This is a suppliment to the massive 69 page thread titled, "Yep, It's Thermite..."
Due to the on-going discussion about "inert DSC testing" while ignoring the end
result, I have decided to explain the significance of iron forming balls in my own
words. I hope that some of you who are confused by the over-technical debate
can relate to this explanation and understand that the scientists who examined
the dust have this deterministic data to prove an aluminothermic reaction.
Preface (reference science paper by Harrit et al):
What does the combusiton in air have to do with the chemical reaction
between the Al and Fe? These elements do NOT burn, or begin to ignite
There was an aluminothermic reaction as shown in Fig. 20 (and others).
Section 4, page 19:
"The abundant iron-rich spheres are of particular interest in this study; none were observed in these particular chips
prior to DSC-heating. Spheres rich in iron already demonstrate the occurrence of very high temperatures, well above
the 700 °C temperature reached in the DSC, in view of the high melting point of iron and iron oxide . Such high"
Ordinary combustion of the elements presented in air CANNOT reach temperatures
high enough to MELT iron and form spheres.
Combustion in air is TOO SLOW to produce a thermal transition/pressure transition
REQUIRED to melt iron and have it form into into spheres.
What happens when you slowly heat iron (over 700'C) ? It MELTS. It pools. It
dries and forms BLOBS. It DOES NOT turn itself into a ball!
The exotherm produced in Fig. 29 is not indicative of combustion in air; it's too
narrow a peak (fast rise/fall time) to consider combustion in air.
We are trying to debate how a solid chip of Iron transforms itself into a ball. It
must go through a rapid transition from a solid state, to a liquid state and back
to a solid in a very short period of time.
If you were to heat up the iron slowly to its melting point, it would begin
to form a pool of iron (like melting ice slowly - you would get a pool of water).
If you were to allow the iron to cool slowly it would stay in a flat, solid format
(sort of like a flat poker chip). If you were to cool the pool of iron quickly, it may
start to curl up (like into a bowl shape, or curl ends like paper).
If you were to heat the iron up very fast - at an explosive rate, it would transition
from a solid to a liquid and break apart. the molten iron 'splatter' would have less
mass as individual drops and cool quickly forming balls as they return to a solid state (due to surface tension).
If you could change the thermal state of the water droplets fast enough (freeze
them), you would end up with spheres of ice.
If the water fell to the ground before freezing, the surface tension would break and cause the
droplet to puddle/pool. If it froze at this point, it would remain in a 'blob' shape.
Having said that, the iron spheres are formed just as quickly. they solidify in mid-
air and remain that way when they cool down.
Soooo...after that very basic explanation, I hope that some of you can see the
significance of the iron-rich spheres and why they prove a chemical recation
occured...and that combusition in 'air' does not matter as it's too slow
not hot enough
to form the spheres.
I challenge anyone here to use an ignition source in an open environment (standard atmosphere)
to heat up and cool iron, while showing the formation of spheres.
Video tape it. Prove me wrong. Prove the science paper wrong.
You can use anything to heat the iron that does not exceed the energy
release of jet fuel, or combustables found in the WTC.
You must use ambient air to cool the iron at a natural rate.
Good Freakin' Luck
[edit on 18-9-2009 by turbofan]