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

I searched for "Millette" on Metabunk and identified threads that may be of interest to you, @Kitcosby (though I must admit I only sampled a small part of the search results).

First, there's Investigating "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 WTC Catastrophe".

I also found some discussion in the hind part of a thread on truther narratives, see https://www.metabunk.org/threads/truther-narratives-for-9-11.9200/post-215034 and beyond.

I also found a good summing-up by @Marc Powell , quoted by me:

I am aware of the paper that was published several years ago claiming that unreacted thermite (thermate, nano-thermite, etc.) was found in the WTC dust and have read it in its entirety. However, I found it to be unconvincing. The tests performed by scientists on the suspicious “red/gray chips” were flawed and showed the heavy influence of confirmation bias and disregard for conflicting evidence. And if you read the paper very carefully you will find only one brief mention that the red layer on the red/gray chips they tested (the part alleged to contain thermite) was only between 10 and 100 microns thick, and much of that material was an inert polymer binder. Now, there is no way that a film of exploding paint as gossamer thin as a baby's hair can blow through 4"-thick structural steel. It's thermodynamically impossible, and that alone should have clued the scientists in that what they were looking at really was nothing more than paint flakes. And, in fact, an independent researcher (James Millette) tested red/gray chips found in dust samples in his possession and found them to be flakes of ordinary primer paint with an adherent layer of mill scale… exactly what might be expected in the dust from the collapse of a steel structure. So, incendiary explosives are not well-documented, there is no evidence of their use on 9/11 and there is no scientific validity in speculation that they offer any kind of reasonable explanation for the collapse.
Content from External Source
 
The topic of this thread is the iron microspheres. Mick has re-created microspheres in his garage in various ways, see the thread linked in the OP: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/making-iron-microspheres-grinding-impacts-welding-burning.9533/
Going by that, lots of microspheres would've been generated when the WTC was built.

You seem to be hung up on the composition of the chips that the sample microspheres adhere to? And you recognize the chips are not thermite in your post #747 ? But you're not satisfied until you know what these chips are?

It's legitimate curiosity.
However, for debunking purposes, it's sufficient to have shown that neither the microspheres nor the red chips prove that thermite was used on the building.
My mistake, I thought the scope of this thread was the Harrit et Al findings that would suggest thematic source of Iron Spheres.
Thanks for the help finding that thread.
It is clearly not thermite or nano thermite as the Aluminum is found in small plates not medium spheres as per the Millette findings, However, the Millette findings do not rule out the possibility of a solid rocket fuel comprised of 90% binding materials (epoxy and silicon) with UFP Aluminum and nano rust.
The possibility of a propellant shouldn’t be ignored.
 
A cured epoxy is a crosslinked polymer, and while strong solvents can swell and soften it (so that it can be removed with scraping, for example) it isn't really dissolved.
Epoxy resins can be especially difficult to dissolve. Organic solvents, including those sold commercially for epoxy paint/coating stripping, were found to soften the red layer of the red/gray chips but did not dissolve the epoxy resin
sufficiently so particles within the coating could be dispersed for direct examination.
Content from External Source
Progress Report on the Analysis of Red/Gray Chips in WTC Dust, Millette, J. R., 2012
(PDF posted here).

Why does the methodology of both Millette et Al and Harrit et Al seem to assume the MEK would work? (Millette even tried for 55 hours before moving on with the experiment).
Millette was investigating the composition of the samples. He did not presuppose what that composition might be.
However, Millette determined the nature of the red material; it was entirely consistent with iron oxide pigments, kaolin clay and, although not dwelt upon, titanium dioxide pigment, intermixed with epoxy resin.
From what we know of the construction, outfitting and use of the World Trade Center we would expect these materials to be present in very large amounts, along with aluminium and much greater quantities of structural steel.

I've been reading about thermite in connection with a completely different, unconnected event. Crude thermite analogues can be made quite easily with powdered aluminium and iron oxide; it is not too surprising that, in the conditions of great heat and pressure that pertained, particles with similarities to thermite/ its products might be found in the debris of the WTC.

Metallic microspheres/ microspherules are a bit (metaphorically speaking) like graphenes and buckminsterfullerene; sometimes created in inherently interesting high-energy events or through complex production methods- but, it turns out, also commonly created by a variety of mechanisms, both anthropogenic and natural. The microspheres associated with WTC dust are not unusual given the circumstances (as Mick West has demonstrated).

Harrit et al. (which includes Steven E. Jones) were asked to provide some of their samples to aid Millette's investigation, but they didn't cooperate. To me, this is a bit like, "I've found cartridge cases from a grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, and my examination shows they were from rounds discharged in late November 1963. But they're too important for me to allow anyone else to examine them."

Steven E. Jones' participation with Harrit has been criticised as lacking scientific rigor- including by his peers (and presumably workmates- former friends?) at Brigham Young University.
One of his published letters about the World Trade Center attack is
"Hard Evidence Repudiates the Hypothesis that Mini-Nukes Were Used on the WTC Towers", 2007 (PDF attached below),
link here.
Obviously I fully agree with his conclusions. However, I doubt that there was ever any credible hypothesis that nuclear weapons were involved in the destruction of the WTC. Jones' letter is a wholly redundant piece of work.

Jones arguably has a habit of looking for evidence to support his beliefs- counting the white swans- rather than considering evidence that might refute them. Harrit (and Jones) et al. arguably demonstrate this: Hypothesizing that thermite was used demolish the Twin Towers, they look for- and find- samples that arguably resemble thermite products without considering more likely explanations (e.g. there was a lot of iron and aluminium in the WTC, in the presence of great heat and pressure).

-My impression that Jones didn't always test his hypotheses rigorously might be supported by his paper,
complete with e-mail address for the physics department at Brigham Young,

"Behold My Hands: Evidence for Christ's Visit in Ancient America" (PDF below)
http://www.bastison.net/RESSOURCES/Farce/57_Jones_Jesus.pdf

...in which he interprets Mayan archaeological evidence as supporting his belief that the resurrected Jesus visited America.
(I understand that this is an important article of faith for many profoundly decent people, but I'm not convinced that Jones' findings stand up to scrutiny).

However, the Millette findings do not rule out the possibility of a solid rocket fuel comprised of 90% binding materials (epoxy and silicon) with UFP Aluminum and nano rust.
Find an example of such a mixture being used and you could start a new thread.

To me- and it's entirely subjective- it's clear that the impact of airliners laden with fuel caused the destruction of the World Trade Center and the murders of thousands of people, and that atrocity was deliberately planned and carried out by the terrorist group Al Qaeda, as were the two other mass-murders performed with hijacked airliners that day.
 

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wouldn't that make for a very inefficient rocket fuel in terms of thrust per weight?
Source No in fact most of the energy of the propellant actually comes from the epoxy. Here let me try and quote this:
What is claimed is: 1. A solid fuel composition having a high regression rate for a hybrid rocket engine comprising a mixture of a fuel-binder and discrete particles of a thermite composition; said fuel-binder being a member selected from the group the group consisting of butadiene-styrene, butadieneacrylate rubber, polyesters, polyamids, polystyrenes, polysulfides, polyurethanes and vinyl acetate resins; and said composition being selected from the group consisting of the following reactants magnesium-potassium permanganate, aluminum-ferric oxide, aluminum-ferrous oxide, manganese-strontium nitrate, magnesium-polytetrafluoroethylene and boron-potassium nitrate.
2. A solid fuel having a high regression rate comprising the following Ingredients: Percent by weight Binder 90 Boron 1.8 Potassium nitrate 8.2
Ingredients: Percent by weight Binder 90 Thermite composition 10 6 said binder consisting essentially of 66.67 percent by weight polyaniide and 33.33 percent by weight epoxy resin; and said composition consisting essentially of one part manganese and 3.30 parts potassium permanganate.
4. A solid fuel composition comprising a mixture of the following Ingredients: Percent by weight 10 Binder 90 Thermite composition 10 said binder consisting essentially of 66.67 percent by weight polyamide and 33.33 percent by weight epoxy resin; and
said composition consisting essentially of one part magnesium and 2.06 parts polytetrafiuoroethylene.
5. A solid fuel composition comprising a mixture of the following Ingredients: Percent by weight Binder 90 Thermite composition 10 said binderconsisting essentially of 66.67 percent by weight polyamide and 33.33 percent by weight epoxy resin; and
said composition consisting essentially of one part manganese and 1.03 parts strontium-nitrate.
6. A solid fuel composition having a high regression rate comprising a mixture of about 90 percent by weight of a fuel-binder selected from the group consisting of butadiene-styrene, butadiene acrylate rubbers, polyesters, polyamides, polystyrenes, polysulfides, polyurethane andvinyl acetate resins; and
about 10 percent by weight discrete particles of a thermite composition selected from the group consisting of the following reactants, magnesium-potassium permanganate, aluminum-ferric oxide, aluminumferrous oxide, manganese-strontium nitrate, magnesium-tetrafiuorOethylene, and boron-potassium nitrate.




However this discussion belongs in This thread.
 
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most of the energy of the propellant actually comes from the epoxy.
The source comes from a 1965 patent for a putative solid rocket fuel.
Thermite is a major ingredient but no thermite residue was found at the WTC site.

No evidence that the patent's "technology" has ever been used as a practical fuel
(patented ideas don't need to work, or be practical, for a patent to be valid).
No evidence that it would have any practical use as a demolition material.

I don't think this thread should become an investigation of every combustion/ blast process known to humanity in an attempt to find one that might fit with the beliefs of 9/11 conspiracy theorists.
That is the opposite of debunking.

"Iron Microspheres in 9/11 WTC Dust as Evidence for Thermite" has been debunked.




 
The source comes from a 1965 patent for a putative solid rocket fuel.
Thermite is a major ingredient but no thermite residue was found at the WTC site.

No evidence that the patent's "technology" has ever been used as a practical fuel
(patented ideas don't need to work, or be practical, for a patent to be valid).
No evidence that it would have any practical use as a demolition material.

I don't think this thread should become an investigation of every combustion/ blast process known to humanity in an attempt to find one that might fit with the beliefs of 9/11 conspiracy theorists.
That is the opposite of debunking.

"Iron Microspheres in 9/11 WTC Dust as Evidence for Thermite" has been debunked.




Ok, then here let me more precise in my claim.
2.2 parts rust at 2um scale.
1 part UFP Aluminum 2um scale
10 part epoxy
20 part Silicone (or comparable Si based polymer).
Mix Al with Silicone add epoxy resin.
Blend the rust with the Epoxy hardening agent and carefully blend with Epoxy mixture.
Test against existing measurements of the Red Substance in question.
 
Ok, then here let me more precise in my claim.
2.2 parts rust at 2um scale.
1 part UFP Aluminum 2um scale
10 part epoxy
20 part Silicone (or comparable Si based polymer).
Mix Al with Silicone add epoxy resin.
Blend the rust with the Epoxy hardening agent and carefully blend with Epoxy mixture.
Test against existing measurements of the Red Substance in question.
What claim are you making? What evidence do you have to support your claim?
 
However, the Millette findings do not rule out the possibility of a solid rocket fuel comprised of 90% binding materials (epoxy and silicon) with UFP Aluminum and nano rust.

What claim are you making? What evidence do you have to support your claim?

the missing link is whatever data is in the Millette report. if @Kitcosby has reviewed it, they should post about it.

and then there's the further problem of explaining how a thin coat of solid rocket fuel a) got installed, b) collapsed the buildings, c) coincidental with the aircraft attacks, d) leaving no other evidence.

Much of that was discussed in https://www.metabunk.org/threads/wa...-2-collapses-nano-thermite-propellants.11168/ .
 
Ok, then here let me more precise in my claim.
2.2 parts rust at 2um scale.
1 part UFP Aluminum 2um scale
The material you describe contains thermite.
The patent application is titled,

Thermite-resin binder solid fuel composition​


https://patents.google.com/patent/US3309249A/en (thank you for the link, Kitcosby).

Millette's study did not find evidence of thermite, his methodology is transparent and has not been criticized by his peers in the same way that the Harrit/ Steven E. Jones paper was.
Steven E. Jones has appeared to support unusual (and demonstrably wrong) hypotheses and findings before, e.g. his role in the Fleischmann - Pons cold fusion affair (in which he was treated badly by F and P, and his own work was much more orthodox- nevertheless Jones chose to associate his work with the findings, and conclusions, of Fleischmann and Pons).

Test against existing measurements of the Red Substance in question.
Let's assume that a hypothetical incendiary or explosive material/ mixture is found that produces residues/ microdebris similar to that found by Millette (or Harrit- though he didn't allow independent examination of his samples AFAIK).

What would that prove? That that material might have been used to demolish the WTC?

If it were demonstrated that the iron microspheres / red material flecks could not have been produced by the impact of airliners, the ensuing fires and structural collapse of the Twin Towers, then might be the time to consider how they were generated. But I predict that that isn't going to happen.

The WTC towers collapsed because hijacked airliners were flown into them. No other causal agent is necessary, or indicated.
Who did it, and how they did it, has been exhaustively investigated and documented, and the murderer's terrorist organisation has claimed responsibility.

Today is the 22nd anniversary of the murder of 2,977 people in the United States by al-Qaeda.
Many of us will perhaps pause and think, if only for a short while, about the victims and their loved ones.
 
The material you describe contains thermite.
The patent application is titled,

Thermite-resin binder solid fuel composition​


https://patents.google.com/patent/US3309249A/en (thank you for the link, Kitcosby).

Millette's study did not find evidence of thermite, his methodology is transparent and has not been criticized by his peers in the same way that the Harrit/ Steven E. Jones paper was.
Steven E. Jones has appeared to support unusual (and demonstrably wrong) hypotheses and findings before, e.g. his role in the Fleischmann - Pons cold fusion affair (in which he was treated badly by F and P, and his own work was much more orthodox- nevertheless Jones chose to associate his work with the findings, and conclusions, of Fleischmann and Pons).


Let's assume that a hypothetical incendiary or explosive material/ mixture is found that produces residues/ microdebris similar to that found by Millette (or Harrit- though he didn't allow independent examination of his samples AFAIK).

What would that prove? That that material might have been used to demolish the WTC?

If it were demonstrated that the iron microspheres / red material flecks could not have been produced by the impact of airliners, the ensuing fires and structural collapse of the Twin Towers, then might be the time to consider how they were generated. But I predict that that isn't going to happen.

The WTC towers collapsed because hijacked airliners were flown into them. No other causal agent is necessary, or indicated.
Who did it, and how they did it, has been exhaustively investigated and documented, and the murderer's terrorist organisation has claimed responsibility.

Today is the 22nd anniversary of the murder of 2,977 people in the United States by al-Qaeda.
Many of us will perhaps pause and think, if only for a short while, about the victims and their loved ones.
Cook and test the substance and test or show conclusive evidence the Al was indeed covalently bonded before heating to 400 C. I don’t need to be reminded of the OCT.
and no it is not thermite or nano thermite as the Al source is plated and not spherical. I don’t know what to call it but it is not thermite.
 
My claim is the recipe that was electrostaticly painted.
I don't see any evidence for your claim, i.e. that this was used on the WTC.
Unless your claim has nothing to do with the WTC?
For fear of EO11001 I will end my reply here
???
Article:
Executive Order 11001—Assigning Emergency Preparedness Functions to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Signed by John F. Kennedy, in case you saw a chain email that claims otherwise (which has been debunked elsewhere).
 
I kind of feel this thread has run its course- opinions?

The original claim, iron microspheres in WTC dust are evidence of thermite, was debunked.

Though it's clear some of us have very different views, I think it's good that everyone has been polite about a contentious subject.

Quick "heads up" for European (inc. UK) metabunkers; in many jurisdictions "amateur" production of incendiary or explosive materials can result in very serious legal problems, no matter how innocuous the intent.
 
My claim is the recipe that was electrostaticly painted. For fear of EO11001 I will end my reply here
Go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/1962.html#11001
Executive Order 11001
Assigning emergency preparedness functions to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

  • Signed: February 16, 1962
  • Federal Register page and date: 27 FR 1534; February 20, 1962
  • See: EO 10952, July 20, 1961
  • Revoked by: EO 11490, October 28, 1969

Executive Order 11490
Assigning emergency preparedness functions to Federal departments and agencies


Executive Order 12656
Assignment of emergency preparedness responsibilities

  • Signed: November 18, 1988
  • Federal Register page and date: 53 FR 47491; November 23, 1988
  • See: EO 13603, March 16, 2012
  • Revokes: EO 10421, December 31, 1952; EO 11490, October 28, 1969
  • Amended by: EO 13074, February 9, 1998; EO 13228, October 8, 2001; EO 13286, February 28, 2003

Do you get the progression? Emergency management at the federal level is governed by The Stafford Act. https://www.fema.gov/disaster/stafford-act There is nothing to fear here.

Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, PL 100-707, signed into law November 23, 1988; amended the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, PL 93-288.

This Act constitutes the statutory authority for most Federal disaster response activities especially as they pertain to FEMA and FEMA programs.

Read the Stafford Act
PDF Link Icon
 
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I kind of feel this thread has run its course- opinions?

The original claim, iron microspheres in WTC dust are evidence of thermite, was debunked.

Though it's clear some of us have very different views, I think it's good that everyone has been polite about a contentious subject.

Quick "heads up" for European (inc. UK) metabunkers; in many jurisdictions "amateur" production of incendiary or explosive materials can result in very serious legal problems, no matter how innocuous the intent.
Not an explosive, rather a propellant…
(I also believe paint is a propellant)
But if you have a dual layer theory for the paint I would love to hear it! (Safer to test two layers of paint pigment pairs).
 
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Not an explosive, rather a propellant
I take your point, but in some European jurisdictions it would still be illegal to attempt to make at home.
Consequences can be very serious.


In the U.K. it is illegal to manufacture solid rocket motors of ANY size, anywhere in the U.K., under the 1875 Explosives Act. Manufacture is defined as mixing the solid compounds necessary to make the solid propellant for a solid rocket motor.
Content from External Source
http://www.ukrocketman.com/rocketry/amateurmotor.shtml
(Actually it's illegal because of amendments to the 1875 Explosives Act, and the Prevention of Terrorism Act).

A3. It is not legal for UK rocketeers to make their own solid rocket motors.
It is illegal to manufacture any amount of explosive material (i.e. rocket propellant) in the UK without a licence from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Content from External Source
http://ukra.org.uk/faq

Obviously some approved companies/ research organisations etc. manufacture solid rocket fuel in the UK.

In Ireland,
Explosives are strictly controlled and a person may not import, store or manufacture explosives without a licence. Transport and sale of explosives is also controlled by regulations.
Explosives include:
commercial or industrial explosives (such as detonators, boosters, detonating cord, ANFO and cartridged explosives);
propellants (such as shooter’s powder, black powder);
pyrotechnics (such as marine distress flares, industrial pyrotechnic cartridges and fireworks).
Content from External Source
Link to gov.ie Department of Justice, Explosives/ Pyrotechnics

Many other nations have similarly strict legislation.
 
Evidence?
My claim is the paint had 2 mil scale
Al (paint pigment) 1
FeO3 (paint pigment) 2.2
Silicone (paint) 20
Epoxy (paint) 10
The substance is the evidence I am providing. Harrit et Al, Millette et Al both support my conclusion that this is more likely than not the right paint. Test the ingredients separately and you will see the same spectrography.
 
My claim is the paint had 2 mil scale
Al (paint pigment) 1
FeO3 (paint pigment) 2.2
Silicone (paint) 20
Epoxy (paint) 10
The substance is the evidence I am providing. Harrit et Al, Millette et Al both support my conclusion that this is more likely than not the right paint. Test the ingredients separately and you will see the same spectrography.
Provide the evidence that both (Millette and Harrit) support your assertion.
 
Provide the evidence that both (Millette and Harrit) support your assertion.
Prior post of serious legal issues aside, I wish I could show you the crater. I would ship a sample to you but I have had my fill of blown up airplanes. Who knew painting could be so dangerous!IMG_0137.png
See Harrit et Al found plates.
Millette et Al determined these plates are the Al source.
After the silicone was burned at 400C kaolin was formed at a 2 um scale. It was platy as discovered by both. The open question is was it platy-laminar or platy-pancakes. Or more specifically I need evidence that the Al is indeed covalently bonded before the silicone was burnt. As Millette reasonably concluded (see below reference image of kaolin) Source
IMG_0138.png
D) Laminer

IMG_0139.png
Or plates… ether way it is not thermite as the Al is not a ball but a plate. (Displayed above are reference images of platy-aluminum 2 um scale from an unnamed Aluminum factory.)
 
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Prior post of serious legal issues aside, I wish I could show you the crater. I would ship a sample to you but I have had my fill of blown up airplanes. Who knew painting could be so dangerous!IMG_0137.png
See Harrit et Al found plates.
Millette et Al determined these plates are the Al source.
After the silicone was burned at 400C kaolin was formed at a 2 um scale. It was platy as discovered by both. The open question is was it platy-laminar or platy-pancakes. Or more specifically I need evidence that the Al is indeed covalently bonded before the silicone was burnt.
IMG_0138.png
D) Laminer

IMG_0139.png
Or plates… ether way it is not thermite as the Al is not a ball but a plate.
Where did this evidence come from? Please provide links.
 
Please explain, is this evidence for the iron microspheres? Or am I to look for chemical similarities to the substance in question?
My purpose in posting the information about granulated blastfurnace slag being used as an aggregate in lightweight concrete was to point out the possibility that much of, if not all, the iron and iron-rich microspheres found in WTC dust may have had an origin in the floor-topping concrete used in the Twin Towers. If you read the articles, you will see that residual metallic iron is removed from the crushed slag using magnets. However, small amounts of iron particles (microspheres) remain entrained within the finished aggregate. On 9/11, these may have been liberated as the lightweight concrete was broken and crushed during the collapses. I have no evidence to support this conjecture. However, I have had experience with finding iron microspheres in cast-concrete products, such as garden edging bricks, which typically are produced using granulated blastfurnace slag as an aggregate. I am a civil engineer and not a chemist. I will leave it up to those who are better educated about such matters to compare the chemical properties of the iron-rich particles found in WTC dust with the composition of blastfurnace slag.
 
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So epoxy paint primer does not dissolve in epoxy thinners? Why does the methodology of both Millette et Al and Harrit et Al seem to assume the MEK would work? (Millette even tried for 55 hours before moving on with the experiment).
We agree that Steven E. Jones (the man really behind the "Harrit" hoax - Niels Harrit is only a fig leaf) provided no reason certainly no good one, to disturbe and manipulate an otherwise uncharacterized specimen with a random solvent. Jones simply had ZERO expertise with forensic material science and was bumbling along blindly and stupidly.

Millette used MEK because he was asked to replicate what Jones did, and his lab had some MEK laying around. 55 hours, because Jones dod 55 hours. There is no reason, certainly no good one, to soak 55 hours rather than, say, 48 or 24 or 100. Jones was doing random stupid nonsense stuff.
 
First, thank you for engaging with me. Second, I concede that asking you to speculate on the methodology dose not advance the cause of identifying the substance in question.
Back to the evidence:
(Edit: better source)




https://www.tedpella.com/technote_html/Reworking_Cured_Epoxy.pdf (edit: added quote function)
You need to understand that the red layers of the red/gray chips represent a number of DIFFERENT materials, and thus the organic binders (in those that have organic binders) may very well be different substances - one chip may be epoxy, the next an alcyd raisin, the next cured linseed oil, or a mixture of two or more base polymers.
Jones (Harrit) did NOTHING to characterize and identify what substance the various organic binders were. They didn't even understand (or they do ignore and deny) that they were looking at different materials, even though their own data was screamingthis very loudly at them.

Millette on the other hand concentrated on one particular kind of red/gray particles (or red layer material), namely those characterized by the following criteria:
1. Chip attracted by a magnet
2. Has one red and one gray layer
3. gray layer is mostly Fe with O, some C
4. Red layert is mostly C and O (matrix) plus Si and Al in very nearly equal amounts, plus Fe
5. red layer has two types of pigments: a) rhombic grains high in Fe and O, b) hexagonal plateletes with equal Si and Al, plus O

(Note that e.g. the single chip Jones inaxplicably and dumbly manipulated with MEK contained significant Ca, Zn, Cr and Mg in addition to the five aforementioned elements, and also had about twice as much Si as Al, so clearly a DIFFERENT material. Other specimens contained variously Cu, Ba, Pb, Ti and other elements not present in all of the aforementioned specimens, thus representing yet more DIFFERENT materials)

So, Millette concentrated on one well defined material - the only once Harrit/Jones characterized with any sort of competent rigor. And he found that THAT particular red material has an epoxy binder, and that the two kinds of pigments are a) hematite (Fe2O3) and kaolin clay (an aluminium silicate species that has very nearly equal amounts of Si and Al).
This paint is very similar to the paint that was specified for the WTC floor trusses, except that the recipe called for a trace amount of Strontium Chromate, which Millette found no evidence of.
BUT Niels Harrit and Jeffrery Farrer as recounted by Steven Jones, three of the authors of "Harrit et al", DID report finding traces of both Sr and Cr!

The MEK-soaked chip in Harrit et al is very likely from the Tnemec Red painted on perimeter columns, which was formulated with an entirely different binder, with no epoxy. This paint did contain zinc chromate (accounting for the extra Zn and Cr), talc (accounting for the extra Mg), calciuma aluminates (accounting for some of the extra Ca) as well es iron oxide and silica (SiO2), accounting for the fact that there was more Si than Al. Also, the XEDS spectrum of that red layer is VERY similar to the XEDS of actual WTC perimeter column paint, scratched from a memorial, that Jones presented elsewhere many years ago.
 
Too bad this did not study is restricted to mechanochemical reactions.
This is not a grammatical sentence. Can you rephrase such that it becomes intelligible?
What is a "mechanochemical reaction", where does it say the study (which? Ferranti?) is limited to that, and why is that too bad?

well consistent with epoxy anyway.
Thanks. It is.

But you have not excluded epoxy thematic propellant only suggested another epoxy (paint) might also explain the exothermic properties.
Well. yeah, why should I exclude an extremely implausible explanation when a vastly more plausible and probable one works fine?
If you wish to claim that your "epoxy thematic propellant" is an explanation that fits the extant evidence better and is more likely true than the mundane "paint", I see the burden of including or excluding evidence very clearly in your field.

Are you claiming that if DSC were to be performed on epoxy paint Harrit et Al DSC results could be reproduced?
Not any paint. There are many different paints, even many different epoxy-based paints. The particular mix (like: Which pigments? mass rate binder:pigments, ...) surely may have a difficult to predict effect on results.

But if for example one could get hold of a bit of WTC floor truss debris with paint attached, knocked of some of that paint and tested in the DSC according to the same protocol Jeff Farrer used, then I'd expect curves closely matching the blue and/or red curve in Figure 19 of Harrit et al.
 
See Harrit et Al found plates.
Millette et Al determined these plates are the Al source.
After the silicone was burned at 400C kaolin was formed at a 2 um scale. It was platy as discovered by both. The open question is was it platy-laminar or platy-pancakes. Or more specifically I need evidence that the Al is indeed covalently bonded before the silicone was burnt. As Millette reasonably concluded (see below reference image of kaolin)...
Harrit et al also showed these plates are the source of Al (as well as the Si) in one particular red material species.

You claim that "silicone" was burned, but present ZERO evidence any was present, let alone burned.
You claim that kaolin is formed from burning silicone - but provide ZERO evidence this is even possible: kaolin clay with its peculiar crystal structure forms slowly in minerals over the course of millions of years.
You need a LOT more evidence than just "that the Al is indeed covalently bonded before the silicone was burnt".
 
To recapitulate:

In the 2008 article "Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction." by: Steven E. Jones, Jeffrey Farrer, Gregory S. Jenkins, Frank Legge, James Gourley, Kevin Ryan, Daniel Farnsworth, and Crockett Grabbe.
http://www.journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp2.pdf Jones et Al found Iron rich spheres prompting further research.

While looking for more evidence about the source of the iron rich spheres a red substance with remarkable exothermic properties was discovered in the 9/11 dust. Published under the title, "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe." By: Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley and Bradley R. Larsen.
https://benthamopen.com/contents/pdf/TOCPJ/TOCPJ-2-7.pdf

These findings have since been dismissed as not the only possible source of iron spheres. Namely, the spheres likely came from ‘fly ash’ and blast furnace slag.
GBS.png
(Image from post in this tread)

Yet this is not characteristic of the Iron spheres in question.
IronSpheres.png
(Image from Harrit et Al)

I would like to now reexamine the findings of Millette in his 2012. Progress Report on the Analysis of Red/Gray Chips in WTC Dust.

https://www.metabunk.org/attachment...ysis-of-red-gray-chips-in-wtc-dust-pdf.37907/

From Methodology:

The analytical procedures used to characterize the red/gray chips were based on the criteria for the particles of interest in accordance with the recommended guidelines for forensic identification of explosives and the ASTM standard guide for forensic paint analysis and comparison.

LTA of the chips of interest was done using an SPI Plasma Prep II plasma asher. LTA was performed for time periods of 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the chip.

Chips of interest were ashed in a muffle furnace using a NEY Temperature Programmable furnace operated at 400o C for 1 hour.

Samples of red/gray chips were placed in several solvents overnight and then subjected to ultrasonic agitation to determine if the solvents could dissolve the epoxy binder and liberate the internal particles. The solvents included methylene chloride, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), and two commercial paint strippers used for epoxy resins. The commercial paint strippers, Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium Stripper and Jasco Premium Paint and Epoxy Remover, contain methylene chloride, methanol and mineral spirits. One red/gray chip was subjected to 55 hours of submersion in MEK, then dried and coated with a thin layer of gold for conductivity.

From Results:

Red/gray chips that had the same morphology and appearance as those reported by Harrit et al., and fitting the criteria of being attracted by a magnet and having the SEMEDS x-ray elemental spectra described in their paper (Gray: Fe, Red: C,O, Al, Si, Fe) were found in the WTC dust from all four locations examined. The red layers were in the range of 15 to 30 micrometers thick. The gray layers were in the range of 10 to 50 micrometers thick (Appendix B).

The FTIR spectra of the red layer were consistent with reference spectra of an epoxy resin and kaolin clay (Figure 9) (Appendix C).

The SEM-EDS and backscattered electron (BE) analysis of the cross-sections of the gray layer in the red/gray chip showed it to be primarily iron consistent with a carbon steel. The cross-sections of the red layer showed the presence of equant-shaped particles of iron consistent with iron oxide pigment and plates of aluminum/silicon consistent with reference samples of kaolin. The thinnest kaolin plates were on the order of 6 nm with many sets of plates less than 1 micrometer thick. Small x-ray peaks of other elements were sometimes present. The particles were in a carbon-based matrix (Figures 10 through 15) (Appendix D).

TEM-SAED-EDS analysis of the residue after low temperature ashing showed equantshaped particles of iron consistent with iron oxide pigment and plates of kaolin clay. Small numbers of titanium oxide particles consistent with titanium dioxide pigment were also found (Figure 16) (Appendix E).

PLM also found possible clay present based on a microchemical clay-stain test. TEM-SAED-EDS analysis of another portion of the same muffle furnace residue showed equant-shaped particles of iron consistent with iron oxide pigment, plates of kaolin clay and some aciniform aggregates of carbon soot consistent with incomplete ashing of a carbon-based binder (Figure 18). The SAED pattern of the kaolin particles (Figure 19) matched the kaolin pattern shown in the McCrone Particle Atlas (Appendix E). The values for the d-spacings determined for the diffraction patterns matched those produced by reference kaolin samples.

TEM-SAED-EDS analysis of a thin section of the red layer showed equant-shaped particles of iron consistent with iron oxide pigments and plates of kaolin clay (Figures 20 and 21). The matrix material of the red coating layer was carbon-based. Small numbers of titanium oxide particles consistent with titanium dioxide pigment and some calcium particles were also found (Appendix F).

The solvents had no effect on the gray iron/steel layer. Although the solvents softened the red layers on the chips, none of the solvents tested dissolved the epoxy resin and released the particles within. SEM-EDS phase mapping (using multivariate statistical analysis) of the red layer after exposure to MEK for 55 hours did not show evidence of individual aluminum particles (Appendix G).

In summary, red/gray chips with the same morphological characteristics, elemental spectra and magnetic attraction as those shown in Harrit et al. were found in WTC dust samples from four different locations than those examined by Harrit, et al. The gray side is consistent with carbon steel. The red side contains the elements: C, O, Al, Si, and Fe with small amounts of other elements such as Ti and Ca. Based on the infrared absorption (FTIR) data, the C/O matrix material is an epoxy resin. Based on the optical and electron microscopy data, the Fe/O particles are an iron oxide pigment consisting of crystalline grains in the 100-200 nm range and the Al/Si particles are kaolin clay plates that are less than a micrometer thick. There is no evidence of individual elemental aluminum particles detected by PLM, SEM-EDS, or TEM-SAED-EDS, during the analyses of the red layers in their original form or after sample preparation by ashing, thin sectioning or following MEK treatment.

FROM DISCUSSION:

The Encyclopedia of Explosives describes thermite as essentially a mixture of powdered ferric oxide and powdered or granular aluminum. There are two sets of ingredients listed for thermite in Crippen’s book on explosives identification. The first is iron oxide and aluminum powder and the second is magnesium powder, ferric oxide, and aluminum powder. Nano-thermite (thermitic nanocomposite energetic material) has been studied in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. A TEM image of a thin section of that material was published by R. Simpson in 2000 and shows material that is made up of approximately 2 nanometer iron oxide particles and approximately 30 nanometer aluminum metal spheres (Figure 22)

According to the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology, kaolin (also known as aluminum silicate or china clay) is a platy or lamellar pigment that is used extensively as a pigment in many segments of the paint industry. It is a natural mineral (kaolinite) which is found in vast beds in many parts of the world. Iron oxide pigments are also used extensively in paints and coatings. Both kaolin and iron oxide pigments have been used in paints and coatings for many years. Epoxy resins were introduced into coatings in approximately 1947 and are found in a number of specially designed protective coatings on metal substrates.

In forensic studies, paints and coatings often must be broken down so that the components of the entire coating product can be studied individually. Epoxy resins are formed from the reaction of two different chemicals which produces a polymer that is heavily cross-linked. Epoxy resins can be especially difficult to dissolve. Organic solvents, including those sold commercially for epoxy paint/coating stripping, were found to soften the red layer of the red/gray chips but did not dissolve the epoxy resin sufficiently so particles within the coating could be dispersed for direct examination. In this study no organic solvent was found to release particles from within the epoxy resin and it was necessary to use low temperature ashing to eliminate the epoxy resin matrix and extract the component parts of the coating. The other procedures generally used to examine component particles within a coating without extraction (cross-sections and thin sections) were also applied in this study.

FROM NOTES:

At the time of this progress report, the identity of the product from which the red/gray chips were generated has not been determined. The composition of the red/gray chips found in this study (epoxy resin with iron oxide and kaolin pigments) does not match the formula for the primer paint used on iron column members in the World Trade Center towers (Table 1). 16 Although both the red/gray chips and the primer paint contain iron oxide pigment particles, the primer is an alkyd-based resin with zinc yellow (zinc chromate) and diatomaceous silica along with some other proprietary (Tnemec ) pigments. No diatoms were found during the analysis of the red/gray chips. Some 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.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) contain some information about product materials. According to the MSDS currently listed on the Tnemec website,17 55 out of the 177 different Tnemec coating products contain one or two of the three major components in the red layer: epoxy resin, iron oxide and/or kaolin (aluminum silicate) pigments. However, none of the 177 different coatings are a match for the red layer coating found in this study.

So Millette excludes the possibility of thermite or nano thermite based on the shape of the Al source: thermite and nano thermite both have granular Al powders (spheres) where as in the red substance the Al source is in plates. From the discussion, both the Encyclopedia of Explosives and Crippen’s book on explosives identification define thermite and nano thermite as having powdered or granular aluminum as an ingredient. This substance does not match that description as the Al is found in plates supporting Millette’s conclusion. This substance is not nano-thermite (2 nm iron oxide and 30 nm aluminum metal spheres).
NotThermite.png
(Image from Millette: Not Thermite)
The tests on the samples that underwent low temperature ashing and muffle furnace ashing both showed the Al source to be conveniently bonded supporting Millette’s conclusion.
AlsoKaolin.png
(Image from Millette)
However, if the epoxy were mixed with silicone similar results would be obtained with the presence of elemental Al at a scale micrometer scale (plates not spheres). Since the suspected silicone was not dissolved in the epoxy solvents the possibility of elemental Al can not be excluded.

From the notes, Millette also excludes the possibility of the results being explained by the primer used for the WTC buildings.
WTCprimer.png
(Image from Millette)

Millette's conclusions of:

Kaolin: Al2Si2O5(OH)4
22.22Al
22.22SI
55.56O
or- (natural kaolin mixture)
18.67Al
19.26Si
0.53Ca
6.27Ti
10.24Fe
45.03O

Epoxy: C21H25ClO5
40.38C
48.08H
1.92Cl
9.62O

and Rust: FeO3, could unarguably be formulated to produce the results of the red substance.
FTIR.png
(Image from Millette)

However this same spectrum could be produced by a mixture of two paints.
A silver colored paint of 1 part Al (2um) with 20 parts silicone. (fire retardant)
A red primer paint of 2.2 parts FeO3 with 10 parts epoxy. (sealant)

This alone is not alarming.

The alarming detail is that the two paints appear to be electrostaticly painted together. Producing in this combination, something analogues to a nano version of an old solid rocket fuel.
https://patents.google.com/patent/US3309249A/en
The possibility of a high grade propellant found in the evidence of a fire that resulted in catastrophic building failure was not excluded by the findings of Millette. In pursuit of a larger theory of possible arson, I respectfully submit my research to be debunked. Please don’t remind me of the OCT (I am well aware). Ad Homonym does not persuade me. The burden of proof was on Millette, and that we are still arguing over it a decade out is evidence that burden not met. I would love to test this further myself but I was informed that mixing these two paints could land me in a world of trouble with ATFB.

Evidence that kaolin not yet present before ashing can be found in Millette's own study. Anomolie.png
(Image from Millette)
This is but a few examples where Al and Si are significantly mis matched in the assumed kaolin samples.

NanoClay.png
(Image from Millette)
Millette offers no explanation for why the Kaolin is so fine.
TEMash.png
(Image from Millette)
Millette had conclusively shown that it is kaolin after ashing. But does not explain what looks like SiO2 in the soot, nor does it exclude the possibility of elemental Al (only state that none was found in ashed samples).
@Oystein @Marc Powell
 
But does not explain what looks like SiO2 in the soot
What is there to explain?
You think that there wouldn't be silicon dioxide present at the WTC site?
Or that its presence is somehow unusual in the circumstances?

nor does it exclude the possibility of elemental Al
You can't exclude the presence of anything unless you sift through all the debris. Which cannot now happen.
 
What is there to explain?
You think that there wouldn't be silicon dioxide present at the WTC site?
Or that its presence is somehow unusual in the circumstances?


You can't exclude the presence of anything unless you sift through all the debris. Which cannot now happen.
I am speaking specifically of the red substance. Actually, I would be relieved to find SiO2 in the pre-ashed substance as that would falsely my line of reasoning.
 
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