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Old 18th March 2009, 08:41 PM   #1
Newtons Bit
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Open letter to Gordon Ross

To Mr. Ross:

I haven’t done any debunking in about a year. But imagine my surprise when I visited your website recently and found that you had finally crafted a “response” to my refutation of your “Moment Transfer in WTC1" “paper”. Please note the words that I have in quotations: response and paper. This is because I hold these items in contempt, not because they’re imaginary. I also find your lack of testicular fortitude contemptible. When in a lively internet discussion such as the one that we have had, try to have necessary courage to actually inform your opponent that you’ve said something. Otherwise it would appear (as it does now) that you’re afraid of a real response. Let’s take a look at what you’ve written and I’ll respond to it paragraph by paragraph.

If only you could investigate 911 as thorough as you investigated my name.

Quote:
A few people have written to me over the past few months regarding an article by Mr. Trevor Self, from Albuquerque I believe, styling himself Newton’s Bit. Rather than continue to answer these individually it will save time and effort if this reply is placed on the web and freely available. I have not previously bothered to answer this article because I did not believe that anyone would be taken in by his rubbish, riddled as it is with very basic errors, but for those who have not studied the subject it may prove beneficial to have some of these errors explained. Firstly I will deal with the arithmetical errors, then I will explain the engineering errors.

You’ve outed me! You have done a wonderful investigation and examined all the various clues I’ve left of myself over the internet and figured out my real name! I fear the massive unwashed hordes of Truthers hounding my every step. Or maybe I would, if I wasn’t sure that the hygiene-challenged Truthers were huddled in their parent’s basements playing the latest Halo game.

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First of all the conversion from degrees to radians used by Mr Self is incorrect. There are pi (3.142) radians in 180 degrees, except apparently in New Mexico. This introduces an error of 200%.

You got me, an arithmetic error. I intended to use 30 degree angles (pi/6) but incorrectly used 15 degrees (pi/12). Unfortunately for you, 15 degrees still falls within the bounds of my “fudging”. You see, steel columns have ruptured by 8-12 degrees anyways. Let’s just call this one a wash. I made an error, but it doesn’t matter.

Quote:
There are four rotations in a three point buckle except in the mind of Mr Self who believes there are only three. A further error of 133%.

Incorrect. This should be self-explanatory to an engineer, but I guess you didn’t have to take any Mechanics of Materials classes. Under an arbitrary amount of work, the top and bottom buckle points will rotate X degrees, however the middle one will rotate an angle of 2*X. Each buckle point absorbs the same amount of energy. Let me know if you need me to explain this further, it’s a tad bit complicated (I’m lying here: I’m trying to protect your feelings, it’s really not complicated at all).

Quote:
Mr Self uses a slenderness ratio which assumes that the columns in the towers were fitted with hinges on every storey. A casual glance at the towers proves this false, and the very fact that they stood for many years would help to confirm the non existence of these hinges. The error in slenderness ratio is 200%.

Do not put words into my mouth, HVAC designer. I never said that the tower was fitted with hinges. I can only surmise that you are making the same basic mistake that Tony Szamboti made regarding the effective length factor “K”. Please see my response to him, I’m really getting tired of having to correct this insanely basic concept of engineering. Here’s the link.

Educate yourself.

Quote:
Mr Self chooses to call himself Newton’s bit for some reason but his refusal to accept Newton’s laws would have that famous man turning in his grave. Isaac Newton, or “whirling Isaac” as he is now known told us that each action has an equal and opposite reaction, but Mr Self chooses to ignore this fact conveniently allowing him to understate the energies involved by half. An error of 200%.

Hmm. I’m not sure how my handle has anything to do with what I write. Nor do I see where this “error” occurs as my paper only deals with recalculating things you did incorrectly.

Quote:
Mr. Self ignores the strengthening and bracing effect of the spandrel plates, core bracing, etc. The error is more difficult to quantify but is clearly significant. Why else would they have been included in the original design?

The spandrel plates do not brace from buckling in a direction perpendicular to their length. They provide stiffness to in-plane forces (thus a moment frame) to deliver shear forces to the bottom of the structure. This is basic engineering mechanics. There is no excuse for not understanding this.

Quote:
These errors when combined add up to ridiculous. It is easy to see therefore why I have previously dismissed this article without much comment. The only interesting part of this episode has been the manner in which supporters of the official story have latched onto it. There are those without the specialised knowledge to judge, who have betrayed their own unthinking bias by adopting Mr Self’s article without question. More importantly there are those who are or claim to be engineers and who do or should have that specialised knowledge and yet they have allowed the article to stand and allowed


Mr. Self to continue to embarrass himself, even when these most basic errors have been pointed out.
I hope that this clears up a few issues for some people, but if questions continue then please do not hesitate to contact me.

As an aside, I have always thought that the custom on the web of allowing everyone to choose their own nickname is a little bit strange. If this were the case in real life then all the Porkys and Kiffys of this world would be calling themselves Ace or Tiger. Mr Self, or Newton’s Bit, as he appears to prefer, is a definite case in point.
You managed to find an arithmetic error (that's posted on the JREF forums) that doesn't actually change any results. You also showed how ignorant you are of structural design. Anyhoo, this has been pretty dang entertaining for me. When you have more “problems” (this quotation is both for contempt and because it’s imaginary), please actually grow a pair and let me know about them instead of hiding it on your website.

Cheers!
Trevor Self

P.S. My middle name is Newton. And my blog is my bit. Hence: Newton's Bit. Do you get it?
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Old 18th March 2009, 08:52 PM   #2
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That idiot is still using the angle cut columns and the crane supports are columns rubbish.

What an embarrassment to my country and city of birth.
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Old 19th March 2009, 04:10 AM   #3
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Welcome back NB. Hope you stick around for a while, but certainly understand if you decide to hit and run...so to speak.

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Old 19th March 2009, 05:18 AM   #4
metamars
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
Incorrect. This should be self-explanatory to an engineer, but I guess you didn’t have to take any Mechanics of Materials classes. Under an arbitrary amount of work, the top and bottom buckle points will rotate X degrees, however the middle one will rotate an angle of 2*X. Each buckle point absorbs the same amount of energy. Let me know if you need me to explain this further, it’s a tad bit complicated (I’m lying here: I’m trying to protect your feelings, it’s really not complicated at all).
Would you please explain this? My (layman's) take is as follows:

A point can't actually rotate. Rather, two chords can rotate about a point.

If a column is considered as an isolated entity, there will be no need to account for work done in "bending" the column at each end. So, in this case, energy consumed in buckling the column will reflect 3 points of inflection, as you say.

But when you add columns end to end, their connections do not freely pivot. You will have energy consumed in bending at both ends of each column segment. Each column end point is shared by two columns, so to calculate the energy of each column in the column line, I would think that you'd figure that this equals the energy to accomplish 3 internal bends + 2 * (1/2 energy to bend at each end).

If you consider the energy consumed at opposite ends to be the same (which is not always true), you could think of this as the same energy as that of 4 bending points.

Note that considering column end points to be constrained to the uni-axial line defined by the original, unbent column(s) in no way will prevent bends from taking place at those same column ends.

(BTW, "Newton" is a cool middle name, but I could see where it would create a lot of pressure to live up to it. Even so, things could be worse. Imagine if you had gone into gravitational physics. )
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Old 19th March 2009, 06:37 AM   #5
Newtons Bit
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Would you please explain this? My (layman's) take is as follows:

A point can't actually rotate. Rather, two chords can rotate about a point.

If a column is considered as an isolated entity, there will be no need to account for work done in "bending" the column at each end. So, in this case, energy consumed in buckling the column will reflect 3 points of inflection, as you say.

But when you add columns end to end, their connections do not freely pivot. You will have energy consumed in bending at both ends of each column segment. Each column end point is shared by two columns, so to calculate the energy of each column in the column line, I would think that you'd figure that this equals the energy to accomplish 3 internal bends + 2 * (1/2 energy to bend at each end).

If you consider the energy consumed at opposite ends to be the same (which is not always true), you could think of this as the same energy as that of 4 bending points.

Note that considering column end points to be constrained to the uni-axial line defined by the original, unbent column(s) in no way will prevent bends from taking place at those same column ends.

(BTW, "Newton" is a cool middle name, but I could see where it would create a lot of pressure to live up to it. Even so, things could be worse. Imagine if you had gone into gravitational physics. )
You don't really get this stuff, do you? Do you need me to draw you a picture?
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Old 19th March 2009, 06:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
You don't really get this stuff, do you? Do you need me to draw you a picture?


Considering there are probably people reading this who really don't get a it, a picture would actually be helpful!
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Old 19th March 2009, 06:58 AM   #7
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Newton's Bit reappeared! Cool.

Regarding Ross: I'm not qualified to comment on his engineering analyses, but anyone who continues to pitch angle-cut, smoke color, and lateral ejections myths is, bluntly, not a serious thinker. NB, Mackey, et. al. can handle critiquing the engineering/mathematical arguments, but for the rest of us, the woo apparent in his qualitative arguments is reason enough to reject his proposals.
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Old 19th March 2009, 07:08 AM   #8
metamars
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
You don't really get this stuff, do you? Do you need me to draw you a picture?
I think drawing a picture is an excellent idea. Please do so, with a column line consisting of 2 columns. Please indicate the center point in your diagram, where the columns meet, and if you are going to claim that this junction between the two columns always has 0 degree of bend, why this should be so.
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Old 19th March 2009, 08:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
I think drawing a picture is an excellent idea. Please do so, with a column line consisting of 2 columns. Please indicate the center point in your diagram, where the columns meet, and if you are going to claim that this junction between the two columns always has 0 degree of bend, why this should be so.

Do you understand why the center hinge rotates twice as much under the same moment as the top and bottom hinge?
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Old 19th March 2009, 08:32 AM   #10
metamars
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
Do you understand why the center hinge rotates twice as much under the same moment as the top and bottom hinge?
Yes, indeed. However, I specifically asked you to draw a column line consisting of 2 columns, and if you are going to claim that their juncture cannot undergo any bending, explain why that should be so.

You only drew one column.
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Old 19th March 2009, 08:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Yes, indeed. However, I specifically asked you to draw a column line consisting of 2 columns, and if you are going to claim that their juncture cannot undergo any bending, explain why that should be so.

You only drew one column.
The deck braces a column from shear forces, but not much in the form of rotation. That said, the juncture COULD undergo more bending, however that would result in greater energy loss. As truthers are so fond of saying "zomg it must follows the path of least resistance!2@1!". If you think it would behave differently, go ahead and draw it up and I'll tell you why it's wrong.

I drew three columns. One above the top joist, one between and one below the bottom joist.
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Old 19th March 2009, 09:52 AM   #12
metamars
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
The deck braces a column from shear forces, but not much in the form of rotation. That said, the juncture COULD undergo more bending, however that would result in greater energy loss. As truthers are so fond of saying "zomg it must follows the path of least resistance!2@1!".
I'm not sure what to say to this, not knowing/recalling the calculus of variations much. FWIW, from the book Mechanics by Landau and Lifshitz, we are told in a footnote on p.2 that

Quote:
It should be mentioned that this formulation of the principle of least action is not always valid for the entire path of the system, but only for any sufficiently short segment of the path.
Also, I thought the point of dispute was firstly to interpret "3 point buckling", in a multi-column column line, and the question of the implication of the correct interpretation of this phrase, for the mechanical analysis, was another issue.

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If you think it would behave differently, go ahead and draw it up and I'll tell you why it's wrong.
Maybe this weekend.

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I drew three columns. One above the top joist, one between and one below the bottom joist.
The perimeter columns spanned 3 storeys - 2 completely, and 1/2 at either end. To tell you the truth, I thought a similar situation pertained to the core columns, but I just looked up the following:

From WTC Modeling and Simulation

"CC501A3 starts at floor 1 and ends at floor 3 (i.e. it spans stories 1 and 2), etc."


Assuming that they mean "spans stories 1 and 2, and only 1 and 2", we still have single core columns that are spanning 2 storeys. In either case, perimeter or core, it doesn't look to me like you've drawn anything more than 1 column, at most, since your picture only shows 1 storey being spanned completely, and apparently 1/2 a storey at either end, for a grand total of 2 storeys.
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Old 19th March 2009, 12:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Considering there are probably people reading this who really don't get a it, a picture would actually be helpful!
Agreed, but I think Metamars is not among those who will be helped.
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Old 19th March 2009, 01:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Agreed, but I think Metamars is not among those who will be helped.
Ah, yup!
Even with a picture, he don't get it...
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Old 19th March 2009, 02:08 PM   #15
metamars
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
Ah, yup!
Even with a picture, he don't get it...
Feel free to help Newton's Bit out, by 'splainin' it to a simpleton like me:

Quote:
The perimeter columns spanned 3 storeys - 2 completely, and 1/2 at either end. To tell you the truth, I thought a similar situation pertained to the core columns, but I just looked up the following:

From WTC Modeling and Simulation

"CC501A3 starts at floor 1 and ends at floor 3 (i.e. it spans stories 1 and 2), etc."


Assuming that they mean "spans stories 1 and 2, and only 1 and 2", we still have single core columns that are spanning 2 storeys. In either case, perimeter or core, it doesn't look to me like you've drawn anything more than 1 column, at most, since your picture only shows 1 storey being spanned completely, and apparently 1/2 a storey at either end, for a grand total of 2 storey
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Old 19th March 2009, 02:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Feel free to help Newton's Bit out, by 'splainin' it to a simpleton like me:
Here's a hint: Maybe I ignored the column splices because it's conservative in favor of collapse arrest.

If I didn't do this, I could easily argue that the columns didn't develop pastic hinges and wouldn't absorb much of any energy from the collapse (which is what happened in reality). Unfortunately, I then wouldn't be able to expose Gordon Ross as an incomptent who can't find his rear end with both hands when it comes to engineering. Which is what I've been trying to do all along.

P.S. When talking about columns, engineers don't differentiate columns the way you're trying to. "multi-column column" is rather nonsensical. Try using the word splice.
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Old 20th March 2009, 06:25 PM   #17
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What about Ross's most egregious error of using an inelastic collision in combination with buckling energies and energy for crushing concrete? The inelastic collision by definition already includes ALL KE losses.
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Old 20th March 2009, 09:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by GregoryUrich View Post
What about Ross's most egregious error of using an inelastic collision in combination with buckling energies and energy for crushing concrete? The inelastic collision by definition already includes ALL KE losses.
He apparently didn't deign to dispute that. I found that rather odd.
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Old 21st March 2009, 01:36 AM   #19
metamars
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Originally Posted by GregoryUrich View Post
What about Ross's most egregious error of using an inelastic collision in combination with buckling energies and energy for crushing concrete? The inelastic collision by definition already includes ALL KE losses.
Greg, how many storeys do core columns span? Is it a constant?
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Old 21st March 2009, 03:26 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post


Here's a hint: Maybe I ignored the column splices because it's conservative in favor of collapse arrest.

If I didn't do this, I could easily argue that the columns didn't develop pastic hinges and wouldn't absorb much of any energy from the collapse (which is what happened in reality). Unfortunately, I then wouldn't be able to expose Gordon Ross as an incomptent who can't find his rear end with both hands when it comes to engineering. Which is what I've been trying to do all along.

P.S. When talking about columns, engineers don't differentiate columns the way you're trying to. "multi-column column" is rather nonsensical. Try using the word splice.
Splice? Not in modern steel construction! Maybe seamen still splice ropes and carpenters pieces of wood? But a splice can be pretty strong! Try to pull a spliced rope apart and it is likely it will not rupture at the splice.

Last edited by Heiwa; 21st March 2009 at 03:30 AM.
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Old 21st March 2009, 06:39 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Greg, how many storeys do core columns span? Is it a constant?
By "span", I don't mean "span completely". If a column spans 2 storeys completely, plus 1/2 storey at either end, then the answer is 3.
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Old 21st March 2009, 06:41 AM   #22
metamars
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Originally Posted by Heiwa View Post
Splice? Not in modern steel construction! Maybe seamen still splice ropes and carpenters pieces of wood? But a splice can be pretty strong! Try to pull a spliced rope apart and it is likely it will not rupture at the splice.
Has it occurred to you that engineers who deal with boats may use different terminology than a civil engineer who works on buildings?

Also, I've seen a technical paper that indicated that at least for the type of weld and columns being studied, rupture would indeed occur, if not very close to the original contact surface, very near it. Sorry, but I don't have a link handy. I think I posted it at physforum.com.

Last edited by metamars; 21st March 2009 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 21st March 2009, 07:35 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
By "span", I don't mean "span completely". If a column spans 2 storeys completely, plus 1/2 storey at either end, then the answer is 3.
They were in 3 floor lifts. The core columns were all spliced on the same floor, the perimeter columns were staggered so that no panel was spliced on the same floor as an adjacent one.

Column splices are typically done at about 4'-0" above floor for ease or erection.
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Old 21st March 2009, 09:23 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Has it occurred to you that engineers who deal with boats may use different terminology than a civil engineer who works on buildings?


Almost certainly not.
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Old 21st March 2009, 10:18 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
They were in 3 floor lifts. The core columns were all spliced on the same floor, the perimeter columns were staggered so that no panel was spliced on the same floor as an adjacent one.

Column splices are typically done at about 4'-0" above floor for ease or erection.
What is a "3 floor lift"? How many meters long?
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Old 21st March 2009, 11:19 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
What is a "3 floor lift"? How many meters long?
He's referring to the exterior columns being erected in 3 meter long sections, which comprised three floors in the final structure:

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Old 21st March 2009, 01:55 PM   #27
GregoryUrich
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
What is a "3 floor lift"? How many meters long?
3 floors in your terminology. Most column sections and perimeter panels (i.e the ones we are talking about) were roughly 11.1 m long.
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Old 21st March 2009, 02:03 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by GregoryUrich View Post
3 floors in your terminology. Most column sections and perimeter panels (i.e the ones we are talking about) were roughly 11.1 m long.
Whether it was your intention to or not... thanks for correcting my error... Where I got 3 meters in the section sizes I can only wonder where my mind was floating around Xd
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Old 21st March 2009, 02:14 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Grizzly Bear View Post
Whether it was your intention to or not... thanks for correcting my error... Where I got 3 meters in the section sizes I can only wonder where my mind was floating around Xd
Where do you think the 11 in 9/11 comes from?
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Old 21st March 2009, 02:34 PM   #30
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3 meters is a 9',11" inside jobby job!!! (well pretty close anyway)

Originally Posted by Grizzly Bear View Post
Whether it was your intention to or not... thanks for correcting my error... Where I got 3 meters in the section sizes I can only wonder where my mind was floating around Xd
Originally Posted by GregoryUrich View Post
Where do you think the 11 in 9/11 comes from?

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...meters&spell=1
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Old 22nd March 2009, 05:47 PM   #31
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Two more ironies to add.

The compressive stress on the columns in the towers, due to gravity loads, was approximately 11,000 psi. Additionally, the natural period of oscillation was approximately 11 seconds.

Last edited by Tony Szamboti; 22nd March 2009 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 22nd March 2009, 06:56 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by realcddeal View Post
Two more ironies to add.

The compressive stress on the columns in the towers, due to gravity loads, was approximately 11,000 psi. Additionally, the natural period of oscillation was approximately 11 seconds.


Is this just some random stream-of-conscience thing?
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Old 22nd March 2009, 06:59 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Has it occurred to you that engineers who deal with boats may use different terminology than a civil engineer who works on buildings?

Also, I've seen a technical paper that indicated that at least for the type of weld and columns being studied, rupture would indeed occur, if not very close to the original contact surface, very near it. Sorry, but I don't have a link handy. I think I posted it at physforum.com.
Yes, the welds weren't full-thickness. The weld is harder but less ductile than the steel it joins. It is the weak link, as can be seen in hundreds of photos of columns from the towers. The exterior columns of WTC 7 were joined with splice plates that were welded to the flanges. Often those welds held, while the thin splice plates fractured. The welding is discussed extensively in the NIST reports. Heiwa should read them.
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Old 22nd March 2009, 08:17 PM   #34
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There are many natural periods of oscillation. The flex in north-south vs. east-west is different due to the core. There's torsional modes. After damage the frequency changed and the system became a coupled system. No irony. NCSTAR1-5A, Appendix K.
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