Wick The Heat Away

The belief that the steel structures of the WTC buildings could “wick the heat away” from fires within them is a real thing in the world. Structural steel is thought to be such an uncanny conductor of heat energy that any fires isolated in one part of a large building would never overwhelm the building.

Some actually believe that NIST did not include as part of their modeling the thermal conductivity of the various materials in the building’s structure. Certainly if you scan for the word “conductivity” in the report, you will hardly ever find it. However, I believe this is because the inclusion of this information is so elemental to the idea of modeling that NIST never thought they would need to mention putting it in specifically.

There are places where conductivity is shown to have occurred in the computer modeling. On page 394 of NCSTAR 1-9 Vol. 2 (pdf 56), the low thermal conductivity of concrete is mentioned as the reason behind a sharp temperature gradient through the thickness of the slab on Floor 7. So the modeling could pick up the concrete slab’s resistance to heat through a floor slab, but 9/11 controlled demolition advocates ask us to believe the modeling didn’t take steel thermal conductivity into account? That seems unlikely.

So I would invite anyone who believes the structural steel could have “wicked away” the bulk of heat energy in its thermal response to do this: put numbers to your assertion. The exercise will likely do you good.

August 13, 2010 · Joseph Nobles · Comments Closed
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