What is cold heading?

Cold Forming is the common term for taking coils of steel wire or cylindrical steel rods and pressing them into a shape with mechanical force (de-forming the material). The manufacturing of cold-formed steel products occurs at room temperature using mechanical pressure known as cold heading and thread rolling. Cold worked steel products are commonly used in all areas of manufacturing of durable goods like appliances or automobiles but the phrase cold heading steel is most prevalently used to describe fasteners. The use of cold-headed steel fasteners has become more and more popular since its initial introduction of codified standards in 1946. Cold-headed steel fasteners differ from other steel construction materials known as hot-rolled steel. Hot-rolled steel is formed at temperatures in excess of 1,000°. Fasteners made in this method generally have looser tolerances because the material changes shape as it cools, whereas cold-formed products have much tighter tolerances. This ability to be precise with tolerancing offers a clear advantage for manufacturing fasteners to builder prints where these dimensions are crucial.