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Metallographic Examination of Heavily Eroded Structural Steel from World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2 and 7

Steel samples from Buildings 1, 2 and 7 of the World Trade Center were collected during the Federal Emergency Management Agency forensic investigation shortly after the September 11, 2001 incident. Macroscopically, the steel samples supplied exhibited severe “erosion” with plate thickness varying from 12.7mm to a total loss of metal in many areas. Also, some localized plastic deformation was observed. A determination of the cause of this unexpected erosion and an estimate of the maximum temperature that this steel likely experienced are the subjects of this paper.


The articles and presentations that can be down-loaded from this web site are based upon work done by GFV while employed at Bethlehem Steel (1967-1983), Carpenter Technology (1983-1996), Buehler Ltd. (1996-2009) and Struers (2009-Present) and from the authors consulting work for companies such as, Latrobe Steel, Scot Forge, etc., and from his litigation work. GFV's bylined articles appearing in various issues of the ASM Handbook series have been listed here courtesy of ASM International, Materials Park, Ohio.