Did NIST Fraudulently Omit A Key Component Related to Collapse Theory From WTC Building 7?

WTF News
Baran Hines & Ralph Morelli


Can you spot the difference?

That is the question generating the most discussion of new analysis in the 9/11 Truth community. For those that are less studied on the 9/11 “investigation”, the collapse of Building 7 remains a mystery, however many still think it’s “all junk” and has been “disproven” despite the clear lack of investigation.

As it relates to Building 7, National Institute of Standards and Technology ultimately produced a report which didn’t actually investigate the collapse in accordance with nationally recognized procedures, but simply did their supposed best to simulate various fire scenarios and agreed on the most likely outcome. That is not an adequate investigation and it has been passed off as if it is in order to stifle debate.
The diagrams above point out a key discrepancy in the report which until the middle of 2012, went unnoticed. A January 2012 Freedom of Information Act suit, by a structural engineer working with Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth, yielded sets of original construction drawings that show a different version of what is represented in Figure 8-21.
Comparing the two diagrams above, the original drawings from Frankel Steel Limited point out the omission of a critical component called flange stiffeners, also called stiffener plates, from Figure 8-21 in the report.

via SteelConstruction.info
Definition of stiffeners: Stiffeners are secondary plates or sections which are attached to beam webs or flanges to stiffen them against out of plane deformations.

R19 Fig7.png

R19 Fig8.PNG

This is a significant discrepancy because the figure at issue illustrates the suggested reason for the failure of Column 79 which is cited as the initiation of the collapse sequence the NIST report claims is most likely responsible for the collapse of Building 7.

Via AE911truth.org
NIST finally released the structural and shop drawings in January 2012, pursuant to a FOIA request. They can be downloaded here:

WTC 7 Blueprints Exposed Via FOIA Request: Building Plans Allow for Deeper Analysis of Skyscraper’s Destruction

9/11 researcher David Cole went through the hundreds of drawings and found drawing 1091 which shows the girder seat was 12 inches wide (as noted above), not the 11 inches claimed in the final report. He also found drawing 9114, which shows flange stiffeners at the column 79 end of the girder between column 44 and 79.

NIST omitted these flange stiffeners that would have prevented the bottom flange from folding as required for their collapse to begin. The girder would have to be pushed almost all the way off the seat, not just half way, before the bottom flange would buckle.

“Walk-off failure of beams and girders was defined to occur when … the beam or girder was pushed laterally until its web was no longer supported by the bearing seat. … the beam was assumed to have lost support, as the flexural stiffness of the bottom flange was assumed to be insufficient for transferring the gravity loads.” NCSTAR 1-9 Vol. 2 p. 488 [pdf p. 150]

The flange stiffeners are on the Frankel drawings, but not on the NIST drawings in the final report.

Drawing 9114 clearly shows instructions for stiffener plates at the connection poorly represented by Figure 8-21 of the NIST report.

Can you spot the difference now?

Looking at the correct original Frankel drawings again after seeing Drawing 9114, it is patently obvious that the drawing represented in Figure 8-21 of the NIST report is missing the the plates. The reason this subtle difference escaped detection for so long is because to the untrained eye, it looks like nothing is missing. At a minimum, this omission, however it happened, is a serious oversight which leads to a significantly altered outcome as it relates to the fire simulations NIST generated.

What difference does it make?

The inclusion of these plates during construction and the omission thereof in the NIST report is a factor that would significantly alter the fire simulations used to explain Building 7’s collapse.

…the omission of these stiffener plates from the analysis of the WTC 7 collapse initiation analysis is the most solid evidence for a new investigation there has been to date. It is irrefutable that the stiffeners were omitted and that their inclusion in any analysis would render the NIST collapse initiation claim thoroughly impossible. Without their alleged natural initiation due to thermal expansion there can be no natural collapse of the building.

Why the stiffeners are so important:

Via 911 Blogger
They allow a girder to transfer loads to a wider footprint (bearing surface) and increase its ability to resist failure.
The stiffeners not only allow the load to be spread wider, but if the girder could shift (walk-off) as NIST alleges, they strengthen the web and bottom flanges. So if the girder web could somehow reach the edge of the 12” seat, the flanges would not fold under an offset load. NIST claims only 5.5” was necessary. They later revised this to 6.25”, but with the stiffeners the distance required would be approximately 10” before the girder could leave the seat.
The stiffeners would make the type of failure that NIST supposed in their thermal expansion hypothesis completely impossible because the beams could not expand more than 4.75″ no matter how hot they got. The reason the expansion is limited is because at just above 600°C the beams shorten due to sagging more than they expand.
The stiffener plates as shown in the WTC7 drawings were installed on the key girder that NIST claims initiated an unprecedented global progressive collapse of the building. NIST did not include them in their analysis.
Thus if the girder can’t walk-off the seat it does not fall onto floor 12 and likewise floor 12 doesn’t collapse. The whole progressive collapse scenario evaporates without an initiating event. The stiffeners are the Achilles Heel of the NIST conclusion. They are truly the “game changers” described by mechanical engineer Tony Szamboti. Many other engineers agree.  This walk-off is a pure, unadulterated fantasy.

As shown below, the plates strengthen the connection and limit the movement of the beam.

Specifically in the case of Figure 8-21

The omission of the stiffeners from the NIST report drawings is possibly evidence of efforts to conceal the truth of the collapse behind speculative fire simulations and cover up the lack of real investigation.

Via AE911truth.org
Obviously the design, detailing, fabrication and erection of WTC 7 took several years from start to finish. It is not obvious how NIST can claim that fires fueled by office furnishings could have compromised this steel structure in a matter of hours and destroyed it in a matter of seconds. Hopefully these design and fabrication drawings will shed light on the third worst structural failure in modern history.

NIST announces revisions to the final WTC 7 report

The facts above are made more suspicious when the relevant timeline is considered. The new info uncovered by the FOIA request in January 2012 appears to have set off a chain of events leading to efforts to hide critical flaws in the accepted final collapse explanation.
NIST announced changes to the report in erratum documents in April and June of 2012 but made the adjustments seem insignificant, and the discrepancies were ignored. The changes noted in the adjustment were explained away as errors of innocent oversight, and were thus taken to be innocuous, however what it looks like happened is that the changes have covered up the omissions described in this article as well as a possibly fabricated set of dimensions around the critical area of structural failure at Column 79.

April 2012

A revision was made in April 2012 to change the source references in the descriptions of Footnote 2, page 342, Chapter 8 and Figure 8-16 to say they were from the “Structural Design Drawings” of Irwin G. Cantor P.C., Structural Engineers. The figures originally referenced the source as more descriptive Frankel Steel “Erection Drawings”, the same ones that were the target of the January 2012 FOIA request, which contain additional instructions for on-site work.
Someone had to have known that with the Frankel drawings open to public view, anyone curious to investigate could discover the presence of instructions for stiffeners and may have found that Figure 8-21 in the report had omitted them. By revising the source references from Frankel to Cantor, it could have provided a distraction to keep an inquiry from being answered.

April 2012 Text Changes to the NIST Reports of the Federal Building and Fire Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster, NIST NCSTAR 1-9 NIST has made the following changes to the report on the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7:

1. In Chapter 8, page 342, Footnote 2, text changed as follows:

Taken from Erection Drawings, sheet E12/13, 12th & 13th Floor Framing Plan.
Taken from Structural Drawing S-8, Typical floor framing plan 8th to 20th & 24th to 45th Floors

2. In Chapter 8, page 343, Figure 8-16, note, text changed as follows:

Based on erection drawing of Floors 12/13 (Frankel Steel 1985)
Based on structural drawing of Floors 8 to 20 and 24 to 45(Cantor 1985)

June 2012

After making the initial changes to the report in April, miraculously, someone at NIST discovered numerical errors in the dimensions at the critical point of the building’s suggested failure. These errors were represented as insignificant though they are not.

June 2012 Text Changes to the NIST Reports of the Federal Building and Fire Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster, NIST NCSTAR 1-9 NIST has made the following changes to the report on the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7:

1. In Chapter 11, page 482, Analytical Model for Seated Connection at Columns 79 and 81
The fourth sentence in the 3rd paragraph should be modified as follows:

The travel distance for walk off was 6.25 5.5 in. along the axis of the beam and 5.5 6.25 in. lateral to the beam.

The 5.5 in. dimension was the length of the girder bearing on the seat connection that had to slide off the seat axially to the girder. The 6.25 in. dimension accounted for the length from the flange tip to the far side of the web, so that the web was no longer supported on the bearing plate. This change corrects a typographical error which showed a lateral displacement of 5.5 in. instead of the correct value of 6.25 in., which was used in the analyses.

2. In Chapter 11, page 527, Thermal Effects on Connections for Floor Beams and Girders
The third and fourth sentences in the 3rd paragraph should be modified as follows:

The bearing seat at Column 79 was 11 12 in. wide. Thus, when the girder end at Column 79 had been pushed laterally at least 5.5 6.25 in., it was no longer supported by the bearing seat.

The 16-story model of WTC 7 used a 12 in. bearing plate on the north side of Column 79, consistent with Frankel drawing 1091. The 5.5 in. dimension was incorrectly cited, as the 6.25 in. dimension accounted for the lateral walk-off distance. These changes correct typographical errors. The dimensions and lateral displacements used in the analyses were correct.

The errors outlined above basically cancel each other out and it appears to cover up the earlier estimates/assumptions/lies? miscalculations which would have called into question the dimensions used in the collapse simulations.

1. A simple one to start. Were the stiffeners included in the analysis of the collapse as dictated by the report’s fire simulations?

If not, why not? Were the stiffeners considered by the group assigned or did someone omit them from the start so the group would not see them?
This is probably the most important question because without including them in simulations, the report is incomplete at best.

2. The overlapping corrections

Is it just a coincidence that the June 2012 corrections seem to cover up the fact that based on the bearing seat being an inch wider than initially thought (12 inches), the beam would need to slide further than the 5.5 inches initially described? Coincidentally, the second change gave the lateral displacement an extra .75 inches to slide.
The problem created by the FOIA request being granted was only half solved by the renaming the sources in related references to the Cantor drawings in April. The release of the original Frankel drawings also made it inevitable that someone would discover the error of the bearing plate being listed as 11 inches when the drawings listed as 12 inches. The changes to swap the dimensions conveniently allow the explanation of the bearing plate error by saying that the beam slid horizontally 6.25 inches. The totality of these circumstances makes it look like an attempt to save the overall collapse analysis which was threatened by the 11/12 inch mistake.

3. If NIST was originally looking at the Frankel Steel drawings which were more detailed, how did they screw up and claim the bearing seat was 11 inches when the notes clearly say it was 12 inches?

4. The beam needs to move further to slide off for multiple reasons

The June 2012 changes amended the report to say that the beam slid laterally by 6.25 in, giving it another .75 inches to justify added stress on a wider seat. This was changed from 5.5 inches laterally, which would not be far enough for the load to cause the failure. Which distance was used in NIST’s final conclusion?
The stiffener plate would also force the beam to walk further to its failure point, which is a big reason they appear to be omitted.

The shifting dimensions raise new questions about the thoroughness of the simulations. Ultimately, the beam had to slide at least one inch further, and that doesn’t account for the addition of the stiffener plates. The stiffener plates are welded to the beam as per the drawings, and surely they were welded to the column, so how much extra stress and strain was necessary for the suggested failure? There are too many questions that need to be answered and a new investigation is in order.

5. How would the plate below the bearing seat affect the equation?

6. Why did NIST include analysis with shear studs initially but remove references to it in the final report?

Shear studs are a common addition to structures as they support additional load to the surface above and also as it relates to the beam sliding horizontally off the seat. It would be more difficult to slide laterally given 30+ connections down the length of the beam.

via shearstudconnectors.com
Shear Connector Studs are designed to tie the concrete slab to the steel beams and to resist shear loadings between the concrete slab and steel beam in composite construction. This enables us to load up to 1000 kg/m² instead of the usual load which is much less.
shear connectors welding studs


p align=”center”>The Frankel drawings clearly called for field applied shear studs.

3,896 Shear Studs counted in one level as called for by the drawings.

How could NIST say there were no shear studs?

This diagram shows shear studs near Column 79

Visually illustrating shear studs

This set of videos provides excellent analysis of the concepts discussed and many of the screenshots above are from these particular videos.

It all leads to the fact that the sudden collapse of the building could not have been caused by the explosion of fuel oil tanks, debris damage and resulting office fires. That is not a statement to be made lightly and the reason that more people are researching the subject. Neither the proven damage nor the documented statistics on the sudden collapse match the explanations given in the final report.
There is a litany of evidence and eyewitness reports of explosions, like Barry Jennings who was a long time New York City employee. He reported the initial explosions which weren’t included in the NIST report between 9 and 10 am and the NIST report claimed critical fires weakened the building structure later in the afternoon. He explains in the videos below that explosions knocked him backwards. At one point, he had to pull himself up because he was hanging from a broken stair landing after a strong explosion. You can’t actually ask Barry Jennings about it because he died in early August 2008, about 2 weeks before the final version of this phony NIST report’s release on Aug. 21, 2008. If Barry Jennings was alive to find out what was in the report, there would have been a problem because the things he said in the videos below directly contradict the official explanation.

Fun fact: The reporter asks Jennings to “describe the moment of impact” as if he was in either WTC 1 or 2 as he was not aware of Building 7’s condition it seems.

Jennings explains all the explosions he heard in detail

Intergranular Melting

The key question at hand really is whether these “high intensity” fires could do this to the steel support structure…

Which even the NY Times was openly curious about in November 2001 and February 2002

The steel was whisked away to landfills as fast as possible, of the pieces that remained and could be analyzed by inquisitive minds, the beams were either shredded like Swiss cheese as seen above, or bent and twisted like pretzels with no cracks as shown below (beam may be from WTC 1/2 but it is an example).
horseshoe steel beam
Then there’s that whole meteorite looking thing from across the street under the main towers.
WTC meteorites
More on intergranular melting…


Metallurgical Examination of WTC Steel Suggests Explosives

Although virtually all of the structural steel from the Twin Towers and Building 7 was removed and destroyed,
preventing forensic analysis, FEMA’s volunteer investigators did manage to perform “limited metallurgical examination” of some of the steel before it was recycled. Their observations, including numerous micrographs, are recorded in Appendix C of the WTC Building Performance Study.
Prior to the release of FEMA’s report, a fire protection engineer and two science professors published a brief report in JOM disclosing some of this evidence.

The results of the examination are striking. They reveal a phenomenon never before observed in building fires: eutectic reactions, which caused “intergranular melting capable of turning a solid steel girder into Swiss cheese.” The New York Times described this as “perhaps the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”
WPI provides a graphic summary of the phenomenon.

A one-inch column has been reduced to half-inch thickness. Its edges–which are curled like a paper scroll–have been thinned to almost razor sharpness. Gaping holes–some larger than a silver dollar–let light shine through a formerly solid steel flange. This Swiss cheese appearance shocked all of the fire-wise professors, who expected to see distortion and bending–but not holes.

An Initial Microstructural Analysis of A36 Steel from WTC Building 7
J.R. Barnett, R.R. Biederman, and R.D. Sisson, Jr.

The Minerals, Metals, Materials Society

A section of an A36 wide flange beam retrieved from the collapsed World Trade Center Building 7 was examined to determine changes in the steel microstructure as a result of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. This building was not one of the original buildings attacked but it indirectly suffered severe damage and eventually collapsed. While the exact location of this beam could not be determined, the unexpected erosion of the steel found in this beam warranted a study of microstructural changes that occurred in this steel. Examination of other sections in this beam is underway.


Rapid deterioration of the steel was a result of heating with oxidation in combination with intergranular melting due to the presence of sulfur. The formation of the eutectic mixture of iron oxide and iron sulfide lowers the temperature at which liquid can form in this steel. This strongly suggests that the temperatures in this region of the steel beam approached ~1,000ºC, forming the eutectic liquid by a process similar to making a “blacksmith’s weld” in a hand forge.

Severely eroded I beam cross sections, nominal composition (%) of A36 steel plate is: (0.29C max, 0.80–1.2Mn, 0.04P, 0.05S, 0.15–0.3Si bal Fe).

Oxidation and intergranular melting;

Eutectic formation (iron oxide-iron sulfide), etched 4% natal.

An EDX Analysis of eutectic region.
The microstructure of unaffected A36 steel: (a-left) white-ferrite, dark-pearlite and (b-right) pearlite region. Pearlite forms in bands due to manganese segregation and prior hot working.

The authors acknowledge the assistance of Jeremy Bernier and Marco Fontecchio in preparing this information.

J.R. Barnett is a professor of fire protection engineering, and R.R. Biederman and R.D. Sisson, Jr. are professors of materials science and engineering, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, 01609.

For more information, contact J.R. Barnett at jbarnett@wpi.edu or R.R. Biederman at rrb@wpi.edu.

FEMA’s investigators inferred that a “liquid eutectic mixture containing primarily iron, oxygen, and sulfur” formed during a “hot corrosion attack on the steel.” The eutectic mixture (having the elements in such proportion as to have the lowest possible melting point) penetrated the steel down grain boundaries, making it “susceptible to erosion.” Following are excerpts from Appendix C, Limited Metallurgical Examination.

Evidence of a severe high temperature corrosion attack on the steel, including oxidation and sulfidation with subsequent intergranular melting, was readily visible in the near-surface microstructure.
A liquid eutectic mixture containing primarily iron, oxygen, and sulfur formed during this hot corrosion attack on the steel.

The thinning of the steel occurred by high temperature corrosion due to a combination of oxidation and sulfidation.

The unusual thinning of the member is most likely due to an attack of the steel by grain boundary penetration of sulfur forming sulfides that contain both iron and copper.

liquid eutectic mixture containing primarily iron, oxygen, and sulfur formed during this hot corrosion attack on the steel.

The severe corrosion and subsequent erosion of Samples 1 and 2 are a very unusual event. No clear explanation for the source of the sulfur has been identified. The rate of corrosion is also unknown. It is possible that this is the result of long-term heating in the ground following the collapse of the buildings. It is also possible that the phenomenon started prior to collapse and accelerated the weakening of the steel structure. A detailed study into the mechanisms of this phenomenon is needed to determine what risk, if any, is presented to existing steel structures exposed to severe and long-burning fires.

The “Official” Story That Was Just A Poor Simulation and Can’t Be Proven

The diagram and explanation below is a portion of the Building 7 collapse explanation from the NIST website.


This graphic shows how thermal expansion led to the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7). Heat from fires expanded steel beams on the east side of WTC 7, damaging the framing on multiple floors (top drawing). Eventually, a girder on Floor 13 lost its connection to a critical column, Column 79, and caused Floor 13 to collapse (bottom drawing). The cascade of floor failures that followed left Column 79 unsupported. When Column 79 buckled, it initiated the global collapse of the building.

Copyright: Loel Barr

Chris Sarns analyzed the NIST report and file photos, pointing out that fires were incapable of causing the actual damage to the building.


5-114Figure 5-114. Oblique view of the east face of WTC 7, taken at 2:08:28 p.m. +/- 1s Fire was first seen on the 12th floor at 2:08 p.m. toward the south end of the east face. Further south on this face, the window glass was still intact, indicating that this fire had burned in the building interior as it turned the southeast corner.”
NCSTAR 1-9 Vol.1 p. 245 [pdf p. 289]
5-117Figure 5-117. Photograph showing fires on the east face at 2:28:43 p.m. +/- 1s [34, 37 and 40 are column numbers] “By around 2:30 p.m., the visible flames had diminished, but the fire had spread both south into the southeast corner and north, reaching two-thirds of the way to the northeast corner.”  NCSTAR 1A, p. 20 [pdf p. 62]

Fire first appears on the north face of floor 12 about 80 feet from the north-east corner:
“By 3:00 p.m., the fire had spread internally past the northeast corner and onto the north face.” NCSTAR 1A p. 20 [pdf p.62]
The fire spread internally through the offices around column 79 and under the beams which allegedly underwent enough thermal expansion to push a girder off its seat and initiate the “global collapse” at 5:20 p.m.
Figure 5-119. Photograph showing the north face of WTC 7 taken from a helicopter around 2:57 p.m. +/- 5 min
5-121Figure 5-121. Cropped photograph of the north face of WTC 7, taken from a helicopter around 3:05 p.m. +/- 5 min
“In less than 15 min, the fire simultaneously spread rapidly to the east to engulf the northeast corner of the floor and more slowly westward about one-third of the way across the north face.”  NCSTAR 1A p. 20 [pdf p. 62]
Figure 5-135. Cropped photograph showing the east edge of the north face and an oblique view of the east face. It was likely taken between 3:20 p.m. and 3:40 p.m.
“The fire continued spreading westward in starts and stops, approaching the northwest corner of the floor around 3:45 p.m.”  NCSTAR 1A p. 20 [pdf p. 62]
5-136Figure 5-136. Frame taken from a video shot from near the corner of Greenwich Street and Park Place showing the north face of WTC 7 between 3:49 p.m. and 3:54 p.m.
The photographs reveal that the fire on floor 12 had progressed from the south side of the building to the north side by 3:00 p.m. – and had engulfed the northeast corner by about 3:15 p.m. This means that the fire in the area in question (around column 79 and under the beams and girder in the northeast corner) had burned out at about 3:50, because as noted above, the fires burned for only about 20 to 30 minutes in any given location.

More research and analysis from AE911

NIST used numerous unscientific methods and fraudulent inputs to get the key girder to fail in its computer simulation..

NIST arbitrarily added 10% to the temperature results of its fire dynamics simulation (FDS).

“Case A used the temperature data as obtained from the FDS simulation. Case B increased the Case A gas temperatures by 10 percent.” NCSTAR 1A p. 32 [pdf p. 74]

“…only the fire-induced damage produced by Case B temperatures was carried forward as the initial condition for the building collapse analysis.” NCSTAR 1A p. 36 [pdf p. 78]

To get the shear studs on the floor beams to fail, NIST assumed high steel temperatures and applied the heat in 1-1/2 seconds over the entire north east part of floor 13. This method does not allow for heat dispersal or beam sagging.

NIST heated the floor beams, but not the slab. Since concrete expands at 85% the rate of steel, leaving this expansion out of the calculations of the failure of the shear studs is fraudulent.

NIST failed to account for beam sag that would have prevented the floor beams from expanding lengthwise more than 4.75 inches.

“A girder was considered to have lost vertical support when its web was no longer supported by the bearing seat. The bearing seat at Column 79 was 11 in. wide. Thus, when the girder end at Column 79 had been pushed laterally at least 5.5 in., it was no longer supported by the bearing seat.” NCSTAR 1-9 Vol.2 p. 527 [pdf p. 189]

“The bearing seat at Column 79 was 11 12 in. wide. Thus, when the girder end at Column 79 had been pushed laterally at least 5.5 6.25 in., it was no longer supported by the bearing seat.” June 2012 Text Changes to the NIST Reports.

As shown in the graph, structural steel sags as temperature rises, decreasing its length and negating the thermal expansion that NIST blames for the collapse of WTC 7

NIST ignored its own finding:

“Temperatures were uniform (within 1°C) across the bottom flange and web, but the top flange temperature was less by up to several hundred degrees because the slab acted as a heat sink.” NCSTAR 1-9 Vol.2 p. 391 [pdf p. 53]

Thermal expansion would cause the bottom flange to expand more than the top flange, forcing the beam to bow downward. The NIST hypothesis does not allow for downward bowing.

Do your own research. After reading the information in this article, one would HAVE to realize that at a minimum, re-examination of WTC Building 7’s collapse is warranted.

We recommend you start here:

#911Truth WTFact #5: Building 7

WTFRLY’s 9/11 Truth Top 50 WTFacts