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PROGRESSIVE

COLLAPSE:

WHAT DID

AND DID NOT

DOOM WORLD

TRADE CENTER,

AND WHAT CAN

WE LEARN ?

ZDENK P. BAANT

Presented as a Mechanics Seminar at Georgia Tech,

Atlanta, on April 4 ,2007, and as a Civil Engineering

Seminar at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL,

on May 24, 2007

Collaborators:

Jialiang Le

Mathieu Verdure

Yong Zhou

Frank R. Greening

David B. Benson

Structural

System

- framed

tube

Previous Investigations

Computer simulations and engrg. analysis at NIST realistic,

illuminating, meticulous but no study of progressive

collapse. theories of collapse:

Mechanics

1. Northwestern (9/13/2001) still valid

2. E Kausel (9/24/2001) good, but limited to no dissipation

3. GC Clifton (2001) Pancaking theory: Floors

collapsed first, an empty framed tube later? impossible

4. GP Cherepanov (2006) fracture wave hypothesis invalid

5. AS Usmani, D Grierson, T Wierzbickispecial fin.el. simulations

Lay Critics: Fletzer, Jones, Elleyn, Griffin, Henshall,

Morgan, Ross, Ferran, Asprey, Beck, Bouvet, etc.

Movie Loose Change (Charlie Sheen), etc.

1

Review of

Elementary

Mechanics of

Collapse

Tower designed for impact of Boeing 707-320 (max. takeoff weight is 15% less, fuel capacity

4% less than Boeing 767-200)

Momentum of equivalent mass of the interacting

upper half of the tower 250, 000 tons v0

Initial velocity of upper half:

v0 0.7 km/h (0.4 mph)

Assuming first vibration period T1 = 10 s:

(about 40% of max.hurricane effect)

13% of columns

were severed

on impact, some

more deflected

Failure Scenario

a)

b)

c)

d)

287 overall) were severed, more damaged.

2. Stress redistribution higher column loads.

3. Insulation stripped steel temperatures

up to 600oCyield strength down -20% at

300oC,-85% at 300oC, creep for > 450oC.

4. Differential thermal expansion +

viscoplasticity floor trusses sag, pull

perimeter columns inward (bowing of

columns = buckling imperfection).

5. Collapse trigger: Viscoplastic buckling of hot

columns (multi-floor) upper part of tower

falls down by at least one floor height.

6. The kinetic energy of upper part can be

neither elastically resisted nor plastically

absorbed by the lower part of tower

progressive collapse (buckling + connections

sheared.)

e)

I. Crush-Down Phase

f)

Toppling

like

a tree?

a Tree, Pivoting About Base ?

a)

c)

e)

MP

F1

m

h1

H1

b)

x

d)

mg

Possible ?

mx

H1

F

Fmax

f)

F1

MP

FP

3

mg

8

> 10.3 (Plastic shear capacity of a floor)

South towe

impacted

eccentrical

(Mainly South Tower)

Dynamic elastic overload factor calculated for

maximum deflection (loss of gravity potential

of mass m = strain energy)

m

h

the Kinetic Energy of Vertical

Impact of Upper Part?

n = 3 to 4 plastic hinges per column line.

Dissipated energy:

was dissipated by plasticity in

1st story, less in further stories

taken much longer than a

free fall

Plastic Buckling

F

Case of P1

single floor

buckling

P1

L=2Lef

MP

Yield limit

F0

Wf

Plastic buckling

Shanley

bifurcation

inevitable!

Fc F Service

s

load

0

Yielding

F0

Plastic

buckling

Elastic

Fc < Fs

cannot

L/2

P1

Load F

Fc Fs

can propagate

dynamically

M P P1

0

0

0.5h

Expanded scale

0

Axial Shortening u

0.04h

2

Gravity-Driven

Propagation of

Crushing Front in

Progressive

Collapse

Global Continuum Analysis

be NONLOCAL, with characteristic length =

story height COMPLEX !

Energy Approach non-softening

continuum equivalent to snap-through*

avoids irrelevant noise SIMPLER !

________________________

* analogous to crack band theory, or to van der Waals

theory of gas dynamics, with Maxwell line

One-story equation of motion:: = g F(u) / m(z)

Initial condition: v velocity of impacting block

Crushing

Resistance F(u)

F0

Fd

mg

Fc

0 u0 uc

Rehardening

Crushing force, F

Wc

Wb

< Wc

Lumped Mass

h

1

Dynamic Snapthrough

Maxwell Line

Fa

Floor displacement, u

uf

Lower Fc for

multi-floor buckling!

Crushing force, F

F0

Floor velocity, v

mg

Fc

0

v

Real Crushing

Resistance F(z)

Fa

zc

v2 >v1

h

Fc

mg

Fa

0

v

v1

Deceleration

1

g-Fc/m

v1

tz

Fc

mg

for Fc

v1

Deceleration

Acceleration

u 0

0

h

Displacement h

v

v2 > v 1 v

1

v1

g-Fc/m

v1

v2 < v1

u

Fd

W1 = K

u

h

u 0

h

v

Acceleration

v1

h

F(z)

Fd W1 = W2

Fd W1 = W2

for Fc

0

v

F0

F0

tz Time t

Deceleration

u

h

t

time

Compaction Ratio, , at Front of Progressive Collapse

Internal energy (adiabatic) potential : W = F(z)dz

Crushing Force, F

h

h

Fpeak

Fc

Floor n

Wc

n-1

Wc

n-2

n-3

Fpeak

2h

Fc

L = 2h

Fpeak

L = 2h

Fs

Fc

n-4

Fc

Fc

Service load

Fc

energyequivalent

snapthrough

= mean

crushing

force

Crush-Down

(Phase I of WTC)

Mass

shedding

Crush-Up

(Phase II of WTC

or Demolition)

Collapse

front

Phase II

Collapse

front

within perimeter

= compaction ratio = Rubble volume

Tower volume

a)

z0

b)

s0 B

H

up and down

simultaneously ?

NO !

z0

.

z s = s0

z&

y0 = z0

(H-z0)

Phase 1. Crush-Down

h)

Crush-Down

.

zt

Fc< Fc if slower

than free fall

Fc

Phase 1

downward

c)

d)

y

r0 B

. i

m(z)vCrush-Up

)

.

m(z)g

m(y)y

m(y)g

Fc F

c

Fc Fc

.

yt y. 2

y

r = r0

e)

Phase 2. Crush-Up

z0

I. Crush-Down Phase:

z(t)

Resisting force Buckling Comminution Jetting air

z0

Intact

Compacted

y(t)

z0

(z) are known, the specific

energy dissipation in collapse,

Fc(y), can be determined

Compaction ratio:

400

400

300

300

200

200

100

100

0

0

200

400

600

800

to column buckling, Fb, (MN)

1000

1 .2

1 .4

(106 kg/m)

1 .6

Crush-Down

Crush-Up

Note:

Solution by quadratures is possible for constant average

properties, no comminution, no air ejection

Dissipations

(for no comminution, no air)

Wf = 2.4 GNm

fall arrested

2

1.5

phase 1

phase 2

free

fall

1

0.5

0

Time (s)

Tower Top Coordinate (m)

transition between

phases 1 and 2

free

fall

Wf = 0.5 GNm ,

= 7.7E5 kg/m ,

z0 = 80 m , h = 3.7 m

= 0.4

0.3

0.18

0

Time (s)

for impact 2 floors below top

mg < F0,heated

5

( 2.5 E7 GNm)

free

fall

20

phase 1

phase 2

55

= 0.18 , h = 3.7 m

= (6.66+2.08Z)E5 kg/m

Wf = (0.86 + 0.27Z)0.5 GNm

Time (s)

Constant Energy Dissipations

Wf = 11 GNm

fall arrested

free

fall

6

5

4

3

2

0.5

asymptotically

parabolic end

Time (s)

Impacted Floor Number

96

81

48

5 F 110

100%

81

64

25

F 101 110

100%

Fb

75%

Fb

75%

Crush-down

ends

Crush-down

ends

50%

Fs

North Tower

25%

Fb

Fa

Fs

Fa

0%

0

50%

South Tower

Fb

25%

Time (s)

12

Fa

Fs

Fa

0%

8

Fs

Time (s)

12

Impacted Floor Number

96

81

48

5 F 110

100

F c/ m(z)g

81

64

25

F 101 110

100

10

10

Crush-down

ends

North Tower

0 .1

0

Time (s)

Crush-down

ends

South Tower

0 .1

12

Time (s)

12

force due to mass accretion

Impacted Floor Number

96

81

48

5 F

81

2500

2500

1250

1250

Fm

64

Fc

North Tower

0

Time (s)

Fm

Fc

25

12

South Tower

0

0

Time (s)

12

3

Critics Outside

Structural Engineering

Community:

Why Are They Wrong?

1)

Primitive Thoughts:

Shanley

bifurcation

Plastic squash load too high, etc.

Initial tilt indicates toppling like a tree?

So explosives must been used !

No ! horizontal reaction is unsustainable

Mass

Centroid

Like a

Tree?

No !

No !

~4 tilt due to

asymmetry of

damage

~25 (South Tower)

non-accelerated

rotation about

vertically moving

mass centroid

Ft

steel columns must have been destroyed

beforehand by planted explosives?

Video Record of Collapse of WTC Towers

North Tower

South Tower

t

1

2

m

H1

2

Video

-recorded

(South

Tower)

H1

Initial tilt

H1

C t

(1 cos )

2

East

North

(comminution and air ejection are irrelevant for first 2 or 3

seconds)

420

420

From crush-down

differential eq.

From crush-down

differential eq.

410

Note

Free fall

uncertainty range

400

Free fall

400

South Tower

North Tower

380

0

2

Time (s)

Time (s)

Video analyzed by Greening

417 m

crush-down T 12.59s 0.5s

North Tower

Impact of

compacted

rubble layer

on rock base

of bathtub

Free fall

with pulverization

with expelling air

12.81s

8.08s 12.29s

0m

-20 m

from seismic record

12.62s

Seismic

rumble

(m/s)

450

450

North Tower

South Tower

& comminution

& comminution

300

300

Seismic

error

Free fall

Free fall

Calculation 1 5 0

error

150

Crush-down ends

Seismic

error

Calculation

error

Crush-down ends

0

Free fall

Free fall

b

c

b

c

0

Time (s)

12

16

Time (s)

12

to 0.01 to 0.13 mm required explosives!

NO. only 10% of kinetic energy sufficed.

How much explosive would be needed to

pulverize 73,000 tons of lightweight concrete of

one tower to particles of sizes 0.01 0.1mm ?

95,000 MJ; 30 J per m2 of particle surface,

and 4 MJ per kg of TNT, assuming 10% efficiency at

best).

Pulverization) of Concrete Slabs

Schuhmann's law: M ( D) M t ( D / Dmax )

mass of particles < D

total

(M / Mt)

Energy dissipated

= kinetic energy

K W f ( D)

loss K

16 mm

0.12 mm

n

o

ct

a

mp

n

u

o

gr

0.012 mm

= Dmin

0.01

y

r

o

st

b

e

t

a

l

a

di

tc s

e

a

m

r

p

e

k Im

int

y

r

o

st

particle size

3 G f ( D)

Dmin

dM ( D )

density of

particle size

0.16mm = Dmin

0.1

10

Compacted

layer

m

v1

Comminuted

slabs

v2

Kinetic energy to

pulverize concrete

slabs & core walls

mv1 mv2 i mi vi

max K for vi v2 (all i )

= ms concrete

Kinetic energy loss:

1 2 1

2

K mv1 (m mi )v2

2

2

ms

K

z

2h [1 ms / m( z )]

Total: U K total K Wb Wa

Gravitational

energy loss

Concrete

Buckling

fragments

Air

(energy conservation)

Fragment Size at Crush Front (mm)

Impacted Floor Number

96

48

81

5 F 110

10

81

64

25

F 101 110

10

Crush-down

ends

Dmax

0 .1

Dmax

Dmin

0 .0 1

North Tower

0 .0 0 1

Crush-down

ends

0 .1

Dmin

0 .0 1

South Tower

0 .0 0 1

Time (s)

12

Time (s)

12

falling mass

Impacted Floor Number

96

81

48

5 F 110

81

64

25

F 101 110

100%

100%

W f/

10%

10%

1%

1%

Crush-down

ends

Crush-down

ends

North Tower

0 .1 %

0

South Tower

0 .1 %

Time (s)

12

Time (s)

12

Impacted Floor Number

96

81

48

5 F 110

81

64

25

F 101 110

M d/ M s

Crush-down

ends

0 .5

Crush-down

ends

0 .5

North Tower

0

0

Time (s)

12

South Tower

0

0

Time (s)

12

comminution energy

Energy Variation (GJ)

1000

1000

North Tower

South Tower

Loss of gravitational

potential

Loss of gravitational

potential

500

500

Ground impact

Comminution

energy

0

0

Time (s)

Ground impact

Comminution

energy

12

Time (s)

12

of 1 story in 0.07 s

Air Jets

h

200 m of concrete

dust or fragments

mean velocity at base is

va = 461 mph (0.6 Mach), but

locally can reach speed of sound

(va < 49.2 m/s, Fa < 0.24 Fc, pa < 0.3 atm)

Expected.

Note:

Dust-laden air jetting out

Moment of impact cannot be detect

record: Collapse duration = 12.59 s ( 0.5 s of rumble)

Note

jets

of

dustladen

air

deposited as far as 200 m away? Logical.

air would have to escape through a rocket nozzle!

to lower yield strength fy of structural steel,

to cause creep buckling?

fy reduced by 20% at 300C, by 85% at 600C (NIST).

Creep begins above 450C.

Steel temperature up to 600C confirmed by annealing

studies at NIST.

evidenced by residues of S, Cu, Zi found in dust?

But these must have come from gypsum wallboard,

electrical wiring, galvanized sheet steel, etc.

pre-damaged, e.g., by explosives, led to free-fall collapse

unrealistic hypothesis, because:

A uniform state on the verge of material failure cannot exist

in a stable manner, because of localization instability.

Wave propagation analysis would have to be nonlocal, but wasn't

Fracture wave cannot deliver energy sufficient for comminution.

4

How the findings can

be exploited by

tracking demolitions

Proposal: In demolitions,

measure and compare energy

dissipation per kg of structure.

Use:

1) High-Speed Camera

2) Real-time radio-monitored

accelerometers:

Note: Top part of WTC dissipated 33 kJ/m3

Collapse of 2000

Commonwealth

Avenue in Boston

under construction,

1971

(4 people killed)

The collapse was

initiated by slab

punching)

Murrah Federal

Building in

Oklahoma City,

1995

(168 killed)

Ronan Point

Collapse

U.K. 1968

Weak Joints, Precast Members

Floor

slab

Reinforcing

Bar

Singapore 1986

1) 1D Translational-Rotational

--- "Ronan Point" type

Angular momentum and shear

not negligible

2) 3D Compaction Front

Propagation

will require finite

strain simulation

25th floor

Gas

exploded

on 18th floor

Triggered by Earthquake

MAIN

RESULTS

All WTC

observations

are explained.

All lay

criticisms

are refuted.

Download 466.pdf & 405.pdf from Bazants website:

www.civil.northwestern.edu/people/bazant.html

References

World Trade Center collapse? SIAM

News (Society for Industrial and

Applied Mathematics) Vol. 34, No. 8

(October), pp. 1 and 3 (submitted

Sept. 13, 2001) (download 404.pdf).

Baant, Z.P., and Verdure, M.

(2007). Mechanics of Progressive

Collapse: Learning from World Trade

Center and Building Demolitions. J.

of Engrg. Mechanics ASCE 133, pp.

308319 (download 466.pdf).

Baant, Z.P., and Zhou, Y. (2002).

Why did the World Trade Center

collapse?Simple analysis. J. of

Engrg. Mechanics ASCE 128 (No.

1), 2--6; with Addendum, March (No.

3), 369370 (submitted Sept. 13,

2001, revised Oct. 5, 2001)

(download 405.pdf).

the World Trade Center, Tech

Talk (Sept. 23), M.I.T.,

Cambridge.

the Collapse of the World

Trade Center Towers. S.

Shyam Sunder, Lead

Investigator. NIST (National

Institute of Standards and

Technology), Gaithersburg,

MD (248 pgs.)

www.civil.northwestern.edu/people/bazant.html

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