The European Coal and Steel Community (31/10/00) has announced that a research project that it has funded has led to an important innovation in the production of steel for automobile construction. The heavy industrial arm of the EU says that the project, led by the Centre for Research in Metallurgy (CRM, Belgium), has resulted in a new thermal treatment in steel production which strengthens weak points in the metal and leads to a 30 per cent increase in productivity for the foundry.

The ECSC says that the new manufacturing process is an improvement on the existing galvannealing system, that yields a surface suitable for painting and resistant to corrosion, at a reasonable price, but which can lead to a deterioration of the protective surface layer during pressing of the metal.