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The role of metallurgy in the NIST investigation of the world trade center towers collapse



Stephen W. Banovic, Timothy J. Foecke, William E. Luecke, Joseph D. McColskey, Christopher N. McCowan, Thomas A. Siewert, Frank W. Gayle


On August 21, 2002, on the direction of the U.S. Congress, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) initiated an investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers. In support of the overall investigation goals, the NIST Metallurgy and Materials Reliability Divisions pursued three objectives: assess the quality of the steel used in the construction of the towers, determine mechanical properties of the steel for input to the finite element models of the building collapse, and assess the failure mechanisms of the recovered steel components. This article describes the major findings of the metallurgical part of the NIST WTC investigation and shows how the findings were integrated into the investigation.
Jom-Journal of the Minerals Metals & Materials Society


World Trade Center, WTC, collapse, metallurgy, failure analysis, structural steel


Banovic, S. , Foecke, T. , Luecke, W. , McColskey, J. , McCowan, C. , Siewert, T. and Gayle, F. (2007), The role of metallurgy in the NIST investigation of the world trade center towers collapse, Jom-Journal of the Minerals Metals & Materials Society, [online], (Accessed June 15, 2024)


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Created October 31, 2007, Updated October 12, 2021