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      10-04-2011, 01:31 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by carve;10544833/

And yes: I am an engineer (mechanical).

Re: Thermite. People treate thermite like it's some advanced military explosive because it has a cool name. Thermite is iron oxide (rust) and aluminum. That's it. It reacts and forms iron and aluminum oxide. You're surprised to find iron and burnt aluminum in a burning skyscraper? Really?
Ohh good point I completely forgot about that fact. Good call.

I should say at this point that I am also an engineer (albeit an aeronautical), however my father is a mechanical with 30+ years of building experience and gut renovations on some of NYCs iconic buildings, including the renovation of WTC 1 & 2 in september 2001.

Also, before anyone goes off on the whole well why is there rust in a skyscraper (see! a hole in the thermite plan! haha).

The answer is that the girders lay out in the elements for a few days or weeks while the rest of the structure is built around it. All steel pillars, columns, and cross members in skyscrapers have a surface coating of rust because of this. And aluminum is used in non supportive walls as studs. As it is lighter and more fire resistant than wood like houses use.