What’s The Best Type Of Steel For A Roll Cage?

Here at Metro Steel we’re huge fans of motor sport and as such we know the importance of a quality roll cage. It needs to be super strong, yet flexible enough to bend and weld where necessary. For this reason most custom cage makers and fabricators will use one of two types of steel, both of which conform to health and safety specifications. These are T45 and CDS, but which one is best? Let’s take a closer look.

T45 steel

T45 is a high tensile carbon manganese steel. As the name suggests it has a tensile strength (the point at which metal starts to deform) of 700N/mm2. That’s two thirds higher than cold drawn seamless tubing (other wise known as CDS). Ultimately this means that T45 can deliver the same strength of protection as CDS but by using a thinner walled tubing, savings are made on the weight. As an example a T45 roll cage for a Mk 6 Ford Fiesta is around 40kgs. That’s over 10kgs lighter than the equivalent CDS cage.

On the flip side, greater strength combined with lower weights usually means one thing. The cost is higher. As a result it’s normally reserved for professional racing or for those people who don’t consider cost to be the main priority.

CDS steel

Alternatively for those with budget constraints cold drawn seamless tubing (CDS) is the best option. Yes it may well make your vehicle heavier, but if the idea is to offer protection rather than speed then CDS offers a cost effective option. Another advantage of CDS steel over T45 is that it’s arguably better at tightening up the whole vehicle creating less twisting. This can make for better handling.

So which one is best?

In essence they both offer great protection against vehicle roll-overs but the T45 has a higher tensile strength meaning that a roll cage can be made lighter yet offer the same degree of protection. Therefore it’s usually a preferred option for those in motor sport. Whereas CDS steel tubing is cheaper to buy but creates less twisting of the vehicle making for better handling. As for which one is best? There is no clear winner and more often than not choice boils down to budget/and or your priorities.

If you’re looking to build your own roll cage then you’ve come to the right place. At Metro Steel we sell roll cage tubing in ether full or half lengths allowing you to minimise wastage and keep costs down when building. Alternatively if you don’t have the time or the skills to build your own, then why not let us build and fit a roll cage for you? Our skilled team have the experience and the knowledge to ensure that you get a first class job. For further information, contact us on 07 3204 1000 and talk to us about how we can help.