1. Tony Szamboti

    Tony Szamboti Active Member

    The fact that Dave Thomas found Fe-rich iron microspheres in his trash barrel or that you could produce them by burning steel wool, are both far from proofs showing how they were produced in the WTC dust.

    We know they were abundant in the WTC dust. They were also found in that same dust with a abundant substance (red/gray chips) that produced iron microspheres in abundance when ignited in a calorimeter.

    I am reminded of an analogy where a man is found dead with birdshot all through his body and a shotgun is found nearby. Someone then mentions that birdshot is the same size as a BB. That might be true, but there is no logic to say the man was shot with a BB gun and it is much more likely he was shot with the shotgun found near the scene.

    By the way, hydrocarbon fire cannot melt the steel when it has any size or mass beyond that of steel wool. Standard sized steel structural items, such as those used in buildings, would not melt with hydrocarbon fire.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
  2. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Of course they made microsphere. They were the precise type of thing that RJ Lee was referring to when he said normal fires would create iron microspheres.

     
  3. Ben Klumaster

    Ben Klumaster New Member

    Except, in this case, it's the BB gun that's been found near the scene (in the sense that we know the building was on fire) and the claim is that it must have been a shotgun.
     
  4. Hitstirrer

    Hitstirrer Active Member

    Not at all. The claim from NIST is that a single BB gun was capable of firing hundreds of pellets into three dead bodies simultaneously. Which is why people are saying 'hang on' doesn't it take a shotgun to do that ?
     
  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Don't get lost in analogies. NIST claimed that planes flew very fast into buildings, and exploded, and the buildings burned for a long time, then collapsed from fire and impact damage.

    As far as you know, what mass of iron microspheres was estimated to be in the dust?

    And what mass of red/grey flakes?
     
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  6. Hitstirrer

    Hitstirrer Active Member

    As you should be aware, there have been many 'guesstimates' - with the most conservative at 10 tons. Ranging up to 100 tons.

    What mass do you estimate can be produced by burning rust flakes, and wire filaments from inside computers, plus sparks from falling steel clattering together as they fall ?
     
  7. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    Can you post a link to the evidence please?
     
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  8. MikeC

    MikeC Closed Account

    Of course not - and no-one is saying they are.

    However they are evidence that debunks the idea that such spheres can only be produced by thermite - which is the subject of this thread.
     
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  9. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    How was this estimate formed? I can't find anywhere that shows the math and source data.
     
  10. Josh Heuer

    Josh Heuer Active Member

    It seems like this thread ought to be locked, as the main point has been made (iron microspheres do not necessarily mean thermite). Perhaps a new thread should be opened to discuss the amount of iron microspheres found, of course with reasonable evidence to back it up. It's pretty obvious at this point to anyone with access to a computer and a couple minutes free time that iron microspheres are not exclusively the result of thermitic(sic) reactions.

    It seems the topic is shifting to there being too much, which I think is reasonable grounds for a thread on that topic. Although at this point there hasn't been much in the way of supporting figures.
     
  11. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    And how would 10 tons of microspheres translate back into thermite? 10 tons of thermite? Of did the thermite vaporize the girders?

    Why were no iron macrospheres found?
     
  12. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I think we should nail down the actual claim first. I can split it if things get specific.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Hitstirrer

    Hitstirrer Active Member

  14. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

  15. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    re. splitting or locking threads - Maybe you should add particularly useful points that come up later in a thread to the first post of a thread once it's run it's course, so people can see a summary if they don't want to read the whole thing.
    (ETA. actually, I can see that would be complicated and contentious in most threads where there is a long debate, so not really workable. It would only work with definitively proven or debunked subjects.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  16. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I just did a few experiments with steel wool. Quite interesting. You can't melt steel wool with a butane lighter, the microspheres comes from the actual combustion of the steel. The butane only provides ignition.

    Here's a bit of a video I made, you can see the spheres being formed. This is in real time. The most notable one is to the one just of the left of center, it's about 0.20mm in diameter. The other glowing orange blobs are also microspheres. There are many much smaller spheres formed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  17. Hitstirrer

    Hitstirrer Active Member

    Not really. It needs to be read as a whole. Only 11 pages, with much of that being preamble, references and graphs/charts.

    The article refers to iron rich, and other microspheres, found in 9/11 dust, and examines the way they are formed.

    Page 10 says :- "The data provides strong evidence that chemical reactions which were both violent and highly-exothermic
    contributed to the destruction of the WTC buildings." .............."Thus, a thorough investigation which considers this data,showing extremely high temperatures and severe fragmentation in the formation of small metal-rich spheres during the WTC Towers destruction, is highly motivated." ......."The iron-rich spheres collected in sample 1 are evidence of high-temperature melting and violent fragmentation during the WTC destruction and dust formation."

    I have a feeling that this was written before the red/grey chips were analysed as page 10 also says :- "Probing alternative chemical reactions which could have produced these spherules is beyond the scope of this paper; but further analyses of these contaminants may provide important clues"

    Here is the link again :- http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp.pdf
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  18. Hitstirrer

    Hitstirrer Active Member

    A well known backwoodsman's way of starting a camp fire is to carry some steel wool and a 9v battery. Ignition is simply to apply the battery terminals to the wool creating a flame. Edit -- or possibly sparks to ignite tinder. ( But off topic. )
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  19. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    That's more of a last-ditch zombie apocalypse method. It far more practical to carry around a lighter than batteries and steel wool.

    Not entirely off topic though, the topic being related to the mechanism of formation of microspheres. Interesting that a battery is actually better at lighting steel wool than a blowtorch is (in my experiment). That's seems to be because the steel gets coated with a layer by the flame, probably of iron oxide, in a way that prevents ignition.

    So if we are talking about microspheres formed via combustion of iron, there's obviously some ideal circumstances, and some less-than ideal. I wish I had more rust to experiment with.
     
  20. Tony Szamboti

    Tony Szamboti Active Member

    You imply you formed iron microspheres from steel wool with plain hydrocarbon fire. However, butane actually burns at 2,600 degrees F (1,430 degrees C) which is a temperature very close to the melting point of steel (2,750 degrees F or 1,510 degrees C) and much hotter than the maximum of 1,800 degrees F (1,000 degrees C) attainable in the worst office fires. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butane_torch.

    For the science behind the limit on office fire temperatures see the section on fires in Professor Thomas Eagar's article here http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom/0112/eagar/eagar-0112.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  21. MikeC

    MikeC Closed Account

  22. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    As I said above, it's not the butane that's making the microspheres. It's the steel burning. You can light steel wool with any flame. Burning wood, just about anything.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  23. Tony Szamboti

    Tony Szamboti Active Member


    Have you tried generating iron microspheres from steel wool with burning wood or paper?
     
  24. MikeC

    MikeC Closed Account

    I haven't tried it. Does that mean it is not possible?

    I provided a link to someone who HAS done it - are they wrong?
     
  25. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, I did it today. Works just the same as with butane. It's the ignition, that's all.
     
  26. Tony Szamboti

    Tony Szamboti Active Member

    Interesting. Do you actually think the microspheres in the WTC dust were formed by a process like the one you describe with steel wool?
     
  27. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Certainly not exactly the same, as where are long thin strands of steel going to come from? But it seems very likely that flakes of rust will contain some iron with a very high surface area to mass ratio, and that will burn in a similar way to the steel wool swarf. Also the friction of collapse must have created a lot of steel dust with similar properties. If something makes sparks, it can probably make microspheres.

    Here's a video of me lighting some steel wool with a piece of burning wood.
     
  28. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Here's a video of one of my experiments burning wool. Again it's just igniting it, then the steel wool itself burning does the melting. This is the video the above GIF came from. If you view it full screen in HD you can see that each orange circular glow is a microsphere forming.




    Filmed thusly: (100mm, field of view is about 20mm wide)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  29. Tony Szamboti

    Tony Szamboti Active Member

    It is hard to imagine your steel dust notion being a cause, as the steel we see in photos of the WTC rubble looks intact from an abrasion standpoint. There also would not have been a lot of rust on structural members of the building during the collapse as they were heavily primed. Any rusting would have occurred after the collapse, with the steel being exposed to the fire in the rubble and massive amounts of water and chemical extinguishing agents over several months time.

    What I find interesting, with both the iron microspheres and the red/gray chips found together in the dust, is that when ignited the red/gray chips produce iron microspheres.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  30. Hitstirrer

    Hitstirrer Active Member

    Also of interest to me is the temperature at which they ignite, when exposed to increasing temperatures.
     
  31. MikeC

    MikeC Closed Account

    More assertion without evidence - and based on nothing more than a need to support your conclusions rathe than any actual enquiry into what might have happened.

    With just a modicum of thought you could have realised that there is iron in all sorts of things other than just the structural components - there is iron in paper clips and pens, phones and computers. There is not only rust there is small iron components pulverized in the multi-then-thousand-ton falling mass.

    Red-grey chips huh....and you can't figure out why they might produce iron microspheres? You can't think of anything that is red or grey that contains iron...??:rolleyes:
     
  32. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The point here is that there are other mechanisms of microsphere formation besides thermite. And that they do not all require a high source of heat.

    And of course the red/grey chips are widely thought to be flakes of red primer and grey rust. So of course burning them produces iron. But that has all been discussed extensively elsewhere.
     
  33. Billy1993

    Billy1993 New Member

  34. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Yep, that's an article alright.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  35. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Couple of references to see the scope of the red/grey chips discussion already:

    A fairly detailed going over of the argumens from a Truther perspective in 2011:
    http://911debunkers.blogspot.com/2011/04/listening-to-debunker-arguments-is-like.html (http://archive.is/86Owr)

    One of the referenced rebuttals:
    http://climateguy.blogspot.com/2010/11/peer-review-of-harrit-et-al-on-911-cant.html (http://archive.is/EoERf)

    I find it quite amazing that the 9/11 "Truth" is supposed to be so obvious, and yet it inevitably ends up discussing aracana like this, and hence the masses are really just going on an argument from authority.

    Two very long and active threads on JREF:
    And related:
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014
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  36. Billy1993

    Billy1993 New Member

    And this?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
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  37. Tony Szamboti

    Tony Szamboti Active Member

    Interesting video. I never noticed that reddish dust in the northeast corner as the building went down.

    It is extraordinarily interesting that the iron microspheres are found in the WTC dust along with something that apparently produces iron microspheres prodigiously when ignited. That would be the red/gray chips, which also produce a significant exothermic energy spike when ignited.

    The red/gray chips are clearly not primer paint for the above two reasons and the notion that there are other ways to produce iron microspheres does not say it was not the red/gray chips that produced them in this instance.

    I think any honest investigator would be wondering why something like the red/gray chip substance was in the building.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  38. Jay Howard

    Jay Howard Member

    The basis of this line of criticism it seems is that there are ways to make iron microspheres that don't require 2750F temps. That's good information, but it does not get us much closer to a good theory about how the microspheres showed up in the WTC dust with such 1. regularity and 2. mass.

    There is no argument by RJ Lee or anyone else that the amount of iron microspheres in the dust is on the scale of 150 times the amount found in a "typical" office fire. Nor is there disagreement that there are other methods of producing the microspheres than a thermitic reaction.

    The problem I see is that Thomas and West among others want to dismiss the ms as an insignificant piece of evidence--as something to be ignored. I find this disconcerting because it is not an attempt (as West acknowledges) to form a good theory that explains the existence of the ms.

    A "good" theory is one which explains the most phenomena and ignores the least. That's partly why evolution is such a better theory than creationism: the fossil record is not ignored as a "test" from a higher intelligence.

    So what is the best theory for the iron ms? Steel wool? Certainly not. Friction? Heated rust? All of these phenomena may possibly contribute to a percentage of the total mass of the spheres, but none of these explanations even in total can account for the mass and regularity of the ms in the dust. If they did, the amount of iron ms would not be 150 TIMES the expected amount. Would you say that's a fair approach? Or would you say these effects are indeed enough to account for the amount of iron ms in the dust?
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  39. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Could you give a source for the "150 times"?

    And ahead of that, I don't think you'd argue that the Word Trade Center's circumstances on that day really resembled a "typical" office fire?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  40. MikeC

    MikeC Closed Account

    RJ Lee (at least) didn't "argue" that figure because they never made any such comparison at all.