quality steel and metal building products components across the industry spectrum.