Stanley (Stan) Abkowitz, known as ‘The Father of Titanium’, has passed away at the age of ninety. Abkowitz was a pioneer in the development of titanium and is credited with the invention of Ti-6Al-4V during his time at the U.S. Army’s Watertown, Massachusetts, Arsenal Laboratory in 1951. Ti-6Al-4V is the most commercially successful titanium alloy and is still the most widely used titanium alloy today.
A graduate of MIT with a degree in chemical engineering, Abkowitz held twenty-four US and international patents. His work has helped to overcome strength, corrosion and weight issues in the aerospace, biomechanical and energy industries, among others. This research included advanced materials for energy, defence, medical and aerospace applications such as missile and aircraft components, as well as composite materials for medical implants. In 1972, Abkowitz founded Dynamet Technology (now Arconic Titanium and Engineered Products) in Burlington, Massachusetts, USA, to focus on titanium Powder Metallurgy development.
Abkowitz was the recipient of many industry recognitions. He served as Chairman of ASM International, Boston Chapter; The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society; and on Materials Technology Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Commerce. He received a Department of Army commendation for development of the Ti-6Al-4V alloy, was elected Fellow of ASM International in 1979, and was the recipient of the 1993 William Hunt Eisenman Award from ASM International “for extraordinary achievements in the titanium powder metallurgy field and for demonstrating a unique blend of engineering talent and entrepreneurial ability that has resulted in significant benefits to the aerospace industry.”
Additional recognitions include the Distinguished Service to Powder Metallurgy Award by the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) and the International Titanium Association(ITA) Inaugural Titanium Achievement Award for his major contributions to the industry, and ASM International’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013, Dynamet Technology, Inc. received the International Titanium Association’s Titanium Applications Development Award for its advancement of titanium powder for aerospace applications.