Fire-induced structural failure: the World Trade Center, New York

Torero, Jose L. (2011) Fire-induced structural failure: the World Trade Center, New York. Proceedings of the ICE - Forensic Engineering, 164 2: 69-77. doi:10.1680/feng.2011.164.2.69

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Author Torero, Jose L.
Title Fire-induced structural failure: the World Trade Center, New York
Journal name Proceedings of the ICE - Forensic Engineering   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2043-9903
Publication date 2011-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1680/feng.2011.164.2.69
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 164
Issue 2
Start page 69
End page 77
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher I C E Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Fire investigation has generally concentrated on determination of the cause and origin of a fire. Methodologies developed for this purpose have thus focused on the dynamics of fire growth and investigation of its effect on different objects within the structure affected by the fire. It is unusual to see a fire investigation emphasising structural damage as a way to obtain information for fire reconstruction. The series of dramatic fire events that occurred on 11 September 2001 within the World Trade Center, New York complex have emphasised the need to introduce structural analysis as a companion to evaluation of a fire timeline. Only a combined analysis is capable of providing a complete reconstruction of the event and therefore a solid determination of causality. This paper presents a methodology to establish, by means of modern structural and fire analysis tools, the sequence of events leading to a structural failure. This analysis will be compared with classic cause and origin techniques, emphasising the importance of a comprehensive study. Specific structural features and fire conditions that lead to unique forms of failure will be discussed, establishing the complexity of linking fire, structure characteristics and failure mode. The collapse of buildings 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center will be used to illustrate different forms of failure and the fires that cause them.
Keyword Failures
Thermal effects
Fire engineering
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Civil Engineering Publications
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Created: Fri, 08 Aug 2014, 11:00:48 EST by Julie Hunter on behalf of School of Civil Engineering