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Comment: Adding more steel doesn't really help

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Adding more steel doesn't really help

because the chief load on the structure is the structure itself. Add more steel, and you add more weight, which adds to the load, and you don't really get anywhere on safety factor. This is the puzzle of designing very tall buildings. You can't add too much steel, because this adds load to the floors below.

It also didn't fall at freefall speed, as you can see in the picture. The debris around the building is in free fall, while the building itself is still collapsing hundreds of feet above.

I didn't inspect any of the WTC wreckage, so I can't say whether there were any bent beams, but your weak spot is always going to be your connection points, which in the WTC case were bolted flanges. You snap the bolts before you twist the beams up too much; that's what I've always seen on failed structural steel.

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

http://shadesofthomaspaine.blogexec.com

Also author of Stick it to the Man!

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