My dad is an artist who prefers to buy his materials in bulk and, in many cases, rather unrefined, in so that he may break them down or mold them into the precise shape and size that best fits his personal preferences. This is similar to stainless steel rods and why people and industries prefer to purchase their stainless steel in rod form as opposed to a less or more refined form.
Despite being less processed and refined as other forms of stainless steel, such as stainless steel sheets and stainless steel plates, stainless steel rods, while sometimes used as an end product, are more often times sold to manufacturers who prefer to rework the steel into a specific intended part. Like my dad when buying his art materials, certain manufacturers see the value in buying their needed materials in easily transportable and less-cultured forms. Stainless steel rods, because they are uniformed, solid cylinders, are very easy, predictable and efficient to produce, package and ship. These rods, like other forms of stainless steel, are known for their significant resistance to wear-and-tear, even in the harshest of environments. Unlike stainless steel bars, which can also be produced in squares, hexagons, octagons or flats, stainless steel rods are generally only produced in the same cylindrical shape as always, which is done through a process involving melting, pressing and rolling. This highly resistant metal alloy is desired by many different industries for many different applications, including the automotive and medical industries.
Just like my dad combing his art catalog for his art materials, it is important for manufacturers to contemplate the specific dimensions of the needed stainless steel rod, including its outer diameter, length, weight, as well as what the impact of further production processes will have on it. To reach precise measurements, stainless steel rods can be progressively processed through dies until the desired diameter is attained.