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9/11 Crash Simulation Animation Video

Researchers at Purdue University have created a state-of-the-art animation depicting the structural damage which occurred as a result of the Boeing 767 airliner crashing into the North Tower on 9/11. This animation clip is narrated with a description of what is taking place as the crash unfolds.

The simulation found that the airplane's metal skin peeled away shortly after impact and shows how the titanium jet engine shafts flew through the building like bullets.

As with an earlier simulation developed by this team that examined the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, the World Trade Center simulation showed that it was the weight of the 10,000 gallons of fuel more than anything else that caused the damage.

"It is the weight, the kinetic energy of the fuel that causes much of the damage in these events," Hoffmann says. "If it weren't for the subsequent fire, the structural damage might be almost the same if the planes had been filled with water instead of fuel."

(4:48)
Click on the "play" button in the lower left-hand corner to play the video.

Mete Sozen, Purdue's Kettlehut Distinguished Professor of Structural Engineering and a principal investigator on the simulation project, says the researchers worked for years and used the best computing resources available to recreate the event.

"To estimate the serious damage to the World Trade Center core columns, we assembled a detailed numerical model of the impacting aircraft as well as a detailed numerical model of the top 20 stories of the building," Sozen says. "We then used weeks of supercomputer time over a number of years to simulate the event in many credible angles of impact of the aircraft."

Sozen says the actual damage to the building's facade that was observed was identical to the damage shown by the numerical simulation.

"We calibrated our calculations using data from experiments we had conducted to evaluate the energy imparted from fluid moving at high speed to solid targets," he says. "We concluded that the damage map we calculated for our numerical model of the building would correspond closely to the actual extent of the damage."

The simulation represented the plane and its mass as a mesh of hundreds of thousands of "finite elements," or small squares containing specific physical characteristics. In the visualization, these scientific data points are used to show how airplane components swept through the building and out through the other side as the fuel ignited.

"The aircraft moved through the building as if it were a hot and fast lava flow," Sozen says. "Consequently, much of the fireproofing insulation was ripped off the structure. Even if all of the columns and girders had survived the impact - an unlikely event - the structure would fail as the result of a buckling of the columns. The heat from an ordinary office fire would suffice to soften and weaken the unprotected steel. Evaluation of the effects of the fire on the core column structure, with the insulation removed by the impact, showed that collapse would follow whatever the number of columns cut at the time of the impact."

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Comments (20)

Heralder:

What's your opinion on the impact (if any) this will have on conspiracy theorist's..um, conspiracy theories?

Personally, I think they'll ignore it.

bryanD...if you're lurking, what do you make of this?

Lee Ward:

After watching the video several times and reading the press release and a few other news reports on this I haven't seen where the researchers draw any conclusions as to why the building fell. Their analysis shows what happened structurally, but didn't -- that I can recall anyway -- draw definitive conclusions as to why the building fell.

So you're right, the 9/11 truthers will ignore it, or point to the National Science Foundation funding as "proof" that the government bought and paid for what a truther would probably call "propaganda".

Paul Hamilton:

The resident conspiracy buff on my political chat board has already posted what he calls a debunking of this. I have a few problems with it as well, but I'm not one of the bomb-in-the-basement bunch either...

What I found more interesting was something I saw yesterday -- I think it was on Wizbang Classic -- where a Fox News story was linked that there was no fireproofing at all on the structural steel beyond a certain height. That contradicts everything I'd read earlier about how maybe there wasn't enough, or maybe it wasn't the right material and had been blown off by the blast. It's stuff like this that REALLY fuels the conspiracy talk because it takes what should have been a basic fact -- was there fireproofing or not -- and changes the story.

Lee Ward:

Let me get this straight, Paul. You read something from a Fox News story that was posted on Wizbang!, and even though it contradicts everything else you've seen on that subject, you didn't laugh it off? Ack - no more kool-aid for you! :)

Paul Hamilton:

This story talks about "unprotected beams" as well. The question is whether they were unprotected to start with or whether the asbestos was blown off.

Heralder:

Hysteria isn't the best atmoshere for debunking. If they're going to get their own supercomputer and their own 'Distinguished Professor of Structural Engineering', and come up with a viable alternate model, fine. Otherwise it's just some guy looking at still frames and imagining he saw space ships and missles.

As far as to whether there was fireproofing on the beams or not, completely irrelevent as all reasoned theories are including the fireproofing in their studies and it still comes out the way it actually occured. Lack of fireproofing means it would have ended the same way, the building collapsing.

It's stuff like this that REALLY fuels the conspiracy talk because it takes what should have been a basic fact

My problem is that I don't think any reasonable cause and effect fuels conspiracy theories.

I can make up an alternate reason for why every single event in human history happened...doesn't make me suddenly credible.


Lee Ward:

This NIST report says that there was fireproofing, but that it was dislodged by the crash.

Based on this comprehensive investigation, NIST concluded that the WTC towers collapsed because: (1) the impact of the planes severed and damaged support columns, dislodged fireproofing insulation coating the steel floor trusses and steel columns, and widely dispersed jet fuel over multiple floors; and (2) the subsequent unusually large jet-fuel ignited multi-floor fires (which reached temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius) significantly weakened the floors and columns with dislodged fireproofing to the point where floors sagged and pulled inward on the perimeter columns. This led to the inward bowing of the perimeter columns and failure of the south face of WTC 1 and the east face of WTC 2, initiating the collapse of each of the towers. Both photographic and video evidence--as well as accounts from the New York Police Department aviation unit during a half-hour period prior to collapse--support this sequence for each tower.

There are many reports at Fox News that repeat this claim -- that the fireproofing was stripped away. I couldn't find anything on Fox that suggests somehing different, and I did a couple of Google searches on Wizbang and came up empty too.

If you can find where you read that at Wizbang post a link here and we can research it further.

Heralder:

From an engineering standpoint it wouldn't make any amount of sense to not fireproof beams above a certain floor.

I think the blueprints and building plans would shed some light on the question.

Paul Hamilton:

Yeah, I would agree that what we've been told makes sense. I'd still like to see everything completely transparent but that's not likely...

BTW, it's interesting that a lot of RWers get all huffy when folks on the left come up with odd theories about the WTC, but a lot of these same folks had theories just as strange about Waco or OKC. Once again, it's a case of people's preconceptions coloring everything they see. And that applies on both sides of the aisle.

Heralder:

I suppose Paul, though I get a little 'huffy' about it because 9/11 impacted me quite alot personally. I'm really still quite angry at the mindset of the people that perpetrated this, but a conspircacist would call me foolish and gullible, while completely pardoning the perpetrators and blaming it on the goverment. What those theories lack, beyond plausibility of course, is any sense of justice.

bryanD:

"bryanD...if you're lurking, what do you make of this?_heralder"

That sure is a tiny plane in comparison to the humongous self-supporting steel frame building!

Heralder:

That sure is a tiny bullet in comparison to the humongous self-supporting bone and muscle person!

bryanD:

Ooowee! Your IQ is leaking. Straining to meet your wacky analogy, yet in a Building sort of way, compare a bullet striking the Tin Woodsman before Dorothy applys the WD-40. (Still standing!...unless WTC had articulated joints!)

*Look what you made me type*

bryanD:

Heralder,

See "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime" at Google Video regarding the Opportunity to place explosives beforehand. Powerdowns, security stand-downs. If you're not convinced, carry on. But if you are, there are folks on the loose who killed your people. Address your rage wisely. There still out there. Even Bibi Netanyahu called 9/11 a "good thing".

Heralder:

bryanD,

My analogy states that a tiny object can indeed destroy a march larger object...and I even skipped the part about it being filled with a volatile flaming substance that will continue to eat away at the target after the initial strike.

We've already spoken about this placing of explosives beforehand, and you know I don't subscribe to that. I'm not convinced. And I've already told you that I was at the buildings just days before it happened, and there was indeed security. I also don't recall tripping over any det cord, nor do any of the other 18,000 people that went to work there each and every day.

I think we'll both carry on. I was under the impression that you might have some sort of difficulty explaining what the above video is saying and I was right, you answered in a single sentence that didn't even address the research. I guess once you make something up, it's too embarrassing to admit you've lied.

bryanD:

"filled with a volatile flaming substance that will continue to eat away at the target after the initial strike.-heralder"

The fireball was the fuel source expiring in seconds. Then smoke. Heavy smoke is absent in the melting process. Means oxygen starvation.

Steel does melt, but not by throwing kerosene on it. One needs a focused fuel/oxygen mix, or electrodes to achieve temperature. Try cutting even mild steel with acetyline and no oxygen.

Again, check the film I mentioned about the power-down. They gave Financial marketing resource hubs 2 weeks to back-up their crap and leave while guys in overalls did "something".

bryanD:

And electrodes require oxygen, too, piped in simultaneously into the "pot" at the melt shop. Even then, those triple sets of 16 foot electrodes crackle at an ear-splitting level just to melt chunked scrap no larger than apx 70 lbs (mostly 1 - 2 lbs).

In conclusion: the planes and kerosene did not make WTC 1 (AND 2!) collapse on the same day, in the same way (with a sympathy swoon fromWTC7, which "couldn't go on without her big sisters (or something)).

bryanD:

The white smoke in a melt shop is from the electrode itself. They get consumed and must be replaced. The front of the closed pot has an open window for manual temp checks. No smoke is emitted from the melt.

Lee Ward:

I admit that I'm sometimes (slightly) swayed by the evidence presented by 9/11 conspiracy theorists, but the act being described is so heinous, so un-American -- that I'm sure someone involved in the 'act' would speak up - it would leak out somehow.

I cannot believe that something this monumentous could stay "covered up" for this long. SOMEONE's conscience would be bothering them big time so that they'd have headed straight for Confessionsville by now.

Heralder:

Lee,

That also is a very good point.

bryanD, I didn't come by and post on the weekend so I missed your inevitable and vague responses....you know, like: There was no fire!

If I took 20 gallons of Jet A-1 fuel and doused my living room with it, lit it, you think it would just magically gutter out without starting anything on fire? Ask a fireman, he'll explain how fire and heat works.

I suppose you came to this genius conclusion by looking at video of the outside of the building. What's rule number one when you're in a building on fire? Check the doors for heat before you open it...because there may be a raging fire behind it and you won't know until you open it.

The fireball was the fuel source expiring in seconds. Then smoke. Heavy smoke is absent in the melting process. Means oxygen starvation.

The fireball that you saw explode out of the side of the building expired in seconds, yes.

Here's a basic clue for you, of course there was heavy smoke, you think nothing else in the building was burning?

Steel does melt, but not by throwing kerosene on it. One needs a focused fuel/oxygen mix, or electrodes to achieve temperature. Try cutting even mild steel with acetyline and no oxygen.

The steel didn't melt (in fact it didn't melt at all) from being doused in jet fuel. You would know that if you listened to anything other than conspiracy nuts making shit up.

I know what it takes to melt and weaken steal, I know how to weld. Though medieval blacksmiths might slightly disagree with what it takes to make steel maleable. Once again Rosie, steel was not cut or liquified. Your basing a major "point" of your argument around a conveniently erroneous idea.

Trying to cut steel with only acetyline would be futile. Trying to imagine that there was no oxygen in the WTC is even more futile, but then again, once you swallow so many lies, the rest go down a bit easier don't they? You must have been a big fan of the X-Files.

Again, check the film I mentioned about the power-down. They gave Financial marketing resource hubs 2 weeks to back-up their crap and leave while guys in overalls did "something".

Tell me what it takes to prep a building for demolition, and then explain to me how no one would have noticed the walls had been pulled down, the beams exposed, the fused twined.

I also have to congratulate these mythological people who were willing to slaughter three thousand Americans for keeping quiet about this. I hope our government is still making use of them, because they're absolutely brilliant to know where in the building the planes were going to hit, and placing he charges just so the heat, fire, or impact wouldn't destroy or detonate them.

I still do want to see this invisible explosive fuse they used, could you link to that?

In conclusion: the planes and kerosene did not make WTC 1 (AND 2!) collapse on the same day, in the same way (with a sympathy swoon fromWTC7, which "couldn't go on without her big sisters (or something)).

You talking once again about what it takes to melt a chunk of steel is in no way a conclusion.

I know it was 6 years ago, but you do recall the structural damage and the fires in WTC7 don't you? I know two 100 stories skyscrapers crashing to the ground would not at all weaken anything surrounding it...nor would the reading of 2.5 on the Richter scale.

The white smoke in a melt shop is from the electrode itself. They get consumed and must be replaced. The front of the closed pot has an open window for manual temp checks. No smoke is emitted from the melt.

Still melting steel with electrodes eh? Kind of stuck on that completely irrelevent comparison. How do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you can't even take into account that the building was burning and producing smoke?

I have a single question for you bryanD and I am dying to know the answer. Why would you live in a country that slaughtered it's own people in such a manner and lied about it?



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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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