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Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 103–120 | Cite as

Assessment of structural steel from the World Trade Center towers, part IV: Experimental techniques to assess possible exposure to high-temperature excursions

  • S. W. Banovic
  • T. Foecke
Peer Reviewed Articles

Abstract

Recovered structural steel from the World Trade Center was examined as part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology investigation to provide data on potential temperature excursions seen by the steel for input and validation of the fire and thermal finite element models. While numerous experimental techniques were appraised for use during this study, two proved to be practical: assessment of the primer paint on the structural elements and examination of the steel microstructure. Results from these two techniques are presented. Evaluation of primer paint from 21 exterior panel sections, which represent approximately 3% of the panels from fire-involved floors, was conducted and indicated that only three locations may have experienced temperatures over 250°C. Steel microstructures taken from these and other areas on exterior panels exposed to pre-collapse fires showed no evidence of exposure to temperatures exceeding 625°C for times longer than the detectable lower limit of 15 min. The lack of high-temperature excursions observed during this analysis may be related to the protection afforded by intact spray-applied fire-resistant material on the components at the time of exposure.

Keywords

fire high-temperature exposure microstructure primer paint structural steel World Trade Center towers 

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Copyright information

© ASM International - The Materials Information Society 0247 V 2 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Metallurgy Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Technology AdministrationU.S. Department of CommerceGaithersburg

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