As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?

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Offline L_D

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We are told that on 9/11 the Towers, after being struck by planes, redistributed the load from the damaged columns and remained standing upright until fire softened the steel columns enough to initiate collapse. One of the first things I thought looked wrong when re-examining the collapses was the speed at which the collapses initiated, both the Towers went from basically standing upright into virtual freefall.

Steel is ductile, especially when softened by fire, so shouldn't this property of steel be reflected by a much slower collapse initiation? Why don't we see any significant amount of buckling occuring in the structure as the buildings fail? Isn't it true that the way the Towers failed is more indicative of explosives taking out the steel columns rather than fire softening them? This short clip shows the start of the North Towers demise.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH_iBZEHEdE&mode=related&search=

The Windsor Tower in Madrid had a partial collapse of the upper floors during an inferno, this partial collapse took over 2hrs and buckling of the steel columns was observed throughout.
http://www.elmundo.es/documentos/2005/02/windsor/album1/02.html

In scratching the surface of this subject I have seen many examles of fire buckling steel columns without it leading to complete collapse, and I have seen no examples of fire causing steel columns to fail instantly except for WTCs 1,2, and 7.

For those of you who are bewildered how anyone can believe this conspiracy theory I ask you to look at Building 7 which collapsed on the same day, two professors of structural engineering have said with "large probability" WTC 7 was a controlled demolition. It is certainly good cause to go and have a closer, more critical look at how the Towers fell.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gElTyejWs4
« Last Edit: 14/05/2009 12:51:17 by BenV »

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paul.fr

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seriously, does anyone really believe that explosives were placed at the base or anywhere on the tower?
As far as conspiracy theories go, this has to be one of the most ridiculous.

Considering that this topic seems to be about a conspiracy theory, i will move it to new theories. If anyone objects it can always be moved.

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Offline L_D

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seriously, does anyone really believe that explosives were placed at the base or anywhere on the tower?
As far as conspiracy theories go, this has to be one of the most ridiculous.

Considering that this topic seems to be about a conspiracy theory, i will move it to new theories. If anyone objects it can always be moved.

I consider that the thread has a valid engineering question to it in relation to the collapse of the Towers, and it isn't a "new theory" at all. (my 2c)

With regards to whether people "really believe" that explosives were used the answer is yes, in fact many millions of people throughout the world believe it including Professors, Architects, Engineers, intelligence specialists......

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Offline ukmicky

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Its got nothing to do with engineering, its a conspiracy theory as there is no evidence to prove otherwise.

For explosives to take out the towers would mean that somehow they knew that two planes were going to fly into the towers at the same floor that the explosives were planted which is ludicrous. What would have happened if one of the planes missed or was shot down or crashed ten floors higher or lower

How would any one get access to both buildings to plant them and be so sure they wouldn't get found planting them.And don't say the American secret services because do you really think they could trust Bin Laden to work with them and keep it quiet.

Do you also realise how much explosive it would have taken and how much demolition it would have taken to plant the explosives in the exact places required to ensure a colapse.

What happened to the explosions taking out the steel girders in the seconds before the towers collapsed.  i didn't see any

Also the initial colapse was probably concrete on to concrete and then once enough floors had collapsed on top of each other the metal framework of the building would have crumpled as it did ,you have got to remember each floor was made out of thousands of tons of concrete. Drop a thousand tons and nothing gonna stop it.

 

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Offline _Stefan_

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Could the terrorists have put bombs in the planes, instead?
Stefan
"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish." -David Hume

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Offline L_D

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Its got nothing to do with engineering, its a conspiracy theory as there is no evidence to prove otherwise.

There is plenty of evidence and the rapid onset that this thread is about is one of many very unusual features that can be explained by explosives but not by a gravity fed collapse. Have you seen WTC 7 collapse?



For explosives to take out the towers would mean that somehow they knew that two planes were going to fly into the towers at the same floor that the explosives were planted which is ludicrous. What would have happened if one of the planes missed or was shot down or crashed ten floors higher or lower

The second plane certainly should have been shot down, there were some very convenient military exercises going on that day for whoever planned this.

Noone can know all the logistics of how this was carried out except the actual perpetrators, but I believe the planes were autopiloted or remotely controlled and they knew with a fair degree of accuracy where they would hit, and just had a default system in place for any explosives that were destroyed by the impacts (pure speculation of course)


How would any one get access to both buildings to plant them and be so sure they wouldn't get found planting them.And don't say the American secret services because do you really think they could trust Bin Laden to work with them and keep it quiet.

Bush family members were directors of the company that ran security for the WTC in the build-up to 9/11 (a brother and a cousin iirc). The CIA has worked with BinLaden in the past but I really don't know what to make of him, whether he's dead or alive, an agent or an adversary?


 
What happened to the explosions taking out the steel girders in the seconds before the towers collapsed.  i didn't see any

Also the initial colapse was probably concrete on to concrete and then once enough floors had collapsed on top of each other the metal framework of the building would have crumpled as it did ,you have got to remember each floor was made out of thousands of tons of concrete. Drop a thousand tons and nothing gonna stop it.

 

Plenty of witnesses saw flashes and heard explosions, the squibs that jet out beneith the collapse zone are also very graphic examples of explosives.

The collapse sequence you are describing is the pancake theory which has been widely dismissed even by the NIST final report because, among other reasons, steel buildings don't pancake at anywhere near freefall speed, and the core should have remained if it was the trusses that failed.


Could the terrorists have put bombs in the planes, instead?

That wouldn't cause the whole buildings to collapse, in order for the whole building to fail in the way it did the integrety of the strong undamaged lower section had to have been undermined with explosives.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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I think Elvis planted the explosives during his lunchbreak from Walmart where he works in the underwear section. He acquired the explosives from an old man in Argentina known as Adolf.

Apparently there was documentary evidence in the basement to do with the deaths of Marilyn Monroe & JFK that the CIA didn't want being brought to light.
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Offline Bored chemist

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Here's adefinition of the word theory cribbed from wiki.
Science
In scientific usage, a theory does not mean an unsubstantiated guess or hunch, as it can in everyday speech. A theory is a logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from or is supported by experimental evidence (see scientific method). In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations which is predictive, logical and testable. In principle, scientific theories are always tentative, and subject to corrections or inclusion in a yet wider theory.

This fairy tale about the explosives isn't a scientific theory by this definition. Can we set up a suitable place for it to be moved to?
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Offline L_D

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Here's adefinition of the word theory cribbed from wiki.
Science
In scientific usage, a theory does not mean an unsubstantiated guess or hunch, as it can in everyday speech. A theory is a logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from or is supported by experimental evidence (see scientific method). In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations which is predictive, logical and testable. In principle, scientific theories are always tentative, and subject to corrections or inclusion in a yet wider theory.

This fairy tale about the explosives isn't a scientific theory by this definition. Can we set up a suitable place for it to be moved to?


I originally posted this in general science as it was an engineering question relating to the most surprising engineering failure this century, not a new theory.

The question of how steel columns fail under fire conditions is not new, and this observation is certainly "logical and testable". All the testing I've examined shows that steel columns do not fail without buckling and that this is a relatively slow process (compared to if the columns were taken out with explosives). Yet on 9/11 three massive steel framed buildings failed at near freefall speed ultimately due to fire, or so we are told.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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What was holding the girders together? Ordinary bolts. There's your answer. You don't need buckling of the girders themselves if the bolts break.
Fledgling science site at http://www.sciencefile.org/SF/content/view/54/98/ needs members and original articles. If you can help, please join.

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Offline L_D

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #10 on: 29/09/2007 09:00:13 »
What was holding the girders together? Ordinary bolts. There's your answer. You don't need buckling of the girders themselves if the bolts break.

I understand that girders can fail suddenly but what I'm talking about here is the vertical steel columns, in order for the Towers and Building 7 to fall the way they did, and at the speed they did, the columns had to fail more or less instantly.

It is, as far as I can tell, unprecedented for steel columns to fail in this way due to fire because of the ductile nature of steel. I am particularly interested in what happened to the core columns of the Towers.
« Last Edit: 30/09/2007 08:13:36 by L_D »

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #11 on: 30/09/2007 18:02:14 »
I saw a program on TV some time ago about this. A Japanese engineer/architect was explaining what happened. I can't remember the exact details but it was something to do with the lagging.
Fledgling science site at http://www.sciencefile.org/SF/content/view/54/98/ needs members and original articles. If you can help, please join.

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Offline L_D

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #12 on: 14/05/2009 03:54:21 »
I have resurrected this old thread rather than start a new one because the subject matter is the same, except now I am more interested in the third high-rise that fell on 9/11 (WTC 7).

Please look at this short youtube video of WTC 7s collapse if you haven't already seen it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD06SAf0p9A

The official NIST account of this collapse has recently been released and it admits that freefall occured for 2.25 seconds early in the collapse, or approximately 8 stories.

So now not only does WTC 7 fall in a manner only previously seen through controlled demolition, but it also has the key feature of freefall where the buildings structure offers no resistance to the collapsing building at all.

It is now at the point where anyone who believes those 3 buildings completely collapsed because of isolated fire and damage is in danger of becoming a laughing stock.

http://www.ae911truth.org/info/49


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Offline Bored chemist

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #13 on: 14/05/2009 07:59:02 »
I don't mind being laughed at by fools.
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Offline Chemistry4me

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #14 on: 14/05/2009 08:46:16 »
I'm a fool. I laughed.

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Offline Don_1

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #15 on: 14/05/2009 10:15:51 »
There always seems to be conspiracy theories, JFK, Monroe, moon landings..............
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline dentstudent

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #16 on: 14/05/2009 10:22:40 »
Yes - It's odd how they don't think their conspiracy theory through. If you work them through to their logical conclusions, they invariably collapse. With or without explosives.

And surely it should be conspiracy hypothesis, not theory?

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Offline Don_1

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #17 on: 14/05/2009 10:28:39 »
I was just going along with popular phrase. I'm not even so sure that 'hypothesis' would fit the bill! In some cases I think 'conspiracy fairy story' might be the best.
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline dentstudent

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #18 on: 14/05/2009 10:30:39 »
Sorry Don - I wasn't commenting about your usage, more the general term.

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Offline Don_1

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #19 on: 14/05/2009 10:40:16 »
No problem mate, I guessed that was the case.
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline L_D

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #20 on: 14/05/2009 10:56:47 »
Yes - It's odd how they don't think their conspiracy theory through. If you work them through to their logical conclusions, they invariably collapse. With or without explosives.




It's odd that you say "they invariably collapse. With or without explosives" when only 3 highrise steel framed buildings have ever completely collapsed ultimately due to fire, and they all occcured on 9/11.

The Towers withstood the aircraft impacts as they were designed to do, they had only smouldering fires in them before they collapsed right down to the ground through themselves. I urge you to have a fresh look at those collapses for yourself.

WTC 7 then fell later that day in a fashion that anyone would recognise as an implosion, complete with a 2.25 second period of freefall which is only possible if all of the columns are simultaniously removed as what happens in controlled demolitions.

Here is a controlled demolition expert's opinion on WTC 7, just in case you don't believe what you see with your own eyes "this is controlled demolition" ... "absolutely, it's been imploded"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2E65WTxd1U





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Offline dentstudent

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #21 on: 14/05/2009 11:04:45 »
It's odd that you say "they invariably collapse. With or without explosives" when only 3 highrise steel framed buildings have ever completely collapsed ultimately due to fire, and they all occcured on 9/11.


I was stating that conspiracies collapse, not buildings.

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Re: As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #22 on: 14/05/2009 11:05:41 »
It's odd that you say "they invariably collapse. With or without explosives" when only 3 highrise steel framed buildings have ever completely collapsed ultimately due to fire, and they all occcured on 9/11.


I was stating that conspiracies collapse, not buildings.


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Offline Bored chemist

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As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #23 on: 14/05/2009 20:12:29 »
"It's odd that you say "they invariably collapse. With or without explosives" when only 3 highrise steel framed buildings have ever completely collapsed ultimately due to fire, and they all occcured on 9/11."
Roughly how many skyscrapers have been hit by deliberately targeted fully loaded modern jet aircraft?
Isn't it a spooky coincidence that there are also just 3 of these and they also happened on 9/11.
Must be a conspiracy to only fly planes into buildings that have been packed with explosives I guess.
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Offline L_D

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As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #25 on: 15/05/2009 10:44:53 »
"It's odd that you say "they invariably collapse. With or without explosives" when only 3 highrise steel framed buildings have ever completely collapsed ultimately due to fire, and they all occcured on 9/11."
Roughly how many skyscrapers have been hit by deliberately targeted fully loaded modern jet aircraft?
Isn't it a spooky coincidence that there are also just 3 of these and they also happened on 9/11.
Must be a conspiracy to only fly planes into buildings that have been packed with explosives I guess.



Well only two of the 3 highrises that completely collapsed that day were hit by planes, have you taken the time to look at the collapse of the 3rd highrise (WTC 7) yet?

The fact that the Towers had aircraft damage and fire high up cannot explain how the whole buildings collapsed through themselves right down to the ground at a speed close to freefall.

I will give a few examples of other buildings that have suffered similar but worse damage than the Towers did and yet they did not collapse through themselves.

First is the unusual attempted demolition of a building by blowing out all the columns midway up the building:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhz5PtELwX4

Next is a photo of a building that, during an earthquake, has sheared midway up and fallen onto itself (bottom left of the montage):

http://www.911truth.dk/first/img/earthquakeCollage.jpg


I can understand your sarcasm towards this subject because I used to think the reason those buildings fell was obvious also, that is why I implore you to have another more objective look at the collapse of all THREE highrise buildings that collapsed that day.

There are now over 650 architects and engineers from all over the world who have signed a petition because they don't believe that gravity alone could allow those buildings to collapse through themselves.

http://www.ae911truth.org/

 

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Offline L_D

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As steel is ductile, should the WTC have collapsed slower?
« Reply #26 on: 15/05/2009 17:56:41 »
Here is this part of the conspiracy debunked:

Conspiracy Theorists bring up the fact that the towers were the first steel high rises to fall from fire in history. The fact is the towers had other firsts that day they never seem to include.

Dentstudent, these debunkers are never genuine nor do they present genuine arguments, I have a bit of time now so I will quickly go through some of the arguments in the link you provided.

The first comment I will make is on the assertion that all the fireproofing was removed, this is a claim made in the NIST final report, but the NIST don't prove that it happened at all. Here is a quote from one of the lead experts in the NIST team, Dr Quintiere, where he questions that assertion..
 
"2. Why were not alternative collapse hypotheses investigated and discussed as NIST had stated repeatedly that they would do? Their current explanation for the collapse of the towers is critically based on an assumption that the insulation was removed from the steel in the path of the aircraft, particularly the core columns. NIST does not show calculations or experiments to satisfactorily confirm that the insulation was removed in the core. As some large aircraft components went directly through the buildings, and NIST indicates the others were splintered on impact, can they explain why these small splinters could still denude the steel?"
http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/science/hsy24133.000/hsy24133_0f.htm



The next claim is "not one has ever had its steel columns which hold lateral load sheared off by a 767. In all the history of high-rise fires, not one has ever been a building which had its vertical load bearing columns in its core removed by an airliner".

They try and make it sound as though all the supporting columns were lost by the aircraft impact, when the truth is that less than 20% of columns were lost and the buildings duly redistributed the loads to remain standing perfectly upright after the crashes.



Next they mention the Madrid Winsor tower fires where the upper 10 floors collapsed, it is worth noting that not only did the Madrid tower burn for 20 hrs, but the collapse of those upper floors took 2 hrs with lots of slow buckling evident, very different to if explosives were used.



Next they say.. "While it's true they were designed to withstand the impact of a smaller 707, they never factored in the removal of fire proofing or fuel in the wings".
We have covered the fireproofing but common sense says that if someone designs a building for aircraft impact they will take into account the jet fuel, they quote one engineer but this is very selective because they know full-well that the head engineer said this in an interview after the '93 bombing...

"Our analysis indicated the biggest problem would be the fact that all the fuel (from the airplane) would dump into the building. There would be a horrendous fire. A lot of people would be killed," he said. "The building structure would still be there."
http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930227&slug=1687698



At the end of this disengenuous piece of rubbish paper they go on to list a host of steel framed buildings that have collapsed due to fire, only they are low rise buildings and are generally large exhibition halls or factory spaces, they certainly do not detract from the fact that no highrise steel framed building has ever completely collapsed due to fire before the 3 on 9/11.


I have spent a lot of my time replying to your link here, I ask that you re-examine the THREE collapses that occured that day for yourself, there is plenty of archival footage on youtube that is easily accessable.