William J. Kroll

Born: 1889
Birthplace: Luxembourg

Method for manufacturing titanium and alloys thereof—Metallurgist William Kroll invented the Kroll process, a technique for producing titanium and zirconium. His work at the U.S. Bureau of Mines increased titanium production during World War II when it was badly needed. Strong as steel but 45% lighter, titanium is used in artificial joints, bicycle frames, and golf clubs. Zirconium, which effectively resists corrosion, is found in jet engines, surgical equipment, and fiber optics. (2000)

Died: 1973

Paul KollsmanThe National Inventors Hall of FameRaymond Kurzweil