A thermal model has been developed for mixed-film lubrication in cold rolling. The energy equation is used to determine the temperature variation in the plastic work zone and the temperature at the asperity contacts. The thermal model has been validated by experimental results. The influence of the thermal effect on the film thickness and pressure is significant and must be considered in a mixed film model. The elastic zone at entry has been found to have a small effect on the inlet film thickness and the rolling load.