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Sulfidated and evaporated steel

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posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by HowardRoark


Eutectic mixtures (i.e. hot corrosion) occur at relatively low temperatures. Generally less than 1000 C.


www.me.wpi.edu...



All of those steel pieces were pulled out of the rubble weeks after the collapse.




Bwahahahahaha! I knew Howard Roark wouldn't disappoint us!

But you still havent explained what evaporated the steel.

Steel does not evaporate at low temps, nor with exposure.




posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 10:45 PM
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Steel Case


Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
But you still havent explained what evaporated the steel.

I don't think it has been established that steel actually evaporated.

Of the two sources Lumos cited in the thread starter, one is to a commercial website that I don't intend to send money to, and the other source doesn't mention evaporation at all.

All the "evaporation" evidence I've seen on the Internet seems to originate from a single statement made by Dr. Jonathan Barnett on November 29, 2001, and seems to come from the New York Times article Lumos cited.

So far, I have been unable to locate a single source which corroborates that claim (i.e., that WTC steel "evaporated") anywhere. If someone can point one out to me (preferably several), that can actually establish that WTC steel did evaporate, I would appreciate it.

Meanwhile, I think it's worth pointing out that one of the two sources originally cited by Lumos actually supports what HowardRoark has claimed:


Limited Metallurgical Examination (pdf)

Evidence of a severe high temperature attack on the steel, including oxidation and sulfidation with subsequent intergranular melting, was readily visible in the near-surface microstructure. A liquid eutectic mixture containing primarily iron, oxygen, and sulfur formed during this hot corrosion attack on the steel. This sulfur-rich liquid penetrated preferentially down grain boundaries of the steel, severely weakening the beam and making it susceptible to erosion. The eutectic temperature for this mixture strongly suggests that the temperatures in this region of the steel beam approached 1,000 °C (1,800 °F), which is substantially lower than would be expected for melting this steel.

Please note that Dr. Jonathan Barnett's name appears at the top of this report, which seems to agree with the Microstructural Analysis of the Steels from Buildings 7, 1 and 2 from the World Trade Center cited by HowardRoark.

What is so laughable about HowardRoark citing information that agrees with information that Lumos cited in the first post?


I don't get it.

Evaporating Claim

Can anyone provide evidence of evaporated steel linked to the WTC that involves more than the single and oft-repeated quote from Dr. Barnett?

I think it is very significant that he used the term "evaporated" before he analyzed the steel and came to the conclusion that it was eroded by hot corrosion his report dated April 2002 -- cited by both Lumos and HowardRoark -- which means he may have mistaken hot corrosion for evaporation.

Just in case I'm not being absolutely clear about this: In his April 2002 report, Dr. Barnett did not mention evaporation or use the term at all after analyzing the steel, nor did he claim that any of the steel he examined had reached a temperature above 1000C.

This is cause for reasonable doubt of the evaporation claim, particularly if there is no other source to corroborate it.

By the way, this is essentially what Clark_Kent was asking, and I apologize if my curiosity about "the biz" distracted from attention on this crucial point:


Originally posted by Clark_Kent

That's something else. If you have something that shows 3000C then show me.
The specific steel Barnett was talking about didn't reach 1000C.
Maybe you can tell me why Jones bring up 5,000 degree temps when we know the steel Barnett was talking about didn't get close.

It seems to me that before we go too far down the road of trying to understand why steel evaporated, it would be wise to establish that steel did evaporate in the first place.



posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 11:17 PM
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Since I cannot see any reason why Barnett would make such a thing up, and since the wreckage was hauled off too quickly for others to analyize, I see no reason to dispute Barnett's assertion that the steel had partially vaporized.

www.physics.byu.edu...

And of Course, professor Jones seems to believe that Barnett was correct as well.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:09 AM
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Commentary Gospel


Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
Since I cannot see any reason why Barnett would make such a thing up, and since the wreckage was hauled off too quickly for others to analyize, I see no reason to dispute Barnett's assertion that the steel had partially vaporized.

As best I can tell, Dr. Barnett's original comment about steel members being "partly evaporated" was based on the appearance of the steel -- and before before he performed metallurgical tests on it.

Later, Dr. Barnett did analyze steel samples from the WTC and made no mention of evaporation after examining it, as I explained above.

His subsequent report described in detail how steel could melt below 1000C, and when he used the expression "evaporated" over three months earlier before completing his analysis, he may well have been referring to the appearance of steel he later described as having been attacked by hot corrosion.

Dr. Barnett's official report makes no mention whatsoever of steel evaporating, and specifically explains how the steel could melt at temperatures below 1000C.

Because of this, I cannot consider that one sentence to be any sort of proof that WTC steel evaporated.

That's why I'm seeking a source of evidence demonstrating steel evaporation that does not rely on Dr. Barnett's quote on November 29, 2001 -- which seems to have become the basis for an entire field of speculation.

I'm looking for more proof than a single statement from a person whose later statements do not support his original claim.

Echo Chamber Analysis


Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf

www.physics.byu.edu...

And of Course, professor Jones seems to believe that Barnett was correct as well.

The "steel evaporated" claim in the source you're citing rests entirely on the single quote Dr. Barnett made. We've already seen that quote plenty enough.

Moreover, every other source Dr, Jones quotes seems to reinforce the claim that the steel never reached temperatures that could cause evaporation, or even melting -- although Dr. Barnett's own analysis explains how the melting could have occurred. But again, not evaporation.

I'm looking for sources of information which establish that steel evaporated at the WTC and do not rely on Dr. Barnett's quote to do so.

If you or anyone else can provide such sources, that would be helpful.

If you can't, then you may want to consider why you can't.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 07:55 AM
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Well, the question whether his original claim was accurate is within the realm of sheer hypothesis. We don't know how he initially concluded that there was partly evaporated steel - while you argue it was because of properties being attributable to eutectic corrosion, it could be argued that just like all the other indicting aspects, like eyewitnesses of detonations, surveillance tapes at the pentagon, FAA controllers' testimonies, the existence of the twin towers' cores, wtc7, among many others, it was kept from public view for ulterior motives.

Therefore, it would be helpful to obtain a qualified metallurgic perspective: How to ascertain evaporation?



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 10:41 AM
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~~

the 2 terms-> Sulfidated steel (from steel taken from towers 1 or 2)
and the -> Evaporated steel (from the steel at WTC7)

should not just be lumped together.

with hardly a pause, the damaged steel of WTC 1 & 2, and the intentional demolition steel of WTC7 are stirred & mixed together in the minds of the public. Creating the false conclusion that WTC 1 & 2 were brought down by explosives just like WTC7 was.

if one goes back to the FEMA pdf link which started the thread,
and one looks at page 8 of 13 (increase the size of print)
you can read two sulfidated samples are deemed steel from towers 1 & 2
and the (heat?)-evaporated A36 steel was from WTC7

but the way the information is packaged & presented,
one is led to infer that the type of damaged steel in WTC7
is assumed to be found in the steel from towers 1 & 2.
...and vise-versa...
which is so NOT the case

2 different types of structures & construction
2 different causes for the collapses



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 11:27 AM
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You have voted Majic for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

You have voted Clark_Kent for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.

Good job guys.

I think that Majic has indeed hit upon the source of the issue.

The term “evaporation” was a figure of speech that has been unfortunately misinterpreted and misused by the conspiracy gang.

Evaporation implies a simple phase change. Technically, it is a phase change from a liquid to a vapor. In addition, to be technically correct, the term for a phase change from a solid to a vapor is "sublimation."

From what I have read, the metallurgists observed evidence of the formation of eutectic mixtures, which caused an erosion of the steel.

This is commonly known as “hot corrosion.”

I don’t see any evidence of any claims that the microstructural analysis indicated that the steel “evaporated.”



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 12:35 PM
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What we have at the moment is a problem with the description and what is inferred from the word evaporated?

How it came about was, apparently, through a remark after visual observation, and upon seeing a photograph of the effect, the remark is not surprising.
There were two reports one which dealt with WTC 7 steel, the other, later, with both 7 and WTC1 and 2.
We can infer then that the general "mystery" has to involve all buildings, though there may be differences.
The microstructure of steel was different to that of 1 and 2,after the phenomenon, but was a different type of steel in the first place.
There was an extensive loss of material ( erosion is a better description than evaporation) as steel went from 1/2 inch thick to zero, and affecting extensive surface areas.
There was penetration of the steel surface which required temperatures of 940 C.
There was evidence that the steel had experienced temperatures of 550 - 850 C
There was evidence of a sulphurous reaction.

Note that when you cut steel with an oxyacetylene torch you don't have to melt all of it. It is the action of the oxygen jets which drives the action. So you can get localised metal loss without extensive areas of evaporating steel.

What was required for the reaction?
Iron / Steel - no problem
Oxygen - limited
Sulphur - no explanation has been given as yet which satisfactorily explains the presence in a suitable manner.
A heat source to give
High temperature levels - these are unexplainable with a gravitational energy collapse.
and Extensive regions of high temperature - unexplainable with a gravitational collapse
Time? - how long would this reaction take? the pile was hot for a long time but when was the steel pulled out. Erosion is a word which generally tends to mean slow and gradual, unless driven by the oxy torch for instance.
Where did the material go to? - did it all end up as slag on the surface or was it driven off by the action or the chemical reaction?

So although the mechanism by which this occurred is as yet unknown, what we can say is that the steel reveals temperatures and the mechanism shows thermal energy levels which are incompatible with the official conspiracy theory.

Gordon.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:01 PM
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How is it incompatible?

There is certainly evidence that all three buildings were burning when they collapsed.

There is certainly evidence that these fires persisted for a long time in the rubble.

There was adequate fuel and oxygen for the fires to burn.

1000 C is well within the ordinary temperature range of a fire.

There apparently was a fairly long time lapse between the collapse and when these samples were recovered.

Heat gypsum to a temperature greater than 185 C and you get calcium sulfate.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:05 PM
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Vapor Wear


Originally posted by St Udio
if one goes back to the FEMA pdf link which started the thread,
and one looks at page 8 of 13 (increase the size of print)
you can read two sulfidated samples are deemed steel from towers 1 & 2
and the (heat?)-evaporated A36 steel was from WTC7

I searched the document repeatedly, and the word "evaporated", "vapor" or any variant of it does not appear anywhere in the entire document.

See for yourself: search for "vap". I also read the text to see if an evaporation process was described using other terms or technical jargon.

Nothing.

Here's the entire text from page 8 of 13 of Dr. Barnett's FEMA report:


Limited Metallurgical Examination (pdf)

Page C-8:

Figure C-13 shows the region where a qualitative chemical analysis of the eroded region was performed. The comparison of the EDX spectra from the specific regions identified in Figure C-13 shows concentration of copper and sulfur in the grain boundaries in addition to iron sulfide formation adjacent to iron oxide in the oxidized surface layer. Sulfide formation within the steel microstructure increases in concentration as the oxidized region is approached from the steel side. This is clearly shown in Figure C-14.

The larger sulfides further into the steel are the more stable manganese sulfides that were formed when the steel was made. The smaller sulfides that have formed as a result of the fire do not contain significant amounts of manganese, but rather are primarily sulfides containing iron and copper. These sulfides have a lower melting temperature range than manganese sulfide. It is much more difficult to tell if melting has occurred in the grain boundary regions in this steel as was observed in the A36 steel from WTC 7. It is possible and likely, however, that even if grain boundary melting did not occur, substantial penetration by a solid state diffusion mechanism would have occurred as evidenced by the high concentration of sulfides in the grain interiors near the oxide layer. Temperatures in this region of the steel were likely to be in the range of 700-800 °C (1,290-1,470 °F).


(Image resized for posting.)

For those who don't like PDF format, 911research.wtc7.net offers an HTML version of the FEMA Limited Metallurgical Examination.

The A36 steel from WTC7 mentioned on page C-8 refers to "Sample 1" which is examined starting on Page C-1 of the report. Nothing in the examination of Sample 1 mentions evaporation of any kind, but rather a "hot corrosion attack on the steel", as repeatedly pointed out in previous posts.

Nothing on page C-8 -- or anywhere in the entire report -- refers to evaporation in any form I am capable of recognizing. If anyone can prove otherwise, please do so.

Can you explain how page 8 of 13 supports the claim of evaporation as you seem to have suggested above?


Unlucky Seven


Originally posted by St Udio
but the way the information is packaged & presented,
one is led to infer that the type of damaged steel in WTC7
is assumed to be found in the steel from towers 1 & 2.
...and vise-versa...
which is so NOT the case

2 different types of structures & construction
2 different causes for the collapses

I agree wholeheartedly that it would be best to distinguish between WTC 1/2 and WTC 7 which, as best I can tell, collapsed under significantly different -- and, in my opinion, even more suspicious -- circumstances.

However, that is not what I am examining here. I'm trying to track down the source of the "evaporated steel" claim which is at the root of this thread (it's the very first question asked in this thread and part of the thread title), and determine if there is any actual evidence that steel from any WTC tower evaporated.

As things stand, the claim seems to be evaporating faster than the steel.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 02:24 PM
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How is it incompatible?
--------The debris fires couldn't get hot enough. The only temp recorded by Nist anywhere near the figure required was achieved by in the tests and it was a near ceiling gas temperature. With this highest temp in the tower conditions, how was it possible in the mostly inert, mostly ambient debris pile, with fuel and oxygen starved fires.

There is certainly evidence that all three buildings were burning when they collapsed.
--------The relatively small fire area was then mixed with a far larger volume of predominately inert material at near ambient temperatures, which would serve to proportionately reduce the temp and smother much of the flame.

There is certainly evidence that these fires persisted for a long time in the rubble.
----------There is no evidence that the fuel was limited to that as assumed by the OCT. The use of Pyroccol, a product specifically reccommended for burning metal fires, to finally eliminate the fire, is evidence of other heat sources.

There was adequate fuel and oxygen for the fires to burn.
---------Oxygen availability is the limiting factor which would ensure low temperatures, and most particularly the power or heat output rate.

1000 C is well within the ordinary temperature range of a fire.
---------This was an oxygen starved, dust smothered fire, with fuel divided and distributed among far greater amounts of inert, ambient material.


There apparently was a fairly long time lapse between the collapse and when these samples were recovered.
Heat gypsum to a temperature greater than 185 C and you get calcium sulfate.
---------This compound has a stronger bond than a ferrous/ sulphur bond so a mechanism for disassociation and reaction is required to make this plausible. The unusual nature of the phenomenon should require more detailed analysis.


Gordon.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 03:29 PM
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Fuel starved?

For every floor, consider the carpet, and or floor tile, add in the fabric, foam, plastic and wood of the cubicles. Add in the plastic of the computers and the miles of cables, add in the file cabinets, drawers full of paper.

Seems like a lot of fuel to me.

How to underground coals fires burn with little oxygen?

I wonder if there were any welding rigs in the basement? What happened to those oxygen-acetylene tanks when the buildings fell on them?

What about all of the diesel tanks in WTC 7?

Wasn’t one of them found to be largely empty when the finally got down to it?



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by HowardRoark
There was adequate fuel and oxygen for the fires to burn.


The rubble was mostly steel, concrete, etc. It's extremely unlikely that fire was being fueled by those items, because they burn at such high temperatures. It's also extremely unlikely that the hydrocarbon fuel at the site could have caused steel to melt post-collapse in any scenario that isn't really pushing credibility.


1000 C is well within the ordinary temperature range of a fire.


This is a lie and you know it.

Hydrocarbon fires won't burn much more than 800 degrees Celsius absolute max, except for flashovers, which are very brief and not sustained, and certainly not for weeks. That is insane.

Even 800 degree or so hydrocarbon fires are only possible when the best conditions are available.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 05:47 PM
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Originally posted by HowardRoark
For every floor, consider the carpet, and or floor tile, add in the fabric, foam, plastic and wood of the cubicles. Add in the plastic of the computers and the miles of cables, add in the file cabinets, drawers full of paper.


There's no evidence of much of this remaining intact after the collapses. Look at what happened to the concrete slabs. Look at photos of the debris site. Look up eyewitness testimony, where it is stated that the largest single piece of debris besides steel one man found was a telephone keypad. Such materials were further scattered all over the complex during collapse. And also, the combustion of those materials would only fuel a hydrocarbon fire with an absolute maximum temperature around 800 C unless there are unusual and advantageous conditions to the health of the fire (which I have no reason to believe were present at Ground Zero despite your assertions), exlcuding brief flashovers, which as I said before, are not sustained.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 07:48 PM
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Originally posted by HowardRoark
Fuel starved?

For every floor, consider the carpet, and or floor tile, add in the fabric, foam, plastic and wood of the cubicles. Add in the plastic of the computers and the miles of cables, add in the file cabinets, drawers full of paper.

Seems like a lot of fuel to me.


it would seem like a lot of fuel if everything in the towers hadn't been turned into a fine powder and spread all over lower manhattan.

say, howie. you're pretty scientifical. what do you think of the elevated levels of alkalinity found in soil samples post collapse? 12? as caustic as drano, i hear? this chemistry stuff is out of my league, but i know what drano does, and i understand a little about it.
so, alkaline means a positive charge? a debit of electrons?

what would cause that tick?



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 08:14 PM
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Rising Temperatures


Originally posted by bsbray11
It's also extremely unlikely that the hydrocarbon fuel at the site could have caused steel to melt post-collapse in any scenario that isn't really pushing credibility.

Are you disputing Dr. Barnett's findings, suggesting that some fuel other than what would normally have been expected in the WTC melted the steel, or some other possibility I'm unaware of?

I'm not sure where you're going with this.

Pants On Fire


Originally posted by bsbray11

1000 C is well within the ordinary temperature range of a fire.

This is a lie and you know it.

Hydrocarbon fires won't burn much more than 800 degrees Celsius absolute max, except for flashovers, which are very brief and not sustained, and certainly not for weeks. That is insane.

Even 800 degree or so hydrocarbon fires are only possible when the best conditions are available.

Can you provide some sources to back this up?

My understanding of fires, including fires fueled by hydrocarbons, is that they can reach very high temperatures -- well above 1000C -- depending on the conditions.

It is not clear to me that anyone has asserted that the WTC fires burned at high temperatures for weeks. As far as I know, the temperatures of the debris fires were mostly unmeasured -- especially at first.

Can you prove what appears to be an assertion that the WTC fires never exceeded 800C?

Please present some citations to validate your claims.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 11:09 PM
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Pants On Fire


Who exactly are you suggesting is lying here? Btw, what is up with these things anyway?


It's hard finding a source that isn't talking about the WTC already.

For example, the 9/11 Research Site has the following listed as a past correction of material:


before V0.84: the page The Fires stated: 800º C is near the maximum temperature at which hydrocarbons will burn in air at sea level: 825º C." This implies that 825º C is a theoretical upper limit on flame temperatures in hydrocarbon fires, when in fact such fires may reach much higher temperatures when fed pressurized or pre-heated air. Of course in a building fire, there is unlikely to be any pressurized air, and pre-heating of air is limited by the fact that the fires continuously draw in fresh air. An exception is flash-over, in which pre-heated gases suddenly ignite, sometimes reaching temperatures over 900º C. This is a momentary phenomenon, however, and will not produce sustained fire temperatures this high.


Which was pretty much what I was just saying. This was accessed on a Google cache of that site as the original no longer exists. I have tried posting a link, but there's some error, I guess because the URL is too long, and it doesn't display properly. If you were to dig a little with that quote I'm sure you could find the cache.

There are further variables, such as what kind of hydrocarbon is being burned, the mix ratio between fuel and air, air pressure, etc. All of this stuff gets hairy and it's hard for me to find a clear answer, at least outside of 9/11 sites, as to what kind of temperatures we should be dealing with here.

Citing other 9/11-related sources, from the other "camp," here's MIT's Thomas Eager:


The maximum temperature would have been 1,600°F or 1,700°F. It's impossible to generate temperatures much above that in most cases with just normal fuel, in pure air. In fact, I think the World Trade Center fire was probably only 1,200°F or 1,300°F.

Investigations of fires in other buildings with steel have shown that fires don't usually even melt the aluminum, which melts around 1,200°F. Most fires don't get above 900°F to 1,100°F. The World Trade Center fire did melt some of the aluminum in the aircraft and hence it probably got to 1,300°F or 1,400°F.


Source.

The Fahrenheit equiv of 825C is 1517. He then went on to state that given only those temperatures, he thinks (or thought) that the WTC would be able to collapse from fire.

These are about the most explicit sources available online, from any source, that I can find.

We can also email someone who would know this, and ask them. I've emailed around in the past for such information, with mixed successes. Or else someone do some more Google searches, because if the information is presented on a table, for example, then I probably won't be able to find it anyway just because of how I'm searching for the info.

Btw,


Are you disputing Dr. Barnett's findings, suggesting that some fuel other than what would normally have been expected in the WTC melted the steel, or some other possibility I'm unaware of?


I haven't been keeping up with this, and to be honest I'm too lazy to go back and see what the dude is saying. If Barnett is suggesting hydrocarbon fires were directly responsible for molten steel then yes, I absolutely disagree. Otherwise, it depends on what he's saying. I don't know exactly what melted the steel, but I have some ideas as to some possibilities, and neither involve hydrocarbon fires. I apologize for not looking back to his publications at the moment.

[edit on 13-3-2006 by bsbray11]



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 11:33 PM
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Originally posted by bsbray11

Pants On Fire


Who exactly are you suggesting is lying here? Btw, what is up with these things anyway?



it's magically debasing!

say, majic, you seem to be off the mccarthyistic witch hunt, and onto a selective science bent, complete with ridicule of opposing views.

QUESTION FOUR:
would you be willing to except alternative interpretations or views without calling your opponents liars?



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 07:11 AM
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Degenerative Feedback


Originally posted by bsbray11

Pants On Fire

Who exactly are you suggesting is lying here? Btw, what is up with these things anyway?

You posted this:


Originally posted by bsbray11
This is a lie and you know it.

That's what I was referring to. It's right there in the quote of what you posted, a mere three lines below the subheading. I'm surprised you missed it.

HowardRoark may be wrong, just as you, me and anyone else can be wrong, but you have presented no proof that he is lying.

If you're sensitive about being called a liar, then you may want to consider that other people might be as well.

Please note that I haven't called you a liar at any point in this thread. Assumptions to the contrary are false.

As for my posting style, it's not exactly a recent development. For a better understanding of what that's all about, I have made over 4500 posts to ATS that are available for your review.

To the extent you read them, your questions will be answered.

Giving Lie To The Truth


Originally posted by billybob
it's magically debasing!

say, majic, you seem to be off the mccarthyistic witch hunt, and onto a selective science bent, complete with ridicule of opposing views.

QUESTION FOUR:
would you be willing to except alternative interpretations or views without calling your opponents liars?

You may want to ask bsbray11 that question in light of the fact that he's the only person who has actually called someone a liar in this thread.

I haven't done so, and don't plan to unless someone proves it to me. So my answer to your question #4 is "yes", and my posts to this thread are the proof of it.

Yes I'm out of line, and came into this thread with a chip on my shoulder due to my disgust over the way topics like these get hijacked by people pushing agendas and measuring "truth" on the basis of who can shout the loudest.

That bugs the hell out of me, particularly because it seems to bring out the worst in me as well -- which is why I usually try to steer clear of this forum, the War on Terrorism forum and other "hot spots" with low signal-to-noise ratios.

But the way meaningful discussion of some of the most important topics we can address gets shut down because of all the name-calling and general trollery is heartbreaking to me, because I really love ATS.

So every now and then, when something that truly interests me pops up in one of the "mudpit" forums, I dive in.

Hanging Together Or Hanging Separately

And sure enough, when I do, I usually end up exemplifying the very traits I despise. Irony abounds.


To the extent I have gone off-topic or joined in the ad hominem mud-slinging which famously drives honest researchers away from discussions such as these, I'm sorry. Really.

I'll try to do better.

I ask that you and other ATSers do the same, and hope that maybe, after having witnessed so much obfuscation and nonsense covering the tracks of the mass murderers who killed almost 3000 of my countrymen over four-and-a-half years ago, I might somehow finally make some sense out of an event that still leaves me with more questions than answers.

We can do this together, we can do it individually, or we can sequester ourselves into little cliques of people who agree with each other, right or wrong.

I would prefer that we cooperate and share ideas, regardless of what our individual opinions or prejudices might be, because doing so reduces the chance of a clue or an error going unnoticed.

We don't have to agree on everything, or even anything, but we can try to keep each other honest.

For my part, I'll try to avoid the hissy fits and sarcastic sniping (I ask for some slack on this due to my status as a disabled veteran of alt.flame whose sense of propriety was permanently injured in online combat) offer what insights I can and -- most important and difficult of all -- try to stay on topic.

I may fail, but at least I'm going to try.

Drifting Back On Topic

So far, the questions Lumos asked in the first post to this thread remain unanswered. I don't have definitive answers for them, but here's what my opinions are so far:

1. How could steel evaporate from fires?

It's not clear that steel actually evaporated.

Dr. Barnett's quote from November 29, 2001, is the only original source I have seen for this claim (all the others seem to depend on this single sentence), and even Dr. Barnett himself does not seem to have mentioned evaporation at all in his subsequent work.

That suggests to me that the "evaporation" he was referring to was actually what he later described as the effects of "hot corrosion", which occurred at temperatures well below the vapor point of steel.

Establishing that WTC steel evaporated requires more evidence than a single comment from a single person (whose later work doesn't mention it) for me to consider it credible.

Other sources capable of corroborating this claim are necessary. Heck, even a statement from Dr. Barnett that he still believes steel evaporated would be better than nothing.

2. What caused sulfidation?

According to Dr. Barnett, et al and Dr. Biederman, et al, "Heating of the steel into a hot corrosive environment approaching 1,000 °C (1,800 °F) results in the formation of a eutectic mixture of iron, oxygen, and sulfur that liquefied the steel."

In the case of WTC 7, which was damaged by fires that were apparently bolstered by diesel fuel stored within and under the building, it seems possible to me that temperatures could have approached 1000C where the conditions were suitable.

The nature of the fires and in particular the circumstances under which WTC 7 collapsed are still highly suspicious, in my opinion, and not necessarily explained by fire alone.

As for WTC 1 & 2, it seems possible to me that the hot corrosion observed by Barnett, et al, could have occurred either at the time of the original fires prior to, during or subsequent to collapse.

As shown in the photographs provided by billybob and Lumos above, a lot of heat was associated with the collapse of the towers, and in such a turbulent environment, all sorts of things could have happened.

Debris fires burned for weeks after the towers collapsed, and there are many photographs of recovery efforts which suggest that some parts of the degree pile got very hot indeed. Hot enough to cause hot corrosion? I don't know, but I consider it possible.

Where did the sulfur and other materials necessary for sulfidation of the steel come from? I don't know, but since sulfur is found in most organic substances (including diesel and jet fuel), there are many reasonable possibilities.

Dr. Beiderman's paper indicated that:


A thermodynamic analysis of the Fe-S-O system is currently underway to determine the atmosphere that would form these sulfidation/oxidation products. In addition, these microstructural observations will be compared with results from steels in various furnace and petrochemical processes.

But I haven't found any results of such a study.

This is another case where more information would be helpful.

3. Why weren't these highly intriguing questions not investigated any further?

I'm curious about this as well. Despite what seems to be universal agreement on the part of all the researchers whose reports I've read that more study was necessary, I'm not sure what additional study has actually been conducted.

However, just because more information hasn't been published on the Internet doesn't mean research isn't being performed. But in light of the strong public interest in terms of building and fire safety, if nothing else, more visibility for this kind of research seems warranted.

If anyone has information about such studies, I'm sure I'm not the only ATSer would would like to see it.

Tentative Conclusions

Those are my current answers to the questions Lumos asked at the beginning of this thread. I could be wrong about any or all of them. Where I am wrong, I ask that my fellow members explain how and share the sources of information used to determine where I'm in error.

I don't think the evidence proves that steel evaporated at the WTC on 9-11-2001, or in the weeks after. Rather, the consensus of the research I've seen is that portions of some steel members melted at temperatures below 1000C due to a eutectic reaction.

The details as to how and why that reaction took place are still sketchy to me, and apparently to researchers as well. It is a curious enough and important enough phenomenon that I would like to see more information about it.

A lack of such information in and of itself does not indicate anything sinister. However, it also doesn't rule it out.

And in a climate where so much fear, uncertainty and doubt exists about something so important to the safety and well-being of the American public, I think we deserve to know more than we are being told.

To the extent our public officials and elected representatives don't help us with this, we must find out for ourselves, and I encourage anyone and everyone who has doubts about what really happened on 9-11 to keep an open mind, keep comparing notes, keep talking about it and keep asking questions.

Sooner or later, we're bound to find answers, unless we stop looking for them -- either because we grow weary of the search or because we settle for comfortable lies instead of uncomfortable truths.

Brutal honesty is better than gentle deception.



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by bsbray11

Originally posted by HowardRoark
1000 C is well within the ordinary temperature range of a fire.


This is a lie and you know it.

Hydrocarbon fires won't burn much more than 800 degrees Celsius absolute max, except for flashovers, which are very brief and not sustained, and certainly not for weeks. That is insane.

Even 800 degree or so hydrocarbon fires are only possible when the best conditions are available.


From Dr. Fire’s site on Flame temperatures:



When one consults combustion textbooks for the topic of 'flame temperature,' what one normally finds are tabulations of the adiabatic flame temperature. 'Adiabatic' means without losing heat. Thus, these temperatures would be achieved in a (fictional) combustion system where there were no losses. Even though real-world combustion systems are not adiabatic, the reason why such tabulations are convenient is because these temperatures can be computed from fundamental thermochemical considerations: a fire experiment is not necessary. For methane burning in air, the adiabatic flame temperature is 1949°C, while for propane it is 1977°C, for example. The value for wood is nearly identical to that for propane. The adiabatic flame temperatures for most common organic substances burned in air are, in fact, nearly indistinguishable. These temperatures are vastly higher than what any thermocouple inserted into a building fire will register!


Unfortunately, what Dr. Fire fails to point out is that these adiabatic temperatures are based on the reactants being at a standard temperature, namely 20 C. If the reactants to the combustion equation are at a different temperature, then the adiabatic temperature will be different.

For example, see this site for some the adiabatic temperatures of common fuels at 77 F.

Back to the Dr. Fire site:


There is fairly broad agreement in the fire science community that flashover is reached when the average upper gas temperature in the room exceeds about 600°C. Prior to that point, no generalizations should be made: There will be zones of 900°C flame temperatures, but wide spatial variations will be seen. Of interest, however, is the peak fire temperature normally associated with room fires. The peak value is governed by ventilation and fuel supply characteristics [12] and so such values will form a wide frequency distribution. Of interest is the maximum value which is fairly regularly found. This value turns out to be around 1200°C, although a typical post-flashover room fire will more commonly be 900~1000°C. The time-temperature curve for the standard fire endurance test, ASTM E 119 [13] goes up to 1260°C, but this is reached only in 8 hr. In actual fact, no jurisdiction demands fire endurance periods for over 4 hr, at which point the curve only reaches 1093°C.


So based on that, I think we can expect to see higher temperatures than 800 C in a typical fire.


The peak expected temperatures in room fires, then, are slightly greater than those found in free-burning fire plumes. This is to be expected. The amount that the fire plume's temperature drops below the adiabatic flame temperature is determined by the heat losses from the flame. When a flame is far away from any walls and does not heat up the enclosure, it radiates to surroundings which are essentially at 20°C. If the flame is big enough (or the room small enough) for the room walls to heat up substantially, then the flame exchanges radiation with a body that is several hundred °C; the consequence is smaller heat losses, and, therefore, a higher flame temperature.


Once again, the effect of heat is cumulative. as the surrounding materials and the fuel itself is heated up, the temperature of the fire increases. Note the assumption that the surrounding materials and fuels are at 20 C.

If a fire burns for weeks in an insulated pile, what temperature will the surrounding materials and fuels be?




[edit on 14-3-2006 by HowardRoark]




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