Comment: Temperature and factor of safety.

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Temperature and factor of safety.

If you have a high factor of safety (10 or higher), like in a small, squatty building, you can heat up all the structural members to 1400F (red hot), and you'll still have enough residual strength to keep the building standing.

Skyscrapers have a much lower safety factor because they push the limits on strength of materials in order to reach their extreme heights. Factor of safety can be 2, or even less depending on corrosion or substandard materials. This means the critical temperature is somewhere around 900F for very tall buildings.

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.

Also author of Stick it to the Man!