Samuel Jacob Rosenberg, 90, a retired chief of engineering metallurgy at the National Bureau of Standards and an authority on the relation of heat treatment and structure to properties of carbon, alloy and stainless steels, died of a heart attack Nov. 3 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Rosenberg, a lifelong resident of Washington, worked at the National Bureau of Standards from 1920 until 1964, when he retired. He was the author or co-author of more than 40 papers in technical publications and the holder of several patents developed as part of his government work.

In the course of his career, Mr. Rosenberg received the Gold and Silver Achievement awards of the Department of Commerce, of which the bureau is a part. He was a Fellow of the American Society for Metals, a past chairman of its Washington chapter and a recipient of its George Kimball Burgess Memorial Award. He also received an engineering achievement award from George Washington University.

Mr. Rosenberg graduated from McKinley Technical High School and George Washington University. He began his government career as a draftsman in the old War Department in 1918, and transferred to the Bureau of Standards in 1920.

During World War II, he established a course in engineering metallurgy at Howard University.

In private life, Mr. Rosenberg was chairman of the board of Editorial Associates, a medical and scientific writing and editing service started by members of his family.

He also was a member of the Ohev Shalom-Talmud Torah Synagogue in Washington, the American Technion Society, the Potomac River Power Squadron and the Chevy Chase-D.C. Citizens Association. For many years he had a summer home on Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay.

He was a volunteer with the Travelers Aid Society at Union Station and participated in discussions at the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Citizens Center at Forest Glen in Silver Spring.

Survivors include his wife, Eva Mendelsohn Rosenberg, whom he married in 1923, of Washington; two children, Barbara Adler of Chevy Chase and Doris Margolis of Silver Spring; a sister, Edna Rosenberg, also of Silver Spring; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchldren.