Corus, the metals company, is to supply powertrain component maker ZF Sachs with a new copper-clad steel for torque converters.

As well as offering faster production cycles and reduced costs, by removing a manual stage and moving to a fully automated process, the parts maker will also be able to ensure a more consistent quality in the coated material used for the production of its torque converter assemblies.

Corus’s special strip business will supply the material directly to ZF Sachs’ production facility. The torque converters are used in automatic transmissions to many leading vehicle manufacturers.

Automotive components have been made from steel clad with more expensive materials such as copper for many years. But Corus has developed a three stage manufacturing process, including innovative pre-treatment steps to the base material coil, which has allowed the company to produce its new generation of materials.

“Now that the manufacturing process is established and well tested, we are starting to evaluate the benefits of combining different materials such as aluminium with titanium,” said a spokesman. “The potential benefits for a number of other automotive applications, including car interiors, are very exciting.”