“We were trying to find the purest stainless steel we could find to use for the outer shell to protect it,” says Maliszewski, now retired and living in Belvidere, N.J. “We used pure chromium and pure iron, and we patented the product.”
Finding that perfect combination of metals was a challenge. His lab subjected every known commercial stainless steel to a corrosion test by suspending samples in an acid bath and weighing them over time. Six months of testing produced nothing suitable. So the lab upgraded its analytical techniques by developing a hydrogen analyzer and began testing new combinations of metals. In the end, the team settled on the purest combination it could make and sent it on to the Navy. To Maliszewski, it was just another project, though he admits it was exciting. But he still won’t reveal the actual steel formula they chose.
“I can’t tell you what we ended up with,” he says. “We did a lot of work for the Air Force and Navy. It was all hush-hush work.”