Debunked: Iron Microspheres in 9/11 WTC Dust as Evidence for Thermite

Hitstirrer

Active Member
My main point was that the sample percentage added up to 200.1% ....

The latent point is that the material can only be primer paint. The poor provenance is the guarantee of it. The "toy primer" idea was an attempt to free up the poor thinking around this idea.

Agreed. Something is wonky with the %'s. I took it to be some kind of typo error as the actual ingredients appeared to be accurate. But stating that it can only be primer is the issue. Harrit, in this short vid presentation sets out his reasons to dispute that. So its not certain that you are correct by saying that.


Provenance was always going to be an issue over dust samples as the collectors were not scientists and would not be aware that years later their 'scoop and bag' techniques would be questioned. Of course once they were handed over to people who recognised the issues, a proper 'chain of custody' regime was put in.

But logically, to dispute the original samples authenticity, you would have to be suggesting that ordinary citizens had tampered with them. And that they knew in advance what % of material that may or may not be scrutinised later that they should intersperse in the dust. And that five people who had no contact with each other all tampered in identical ways. Not to mention that if these chips are energetic and comprise nanoparticles only available in government labs - then how did they come across them in order to seed the samples ? Unless, of course the accusation of such 'seeding' is to be laid at the door of others taking charge of the samples. But where did they get the seeds from ? It all seems unlikely to me. And to simply question the provenance without overcoming these kinds of issues turns it into a weak 'strawman' argument in my opinion.

As to the 'toy primer' -- I have to give you credit for an attempt to engage critical thinking skills in others. My pedantic reply was really aimed at @qed though, who obviously had not done that, and was seeking to defend your mention of that possibility, rather than discard it as I did as being improbable.
 

Jazzy

Closed Account
Agreed. Something is wonky with the %'s. I took it to be some kind of typo error as the actual ingredients appeared to be accurate. But stating that it can only be primer is the issue. Harrit, in this short vid presentation sets out his reasons to dispute that. So its not certain that you are correct by saying that.
I think it's 2 x 100%s for the dry pigment and then the binder. No worries.

(video) he doesn't make a dependable distinction here. Tiny chips of iron oxide primer in an epoxy binder will burn in air at 430 deg C.

Provenance was always going to be an issue over dust samples as the collectors were not scientists and would not be aware that years later their 'scoop and bag' techniques would be questioned. Of course once they were handed over to people who recognised the issues, a proper 'chain of custody' regime was put in.
But logically, to dispute the original samples authenticity, you would have to be suggesting that ordinary citizens had tampered with them. And that they knew in advance what % of material that may or may not be scrutinised later that they should intersperse in the dust. And that five people who had no contact with each other all tampered in identical ways. Not to mention that if these chips are energetic and comprise nanoparticles only available in government labs - then how did they come across them in order to seed the samples ? Unless, of course the accusation of such 'seeding' is to be laid at the door of others taking charge of the samples. But where did they get the seeds from ? It all seems unlikely to me. And to simply question the provenance without overcoming these kinds of issues turns it into a weak 'strawman' argument in my opinion.
Yes. Logical. But "conspiratorial PTB" would have got to it, wouldn't they? And Harritt wouldn't have anything to demonstrate, would he? It therefore follows that Harritt is mistaking the reaction for the one to which he pays no attention whatsoever, the combustion of the epoxy and reduction of the iron oxide, which will begin to happen when the iron molecules become more mobile, at 475 deg C. The "indirect silicon/aluminum" argument has no logical basis.

As to the 'toy primer' -- I have to give you credit for an attempt to engage critical thinking skills in others. My pedantic reply was really aimed at @qed though, who obviously had not done that, and was seeking to defend your mention of that possibility, rather than discard it as I did as being improbable.
That's OK by me.
http://www.tnemec.com/resources/product/PDS/90E-92.pdf
But if you are trying to get a handle on zinc content as a whole then the actual Zinc chromate MSDS is here. Zinc is only 10% of that portion. http://www.rustoleum.com/MSDS/ENGLISH/960402.PDF
And while we are at it here is an MSDS for Zinc Yellow (chromate). Zinc is only 8% by weight of that. http://www.tricomcoatings.com/MSDS/Files/111313.pdf
Thanks for those.

The material is neither that according to T. F. Sramek16, nor is it any sort of thermite (too much carbon and too little free aluminum). I'd rather suggest the former myself. Maybe Tnemec (or a Tnemec mix) was specified, but missed out in production. I'd suggest for reasons of cost.

Tnemec is greenish-gray, zinc chromate bright yellow, and those prefabricated parts of the WTC don't look like they're painted with an equal-parts mix of greenish-gray, yellow, and reddish-brown to me. That would end up the color of mud.
 
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Alienentity

Active Member
When Dr Farrer burned epoxy paint in the DSC, it gave a very broad thermal trace, NOT at all like the spiked exothermic DSC peak in our Fig 19. This is one of the many tests he did to check things.
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You say that the exothermic peaks we observed in the DSC (our Figure 19) could be due to burning of epoxy paint. Not according to our experiments -- that is, when Dr Farrer burned epoxy paint in the DSC, it gave a very broad thermal trace, NOT at all like the spiked exothermic DSC peaks in Fig 19. Igniting paint in the same DSC is one of many tests performed to double-check our experiments, and I urge you to do similar tests.
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http://911blogger.com/news/2012-09-08/letter-regarding-redgray-chip-analyses

Dude, this is where they're leading you down the garden path - the DSC plot can't be used for that purpose, it isn't designed to do that. All it does is tell you about phase transitions, heat characteristics of materials and so on.
This claim is meaningless outside the narrow world of conspiractists, that's why nobody is paying attention to you.
Just to help you understand more about the little parlour trick Harrit et al. are playing (on you and other believers) I'll offer the experimental anecdotes from the late Ivan Kminek, who spent 25 years as a polymer chemist, working with DSC machines. He debunks the parlour trick quite readily:

' Like the most of organic polymers, such epoxy resin rapidly degrades at temperatures ca 380 – 430 degress of C both under air and under inert atmosphere (!) This degradation is always exothermic (it is more exothermic under air) and it would be accompanied by quite sharp exothermic peaks in DSC in this region. This is in full accordance with the exotherms observed in Bentham paper. Simply: “Bentham team” observed a burning of epoxy binder. I proved even experimentally for prepared Laclede paint imitation that it vividly burns when ignited and is rapidly degraded both under air and nitrogen at about 380 – 400 degrees C (followed by thermogravimetric analysis, TGA). The remaining discrepancy (red chip in Bentham paper burned at slightly higher temperatures around 430 degrees C), can be attributed to the fact that chips were almost 40 years old and thus inevitably oxidized.'

So again, the exotherm in the Harrit sample is coming from (duh!) the epoxy material, which comprises most of the chip. Go look at a picture of the chip after DSC - it's still red, meaning the iron oxide is still there: it hasn't been transformed by a thermitic reaction. And look at the Millette chips (identical in morphology to Harrit's) and see what he found.....
 

Alienentity

Active Member
We did TEM analysis also, years ago now, but we did not see any titanium in the red/gray chips! (Referring specifically to the clean-surface chips; see Figs. 6 and 7 in our published paper.) More and more, it appears that Millette was simply not looking at the same material that we studied.
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Table 1. Composition of Primer Paint on the World Trade Center Towers according to T. F. Sramek16
Pigment Iron Oxide 35.9%
Zinc Yellow (Zinc Chromate13) 20.3%
Tnemec pigment (proprietary composition) 33.7%
Diatomaceous silica 10.1%
Vehicle Soya alkyd resin solids 16.5%
Hard Resin 2.8%
Raw Linseed Oil 35.1%
Bodied Linseed Oil 6.4%
Suspension agents 2.2%
Driers and antiskin 4.8%
Thinners 32.3%

Doesn't contain zinc so is not the wtc primer paint …
So its not primer paint either then where did this paint come from ?
Hmm, you don't read the thread before you post, do you?
The new myth amongst supporters of the thermite hypothesis is that there was but one primer paint in the WTC. But that's false. There was probably more LaClede paint than Tnemec.
And there were others which are not even listed.

Insisting that Zinc Chromate has to be there or it's not paint is a silly red herring.


That's why you guys are experiencing a form of cognitive dissonance, since you're essentially claiming that there is NO primer paint residue in any of the WTC dust tested, yet there were 10's of tons applied to the steel. NIST observed that the primer was removed from the steel as the towers collapsed.

Where did it all go? I'm sure you'll come up with yet another elaborate excuse for that omission. Keep dancing that thermite dance!
 
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Hitstirrer

Active Member
.

Maybe Tnemec (or a Tnemec mix) was specified, but missed out in production. I'd suggest for reasons of cost.

Tnemec is green, zinc chromate bright yellow, and those prefabricated parts of the WTC don't look like they're painted with an equal-parts mix of green, yellow, and reddish-brown to me. That would end up the color of mud.

I doubt if a supplier would allow an ingredient to be omitted for any reason. If anyone did a quality control check and found an incorrect spec it would cost the supplier $shedloads to remove and replace. High risk strategy to save a few $'s. And loss of commercial reputation heavy. Not to mention fraud accusations. I can't go along with that suggestion.

The spec sheet says that Tnemic-Zinc is 'greenish-grey'. That sort of implies its grey that has a hint of green. Neutral colour rather than one having an impact on total colour. The red/brown mixed with vibrant yellow is what we would see.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
And what's the percentage of Pigment vs. Vehicle?

This composition is based on a product sheet from 1967, construction of the WTC towers started in 1968. If there was actually a pressing need to resolve this, the sensible thing would be to actually get a few different WTC girders, bend them to flake off some paint, and analyze the resultant chips.
 

Alienentity

Active Member
btw hamishsubedei, the focused beams of XEDS can easily miss small particles of pigments, so it depends where the little chip fragments were tested. If you look at the Harrit fig. 25-27 you'll see Titanium shows up twice! Also Ca and Mg.
The aluminum holders they were using have, according to Harrit, some Magnesium in them. It's possible that the electron beam of the EDS picked up the Mg from that, or it may just be a trace in the pigment of the paint chip.
If it's the former, then it would also pick up some elemental Al (from the metal tray) depending on where the chip was being scanned. It's a very small chip, I can understand why this might happen.

But you can't just handwave away the Ti in the spheres. Harrit is incorrect that there is no Ti. Clearly there is.
 

Alienentity

Active Member
And what's the percentage of Pigment vs. Vehicle?

This composition is based on a product sheet from 1967, construction of the WTC towers started in 1968. If there was actually a pressing need to resolve this, the sensible thing would be to actually get a few different WTC girders, bend them to flake off some paint, and analyze the resultant chips.
Yah but most of the primer was removed during the collapses. Must've been mechanical vibration or something like that - I'm guessing the top layer of steel is partly oxidized and brittle, so it flaked off taking the primer with it.
 

Alienentity

Active Member
Did they say what the mechanism for removal was? Friction, bending, impact vibration, and gouging all seem plausible.
I haven't looked into it, so I can't tell you.
But if you look at recovered steel (at least that which is available) it's usually very rusty. Doesn't look like there's any primer on it.
 

Hitstirrer

Active Member
........... the sensible thing would be to actually get a few different WTC girders, bend them to flake off some paint, and analyze the resultant chips.

Agreed. But it wouldnt actually resolve anything unless the artificially obtained 'chips' were identical in every way to the dust sample 'chips', and were then analysed using identical tests undertaken by Harrit - under independent scrutiny. If the nefarious use of thermetic material theory is accurate its hardly likely that it was applied to the entire steel structure back in 1968 in anticipation of 2001. So it follows that selecting steel showing no signs of attack other than mechanical stress would only provide 1968 rustproofing paint if it was scraped off. Proving nothing - unless it was identical in appearance and structure to Harrits chips. As you say, an easy enough exercise to undertake.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Agreed. But it wouldnt actually resolve anything unless the artificially obtained 'chips' were identical in every way to the dust sample 'chips', and were then analysed using identical tests undertaken by Harrit - under independent scrutiny. If the nefarious use of thermetic material theory is accurate its hardly likely that it was applied to the entire steel structure back in 1968 in anticipation of 2001. So it follows that selecting steel showing no signs of attack other than mechanical stress would only provide 1968 rustproofing paint if it was scraped off. Proving nothing - unless it was identical in appearance and structure to Harrits chips. As you say, an easy enough exercise to undertake.

It's not quite as all or nothing as you suggest. For example (even it there is no chemical match) if the chips ignite in a DSC as the same temperature, and/or they form iron microspheres, then that proves that that aspect is not evidence of nano-thermite, merely a property shared by some types of primer paint. And with that you've reduced the problem to one of determining what primer paint the chips came from.
 

Alienentity

Active Member
  • It was just one chip from gazillions of chips of paint in the dust.
  • Perhaps it came from a splash of primer paint used on a single modified component of a tower. Perhaps it came from the undercoat of a veteran child's toy on someone's bookshelf.
  • Not all of the towers was covered in the same primer paint.
  • Zinc chromate is not a necessary constituent of red oxide primer paint.
  • To be sure of the provenance of WTC dust one would have to take and test many samples from many sources.
  • The provenance of the WTC dust samples has not itself been properly verified.
  • Your list of constituent percentages adds up to 200.1 % !!!
Pick any or all… LOL

Not that this is going to matter to thermitists, but some materials scientists looked at the Zn/Cr situation. In the Bentham Open paper, fig 14 shows both peaks for Zn and Cr, consistent with Tnemec primer. According to Kminek there is only '2.5 % of Zn and 2 % of Cr in Tnemec primer. Then, no wonder that Zn and Cr peaks are so small '
This small amount of Zinc Chromate is due to the fact that the materials sheet shows the relative % of the pigments, but they are only something like 30% or less of the bulk of the paint. The rest is the paint vehicle. Take the 20% Zinc Chromate, divide by 4 to approximate the amount to be discovered in the actual paint, that gives you about 5%. So you only have 2% or so to detect. A very small amount.
Sometimes you won't see it at all depending on the sample and the angle of the scan.
But it does appear that the fig 14 MEK sample may indeed be Tnemec primer.

This is a note to the thermitists: Fig 14 shows only a tiny trace of Al! Fe is calculated at about 12%, Al at less than 1%. No kind of thermite in the universe is going to function with those ratios. With so little reactant, you'd only ever get a tiny percentage of the energy coming from a thermitic reaction anyway.
It's just preposterous to call this thermite.

A real thermitic xerogel is going to have a carefully engineered stoichiometric mixture of Al to oxidant, and if there is an organic binder it cannot be too excessive because there won't be enough reactant to get a thermitic reaction! This should be obvious, but for some reason escapes the thermitists.

I guess they've bought into Harrit as an authority figure, so whatever he says they believe uncritically. Also the average person doesn't understand XEDS or DSC, as we've seen here.
 

Hitstirrer

Active Member
It's not quite as all or nothing as you suggest. For example (even it there is no chemical match) if the chips ignite in a DSC as the same temperature, and/or they form iron microspheres, then that proves that that aspect is not evidence of nano-thermite, merely a property shared by some types of primer paint. And with that you've reduced the problem to one of determining what primer paint the chips came from.

But a standard test to determine what temperature a steel beam reached in a fire is to observe the 'crazing' of paint applied to it. And the recognised patterns go well beyond 430 C. There is no mention in any of the tests that determined these results, and published their findings, that sometimes flakes react violently to produce molten iron. If that had been observed it surely would have caused consternation at the concept of applying a substance that was capable of melting the product it was supposed do be protecting.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Not that this is going to matter to thermitists, but some materials scientists looked at the Zn/Cr situation. In the Bentham Open paper, fig 14 shows both peaks for Zn and Cr, consistent with Tnemec primer. According to Kminek there is only '2.5 % of Zn and 2 % of Cr in Tnemec primer. Then, no wonder that Zn and Cr peaks are so small '
This small amount of Zinc Chromate is due to the fact that the materials sheet shows the relative % of the pigments, but they are only something like 30% or less of the bulk of the paint. The rest is the paint vehicle. Take the 20% Zinc Chromate, divide by 4 to approximate the amount to be discovered in the actual paint, that gives you about 5%. So you only have 2% or so to detect. A very small amount.
Sometimes you won't see it at all depending on the sample and the angle of the scan.
But it does appear that the fig 14 MEK sample may indeed be Tnemec primer.

But as Harrit says in the above video:
Harrit: I'm just telling the experience we had with the debunkers. They fell down on one of the pictures in the paper, here [Fig 14], which shows the chip which was used for the swelling experiment with MEK, they say "Hah! you se you see here you have Crome, you have Zinc, that proves it is the primer paint. The point here is that the previous picture, these EDS have been taken on chips that have been broken, so you have a clean surface, which is the way to do it. Now in the experiment where we had to put the chip in MEK we could not break it, of course, so this is, actually, it show all the contamination from the rest of the building. Let me just point out here, you see a great big sulfur peak, and you see calcium is big. we have already talked about wallboard [drywall]. This is contamination of calcium sulfate from the wallboard, which was all over. And this zinc chromate could very well be primer paint sticking on the outside of the red chips and the point is when you break the chip, where you get a clean cut, there is no Zinc chromate. That is one reason why the red-gray chips is not the primer paint.
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Alienentity

Active Member
It's not quite as all or nothing as you suggest. For example (even it there is no chemical match) if the chips ignite in a DSC as the same temperature, and/or they form iron microspheres, then that proves that that aspect is not evidence of nano-thermite, merely a property shared by some types of primer paint. And with that you've reduced the problem to one of determining what primer paint the chips came from.
Yah but the weird thing is that Millett'es samples DO match the Harrit samples (except for the MEK chip I've just been discussing, which could be Tnemec).

Everything Millette looked at confirms these samples match Harrit's. But the testing method is different - that doesn't invalidate the comparison. I can't remember where exactly, but one of these chaps claimed Millette said that the chips aren't paint. But of course that's not true. Millette writes '
The red/gray chips found in the WTC dust at four sites in New York City are consistent
with a carbon steel coated with an epoxy resin that contains primarily iron oxide and
kaolin clay pigments.'
(edit to add) Which by any other name is typical primer paint. Just look it up on the interwebs. ;)

I guess he didn't make it obvious enough, he certainly doesn't say 'it's not paint'. Nor does he mean that. He's very careful not to speculate, just to report his findings in the most dry and objective way. '
At the time of this progress report, the identity of the product from which the red/gray
chips were generated has not been determined'. ie: he doesn't know which paint this might be. But then we see he only has one data sheet, which he's apparently misinterpreting because, while 'small EDS peaks of zinc and chromium were detected in some samples but the amount
detected was inconsistent with the 20% level of zinc chromate in the primer formula.'
I've just shown that there isn't going to to 20% zinc chromate in the paint, by the time you've reduced the pigment portion properly. (that's why if you add up the %'s in the sheet you get 200%!)

I don't think Millette spent much time on that aspect, he probably just did a quite comparo. But he did find Zn and Cr, just as showed up in Harrit's fig 25-27 microspheres!
 
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Alienentity

Active Member
But a standard test to determine what temperature a steel beam reached in a fire is to observe the 'crazing' of paint applied to it. And the recognised patterns go well beyond 430 C. There is no mention in any of the tests that determined these results, and published their findings, that sometimes flakes react violently to produce molten iron. If that had been observed it surely would have caused consternation at the concept of applying a substance that was capable of melting the product it was supposed do be protecting.
There is no formula given for the paint used to test fire temps. So we don't have a proper comparison to make.

Also, as I've shown you, the MEK chip appears to be consistent with Tnemec, not LaClede. It is different from the other chips, but they didn't test any other chips like it in the DSC. So you may very well have seen what FH Couannier saw - nothing happened to his samples at 430º, and he took it all the way past 600º IIRC.

There isn't one kind of paint chip expected (except to people who really don't know about the variety of primer coatings on the WTC steel) so different test results SHOULD be expected.

Remember, all of this is perfectly consistent with paint so far, but not with thermite. None of the chips has much Al to begin with by %. You just can't handwave that away.
 

Alienentity

Active Member
But as Harrit says in the above video:
Harrit: I'm just telling the experience we had with the debunkers. They fell down on one of the pictures in the paper, here [Fig 14], which shows the chip which was used for the swelling experiment with MEK, they say "Hah! you se you see here you have Crome, you have Zinc, that proves it is the primer paint. The point here is that the previous picture, these EDS have been taken on chips that have been broken, so you have a clean surface, which is the way to do it. Now in the experiment where we had to put the chip in MEK we could not break it, of course, so this is, actually, it show all the contamination from the rest of the building. Let me just point out here, you see a great big sulfur peak, and you see calcium is big. we have already talked about wallboard [drywall]. This is contamination of calcium sulfate from the wallboard, which was all over. And this zinc chromate could very well be primer paint sticking on the outside of the red chips and the point is when you break the chip, where you get a clean cut, there is no Zinc chromate. That is one reason why the red-gray chips is not the primer paint.
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Maybe, but Millette found Zn and Cr as well in some of the chips, in small amounts. The sample sizes are incredibly small as well, so there is a lot of variety in various amounts of materials, such as Fe, Al and Si as well!
This is one of the problems with relying on XEDS alone to identify the materials. That's what we've been trying to point out all along. That's why Dr Millette did not do just those tests, but several others, such as FTIR.

Harrit gave up on any serious follow-up for some unknown reason. Like I said, they probably got a rude shock when they did some further testing (which was underway circa 2009) and just decided to drop the subject.
 

Alienentity

Active Member
Maybe the WTC builders were ripped off with their "zinc yellow". What actually IS "Tnemec pigment", I wonder?
Well this is another valid question - how many different subtle paint formulations were there at the time? Who knows?
Probably more than zero.
 

Jazzy

Closed Account
But a standard test to determine what temperature a steel beam reached in a fire is to observe the 'crazing' of paint applied to it. And the recognised patterns go well beyond 430 C. There is no mention in any of the tests that determined these results, and published their findings, that sometimes flakes react violently to produce molten iron. If that had been observed it surely would have caused consternation at the concept of applying a substance that was capable of melting the product it was supposed do be protecting.
The same material will behave quite differently when laid as a thin sheet over a metal surface, compared with being a heap of fine powder. The silicate flakes would tend to align flat-over-flat, like a spilled deck of cards, rather than a tower of cards. This film structure would inhibit reaction propagation, the flakes tending to cause flake-off rather than to complete the combustion. Many other flaky solids exhibit this property in various ways. Powders behave differently from films.
 

Hitstirrer

Active Member
There is no formula given for the paint used to test fire temps. So we don't have a proper comparison to make.

I never mentioned a 'formula'. And its not testing the fire temps at all. More of a visual observation, and then comparison with published charts to give a rough min/max temp estimate of the temp that the steel reached.

But my point was more about the initial production of the charts in the first place, that were used as references. At that stage, if any weird' flakes melting' was seen it would have raised a few eyebrows. But that didn't happen. Thats my point. Heating painted steel in an oven to different temps in order to record the crazing patterns would have bound to include some edge 'flakes' in there. But not a mention of any steel flakes being melted at a temp below their normal point in that oven. Or the paint itself would have to have been rejected as a product hazard itself.
 

Jazzy

Closed Account
Did they say what the mechanism for removal was? Friction, bending, impact vibration, and gouging all seem plausible.
Impact vibration was probably a very potent removal mechanism.

So all you have to do is to find some WTC steel on display somewhere that hasn't lost its covering and give it a jolly good clout with a sledgehammer.
 

Hitstirrer

Active Member
Certainly, as silicate 'flakes' cannot melt. (Rather like concrete). They may decompose a little...

At risk of being pedantic again I must point out that you have decided to ignore the fact that I was talking about painted steel flakes.

As here --" Heating painted steel in an oven to different temps in order to record the crazing patterns would have bound to include some edge 'flakes' in there. But not a mention of any steel flakes being melted".

Selective reading isn't helpful.
 

Jazzy

Closed Account
At risk of being pedantic again I must point out that you have decided to ignore the fact that I was talking about painted steel flakes. As here --" Heating painted steel in an oven to different temps in order to record the crazing patterns would have bound to include some edge 'flakes' in there. But not a mention of any steel flakes being melted". Selective reading isn't helpful.
Pardon me. The censor of my mind did indeed reject the melting of 'steel flakes' in that scenario. So much so, it automatically switched to the silicate flakes in Tnemec. So you're right. :)
 

Alienentity

Active Member
At risk of being pedantic again I must point out that you have decided to ignore the fact that I was talking about painted steel flakes.

As here --" Heating painted steel in an oven to different temps in order to record the crazing patterns would have bound to include some edge 'flakes' in there. But not a mention of any steel flakes being melted".

Selective reading isn't helpful.

I think it's not a very useful comparison, very different test conditions with lots of unknown variables. We can't even compare the composition of the paints used in the test vs those paint chips in the dust as a baseline.

It's too bad Kevin Ryan wouldn't let Dr Millette use their samples. That would've been the closest to a replication as possible.
Like I said, F.H. Couannier also tested his samples well above 400º and didn't get any microspheres.

There's a whole lot of speculation revolving around unknown unknowns. All we really do know for sure is that there was prime paint, there were large fires and then the buildings collapsed. There's no evidence of bulk melted steel anywhere. Anecdotal observations of 'melted steel' abound in lots of cases involving fires; yet we know fires can't melt bulk steel.
Problem is you can't tell what most molten metals are just by looking at them - even on 9/11 there was molten metal dripping in the parking levels under WTC 6, yet later that building was dismantled and no melted steel was found.

I'm just saying that's all we really know for certain. the rest is speculation.
 

Hitstirrer

Active Member
I think it's not a very useful comparison, very different test conditions with lots of unknown variables.

It wasn't a comparison at all. Thats probably why it didn't work for you. It was an attempt to show that primer painted steel has been heated to destruction for decades in tests, because the last thing that a manufacturer wants is for his product to to self ignite and melt the steel that it was designed to protect. They need to know that there is no interaction with any new formula of sprayed on fire protection or lagging. Data collected in those tests was also used to produce charts showing typical 'crazing' of the paint at different temperatures.

In all the years that steel has been protected in that way there has never been any mention that primer paint could in certain circumstances self ignite at a precise temperature and create iron rich microspheres from flakes of rust still with paint attached. If the experimentation used to prepare the heat chart data had revealed that, then steps would have been taken to inhibit the primer from doing that. A prudent manufacturer would insist on that to protect himself from spurious claims in the future.

That suggests to me that paint does not in fact do that. No ignition - no microspheres.

Easy to check though. As Mick says, ----try it. Rust flakes with primer paint attached must be easy to procure. Crush into tiny particles. Find a friend with a small pottery firing kiln. Slowly heat to 430 C and observe.
 

Jazzy

Closed Account
the last thing that a manufacturer wants is for his product to to self ignite and melt the steel that it was designed to protect.
That statement makes no sense in terms of physics or chemistry. It isn't science. A film of paint (or thermite) hasn't the energy to do that to any civil steelwork.

They need to know that there is no interaction with any new formula of sprayed on fire protection or lagging.
It wouldn't be sensible to spray red oxide primer in an epoxy binder on cellulose lagging (which can easily burn), other inert lagging could still allow it to burn in air, because epoxy is inflammable.

there has never been any mention that primer paint could in certain circumstances self ignite at a precise temperature and create iron rich microspheres


Maybe because they missed the microspheres in all the confusion.

What you see burn away is a rubberized fabric primed with fine red iron oxide particles in a linseed oil binder with a topcoat of fine aluminum flake particles in more linseed oil binder.

That suggests to me that paint does not in fact do that. No ignition - no microspheres.
But the paint combusts in circumstances where the physical conditions allow it to happen. Obviously.

Easy to check though. As Mick says, ----try it. Rust flakes with primer paint attached must be easy to procure. Crush into tiny particles. Find a friend with a small pottery firing kiln. Slowly heat to 430 C and observe.
No need to reinvent the wheel. The epoxy binder will burn. Local energy excess will allow a partial reduction of the iron oxide to iron molecules, in reducing conditions (of unburnt resin), and allow it to collect as microspheres, given time and continuing surplus energy and reducing conditions.

It's the same process that occurs far less expensively (but far more thoroughly) in a blast furnace (where coke/charcoal takes the place of epoxy resin). It has been tested enough, I think.
 
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btw hamishsubedei, the focused beams of XEDS can easily miss small particles of pigments, so it depends where the little chip fragments were tested. If you look at the Harrit fig. 25-27 you'll see Titanium shows up twice! Also Ca and Mg.
The aluminum holders they were using have, according to Harrit, some Magnesium in them. It's possible that the electron beam of the EDS picked up the Mg from that, or it may just be a trace in the pigment of the paint chip.
If it's the former, then it would also pick up some elemental Al (from the metal tray) depending on where the chip was being scanned. It's a very small chip, I can understand why this might happen.

But you can't just handwave away the Ti in the spheres. Harrit is incorrect that there is no Ti. Clearly there is.

thats because the chips were contaminated from the dust , a cross section of the red chips didn't show Ti
Ive google searched DSC for expoxy resins , haven't found an exothermic reaction with a peak, I guess i should just take Ivans word for it, without any DSC data, Farrer claimed to have a broad DSC which would contradict Ivans I would like to see that too. All we can do is wait for more testing as none of us are qualified to talk about this matter,
Its a joke that you guys pretend to be scientists 'debunking' real scientists who are a lot more qualified than you and that I should take your word for it or believe what i read on a chat room for proof that its a paint chip when clearly its not .
 
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Alienentity

Active Member
It wasn't a comparison at all. ..(snipped ramble about paint safety, with no references given)

That suggests to me that paint does not in fact do that. No ignition - no microspheres.
Yikes, so paint doesn't burn? Well I have news for you: it can indeed burn.

Ivan Kminek acreated some epoxy material to test and plotted TGI of it. It behaves just as one would expect it to - he had at least 25 years working with polymers, and I think he was shocked that thermitists kept incorrectly claiming that an epoxy paint wouldn't burn. He said he got very strong exotherms, as expected. He also said truthers would find some excuse to deny this reality, so he didn't see the point in continuing the exercise as Millette was going to test the chips anyway. he just did it for scientific curiosity, more for his own satisfaction than anything else. Sadly he suddenly died of a heart attack recently at the age of 60. Undiagnosed heart disease according to his girlfriend.

What you're completely missing is that the Harrit samples are just an epoxy-based material; they're not some magic piece of unknown engineering - the only reason Harrit keeps that fiction going is that it feeds his overwhelming need to be some kind of guru in the world of 9/11 conspiracies. Maybe he just can't face the fact that he's wrong, i don't know and I don't care. He's wrong. The chips may not be Tnemec primer, but they aren't xerogel nanothermite either.

Your myopia on the subject prevents you from demanding from the claimants that they produce samples of xerogel nanothermite (like they said they were going to do years ago) and show how it really compares. But we both know they won't do that. It would spoil this whole charade of science.

Dr Millette has burst your bubble because he showed that chips with identical morphology are in fact made of common epoxies, which he was able to identify with FTIR. Harrit et al. must know this, as they also did some FTIR scans. But unlike Millette, they refuse to publish this data.
People like Kevin Ryan are busy trying to discredit Millette as an employee of NIST, pretending he's 'in on it' because they don't like the fact that he falsified the thermite claim.

Why will Harrit not show you the data?

And why must you thermitists carry on with the ridiculous practice of denying that any paint chips exist in these dust samples? It's somewhat pathetic.
 

Hitstirrer

Active Member
But the paint combusts in circumstances where the physical conditions allow it to happen. Obviously.

The epoxy binder will burn. Local energy excess will allow a partial reduction of the iron oxide to iron molecules, in reducing conditions (of unburnt resin), and allow it to collect as microspheres, given time and continuing surplus energy and reducing conditions.

It's the same process that occurs far less expensively (but far more thoroughly) in a blast furnace ........

I don't think that anyone here disputes that epoxy binder will burn. The word 'burn' is open to misinterpretation though. A tiny piece of epoxy or any organic binder in fact will 'char' when subjected to a rise in temperature to 430 C, over an hour. It will release its energy. But tests so far have resulted in a slow and even rise and then fall in energy release. Typical bell curve seen. No instanteneous release. And certainly not at a temp high enough to melt steel. The issue is the speed and the temperature reached rapidly. Instantaneous and high enough to melt steel. You say it yourself. Quote - " given time and continuing surplus energy and reducing conditions.". You don't have those conditions available to satisfy your own requirements. Does a blast furnace melt steel instantaneously ? Does paint produce a spike in energy release when brought slowly up to temperature of 430 C and then self ignite.

@Alienentity cites the work of Ivan Kminek who decided to conduct an experiment to see if epoxy could burn and produce an exothermic effect. Why he wasted his time is the mystery to me. The world has been aware of that since epoxy was first invented. Wiki has a dozen examples of an exothermic reaction. One is 'burning a substance' and another is 'the thermite reaction'. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exothermic_reaction )

The largest strawman argument in here is the false one that people are saying that organic binders can't burn. That enables them to circumvent the need to produce evidence that it can 'burn' instantaneously at 430 C to release almost all of its energy in such a peak of heat that it can reach a temp high enough to melt steel. Just produce a DSC of result of a paint sample matching that of a thermetic reaction's spike result and you may have an argument.
 

Hitstirrer

Active Member
Further to my post #594. I think that it may help a few people who see previous claims that paint can burn to produce an exothermic reaction to be told that any organic substance can do that. The word 'exothermic' does not mean that it was 'thermetic' reaction. Some people in here see the word 'exothermic' for a paint burn and mistake that to mean that it was therefore identical to a thermite burn. Its not.

Wiki says - "An exothermic reaction is a chemical or physical reaction that releases heat. It gives out energy to its surroundings. The energy needed for the reaction to occur is less than the total energy released"

A piece of wood that is lit by a match releases heat in an exothermic reaction and increases the heat in the environment close by. A wood stove is a large exothermic reaction. Paint does that too. But, like wood, it burns and releases its heat slowly. A thermetic reaction is also exothermic but releases its heat very rapidly.
 

Jazzy

Closed Account
certainly not at a temp high enough to melt steel.
But at a temperature hot enough to reduce iron oxide molecules to iron atoms hot enough to migrate into microspheres.

The issue is the speed and the temperature reached rapidly.
Not for the reduction reaction it isn't.

Instantaneous and high enough to melt steel. You say it yourself. Quote - " given time and continuing surplus energy and reducing conditions."
I have obviously NOT just said that. There lies your error.

You don't have those conditions available to satisfy your own requirements.
But I have just specified them quite precisely: "a partial reduction of the iron oxide to iron molecules, in reducing conditions (of unburnt resin), and allow it to collect as microspheres, given time and continuing surplus energy and reducing conditions."

Does a blast furnace melt steel instantaneously?
Of course it doesn't, but I have never discussed or mentioned instantaneity - you have. It may be necessary for your argument, but it isn't necessary for mine.

A thermetic reaction is also exothermic but releases its heat very rapidly.
Microspheres may form in the conditions I have mentioned at virtually zero speed (dependent on ambient oxygen pressure and absolute temperature). They don't need an "instantaneous reaction" to form them. They need TIME.
 
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Hitstirrer

Active Member
But I have just specified them quite precisely: "a partial reduction of the iron oxide to iron molecules, in reducing conditions (of unburnt resin), and allow it to collect as microspheres, given time and continuing surplus energy and reducing conditions."

Microspheres may form in the conditions I have mentioned at virtually zero speed (dependent on ambient oxygen pressure and absolute temperature).

I see that you still cling to that straw like a drowning man. Billions of rust chips - each with their own low grade fuel (unburnt resin) attached - all discovering ideal reducing conditions of ambient oxygen presure and absolute temperature, and enough time, to produce billions of iron rich microspheres. A bit like Goldilocks finding her ideal conditions. Just right. That was a fairy story too.
 

Alienentity

Active Member
thats because the chips were contaminated from the dust , a cross section of the red chips didn't show Ti

It's the same old game you're playing - there is scant evidence that there was any elemental Al in any of Harrit's samples, in fact Millette showed there isn't any by performing more comprehensive tests. Harrit's result may have simply been contamination as well, to take a page from your book; or it may have been an error from the electron beam, as the holder was made of Al and Mg (both of which showed up on XEDS traces).

You don't know either way, and neither do I. They just can't be ruled out as possibilities, that's all. Neither can the Ti, since if you look carefully there's Ti in both spheroids fig 25 and 27 in Harrit's paper. About 1/3 as much Ti as Al in fig 25!

But you accept Al because you've been instructed to; because you're biased towards this theory instead of simply being fair and objective.

Millette found both Ti and Zn in some chips, but he simply doesn't know where it came from either. He was expecting far higher levels of Zn, but that's a mistake as I pointed out (thanks to some inquiring materials scientists who figured that puzzle out).

You guys keep asking for more investigation, but when it happens, you can't take the consequences. That's the irony of all this.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
A piece of wood that is lit by a match releases heat in an exothermic reaction and increases the heat in the environment close by. A wood stove is a large exothermic reaction. Paint does that too. But, like wood, it burns and releases its heat slowly. A thermetic reaction is also exothermic but releases its heat very rapidly.

All small objects burn in a small amount of time. If a 5mg piece of epoxy or wood were to ignite in a DSC, then it can only produce a sharp peak, because the fuel supply is almost instantly exhausted.
 
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