Role of fire resistance issues in the collapse of the Twin Towers

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ConferenceCIB 2nd Global Leaders Summit on Tall Buildings: 20 October 2003, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysis
Pages111118; # of pages: 8
SubjectPerformance of:
AbstractThe twin towers of the World Trade Centre suffered significant damage from the impact of the planes, however, they withstood the impact. The severe fires that followed the impact brought down the twin towers, WTC 2 and WTC 1, at different intervals - 59 and 89 minutes respectively following the impact. Thus, fire issues played a major part in the collapse of the twin towers and the role of the various fire resistance issues is examined in this paper.While the jet fuel from the aircraft was burned off within the first few minutes, the fire temperatures attained in the twin towers was not significantly different from other building fires. However, the fire intensity and heat output generated in the twin tower fires was very much higher than typical building fires. The intense fires ignited by jet fuel, loss of fire defence mechanism, damaged fire proofing and the stressed state of the structural system were the main factors that contributed to the collapse of the towers.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number42466
NPARC number20378700
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Record identifier144f25a9-e522-4f75-8dcb-675280c2ad58
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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