Sulfidated Steel

Ignoring the Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations put out by the National Fire Protection Association, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) did not test for evidence of explosives, because, according to NIST spokesperson Michael Newman,

“If you’re looking for something that isn’t there, you’re wasting your time… and the tax payers’ money.”[i]

NIST also claimed that no steel was recovered from Building 7.  While it is true that virtually all of the steel from Building 7 was destroyed illegally, this claim is blatantly contradicted by Appendix C of the FEMA Building Performance Study, which called for further study of a piece of steel recovered from Building 7 that had experienced a “severe high temperature corrosion attack.”[ii] The Worcester Polytechnic Institute Journal, Transformations, described this piece of steel, saying:[iii]

“A one-inch column has been reduced to half-inch thickness. Its edges–which are curled like a paper scroll–have been thinned to almost razor sharpness. Gaping holes–some larger than a silver dollar–let light shine through a formerly solid steel flange. This Swiss cheese appearance shocked all of the fire-wise professors, who expected to see distortion and bending–but not holes.”

The authors of Appendix C explained that, “the severe erosion found in several beams [in the debris field of Building 7] warranted further consideration.”[iv] [Underline added for emphasis]  They hypothesized that a eutectic formed in the steel at approximately 1000° C due to a slow sulfidation process in the debris pile, however, independent researchers challenged this hypothesis, arguing that: [v]

“[T]o form a molten iron-oxygen-sulfur eutectic at about 1000° C would require a very high concentration of sulfur… The fact that sulfur evaporates at a low temperature, 445° C, along with the very low levels of elemental sulfur in office buildings appears to preclude the possibility that the eutectic could have formed as a result of a slow sulfidation process in the debris pile.”

The authors of Appendix C concluded by saying, “No clear explanation for the source of sulfur has been identified…A detailed study into the mechanisms of the phenomenon is needed to determine what risk, if any, is presented to existing steel structures exposed to severe and long-burning fires.”


[i] Jennifer Abel, “Theories of 9/11,” Hartford Advocate, January 29, 2008.  http://www.ae911truth.org/press/23

[ii] Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “World Trade Center Building Performance Study,” Washington DC.  May 1, 2002, Appendix C, p.1-13.  http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/mat/wtcstudy.shtm

[iii] JKM, “The ‘Deep Mystery’ of Melted Steel,” WPI – Transformations http://www.wpi.edu/News/Transformations/2002Spring/steel.html

[iv] Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “World Trade Center Building Performance Study,” Washington DC.  May 1, 2002, Appendix C, p.1.  http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/mat/wtcstudy.shtm

[v] Jones, Ferrer, Jenkins, Legge, Gourley, Ryan, Farnsworth, Grabbe, “Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction.” Journal of 9/11 Studies. January 19, 2008. http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp2.pdf