Steel Could Melt At 2000 F
UL Executive Speaks Out On WTC Study
"The buildings should have easily withstood the thermal stress caused by pools of burning jet fuel."
From Kevin R. Ryan
Site Manager of the Environmental Health Laboratories
South Bend, Indiana
(Company site -
A division of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
(Company site -
To Frank Gayle
Deputy Chief of the Metallurgy Division
Material Science and Engineering Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology
NIST and the World Trade Center at
Dr. Gayle biography
From: Kevin R Ryan/SBN/ULI
Date: 11/11/2004
Dr. Gayle,
Having recently reviewed your team's report of 10/19/04, I felt the need to contact you directly.
As I'm sure you know, the company I work for certified the steel components used in the construction of the WTC buildings. In requesting information from both our CEO and Fire Protection business manager last year, I learned that they did not agree on the essential aspects of the story, except for one thing - that the samples we certified met all requirements. They suggested we all be patient and understand that UL was working with your team, and that tests would continue through this year. I'm aware of UL's attempts to help, including performing tests on models of the floor assemblies. But the results of these tests appear to indicate that the buildings should have easily withstood the thermal stress caused by pools of burning jet fuel.
There continues to be a number of "experts" making public claims about how the WTC buildings fell. One such person, Dr. Hyman Brown from the WTC construction crew, claims that the buildings collapsed due to fires at 2000F melting the steel (1). He states "What caused the building to collapse is the airplane fuel ? burning at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The steel in that five-floor area melts." Additionally, the newspaper that quotes him says "Just-released preliminary findings from a National Institute of Standards and Technology study of the World Trade Center collapse support Brown's theory."
We know that the steel components were certified to ASTM E119. The time temperature curves for this standard require the samples to be exposed to temperatures around 2000F for several hours. And as we all agree, the steel applied met those specifications. Additionally, I think we can all agree that even un-fireproofed steel will not melt until reaching red-hot temperatures of nearly 3000F (2). Why Dr. Brown would imply that 2000F would melt the high-grade steel used in those buildings makes no sense at all.
The results of your recently published metallurgical tests seem to clear things up (3), and support your team's August 2003 update as detailed by the Associated Press (4), in which you were ready to "rule out weak steel as a contributing factor in the collapse". The evaluation of paint deformation and spheroidization seem very straightforward, and you noted that the samples available were adequate for the investigation. Your comments suggest that the steel was probably exposed to temperatures of only about 500F (250C), which is what one might expect from a thermodynamic analysis of the situation.
However the summary of the new NIST report seems to ignore your findings, as it suggests that these low temperatures caused exposed bits of the building's steel core to "soften and buckle"(5). Additionally this summary states that the perimeter columns softened, yet your findings make clear that "most perimeter panels (157 of 160) saw no temperature above 250C". To soften steel for the purposes of forging, normally temperatures need to be above 1100C (6). However, this new summary report suggests that much lower temperatures were be able to not only soften the steel in a matter of minutes, but lead to rapid structural collapse.
This story just does not add up. If steel from those buildings did soften or melt, I?m sure we can all agree that this was certainly not due to jet fuel fires of any kind, let alone the briefly burning fires in those towers. That fact should be of great concern to all Americans. Alternatively, the contention that this steel did fail at temperatures around 250C suggests that the majority of deaths on 9/11 were due to a safety-related failure. That suggestion should be of great concern to my company.
There is no question that the events of 9/11 are the emotional driving force behind the War on Terror. And the issue of the WTC collapse is at the crux of the story of 9/11. My feeling is that your metallurgical tests are at the crux of the crux of the crux. Either you can make sense of what really happened to those buildings, and communicate this quickly, or we all face the same destruction and despair that come from global decisions based on disinformation and "chatter".
Thanks for your efforts to determine what happened on that day. You may know that there are a number of other current and former government employees that have risked a great deal to help us to know the truth. I've copied one of these people on this message as a sign of respect and support. I believe your work could also be a nucleus of fact around which the truth, and thereby global peace and justice, can grow again. Please do what you can to quickly eliminate the confusion regarding the ability of jet fuel fires to soften or melt structural steel.
2. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 61st edition, pg D-187
5. (pg 11)
Kevin Ryan
Site Manager
Environmental Health Laboratories
[Note: The letter is followed in the e-mail by a standard UL message footer]
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November 12:
An executive of the company that certified the steel used in the construction of the World Trade Center has questioned the common theory that fuel fires caused its collapse, in a letter yesterday to the head of the government team that has spent two years studying how the trade center was built and why it fell.
The author of the letter, Kevin Ryan, is site manager at Environmental Health Laboratories in South Bend, Indiana, a division of Underwriters Laboratories, the product-compliance and testing giant. Because UL certified the WTC steel for its ability to withstand fires, its performance on September 11 is obviously of concern to the company.
Ryan sent his letter to Frank Gayle, deputy chief of the Metallurgy Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He later forwarded it in an e-mail to David Ray Griffin, author of the New Pearl Harbor, and Catherine Austin Fitts, who is a member of the board.
Griffin asked for and received permission to forward the letter for Web distribution. called Ryan today to confirm his authorship.
The letter raises disturbing questions, pointing out that the steel in the towers tested up to its certified standard (i.e., it should have easily withstood the fuel fires without buckling).
A chemist by profession, Ryan said he is acting in the hope of receiving a public response from Gayle. Given the impact of September 11 on events around the world, Ryan said, everyone needs to know the full truth of what really happened on that day. He added that he considers Gayle to be a good scientist and an honest person.
A draft of the government agency's final report on the WTC collapse is due in January.
The New York Times reports today that the NIST team is planning to hold some of its deliberations in secret. "The announcement has been sharply protested by advocates for families of the 9/11 victims, who said they were considering a lawsuit to force the agency to open the meetings to the public," the Times writes.
As the Times notes, the NIST investigation was started in 2002 after lobbying by, among others, the Skyscraper Safety Campaign, an organization created by Monica Gabrielle and Sally Regenhard, both of whom lost family on September 11.
Gabrielle told the Times that NIST should have "one job, and one job only - to find out the truth of what happened to those buildings and to report to the public about it. You don't owe industry, the Port Authority or federal agencies anything. You owe it to the public - the truth, no matter where it goes." (See - (nl)
From Andrea
On seeing this research from UL, I am pushing for transparent*, fully public meetings/hearings on the structure/physical evidence related to the deterioration of the towers into their foundations -these meetings conducted by the NIST, the gov division under the DeptCommerce, under the Executive Branch, aka - "The White House".
Rather than be immutable or mysterious about this research on the (Bethlehem Steel produced) steel in the towers, I found this important information to those who have the interest to understand the truth about what happened at the WTC on 9/11/01.
I owned stock in Bethlehem Steel before it was driven into bankruptcy and liquidated. I knew it had made the i-beams and girders for the WTC, and found it annoying when the under-informed would attempt to convince me that we dont/didnt even make steel strong enough to support construction like the towers, and that steel strong enough for construction like the WTC comes/came from Japan. Au contraire! A look at the remaining steel while at the site also speaks otherwise.
This government is to answer to the American people. I see no reason for secrecy when the people in the government are looking for 'transparency' from everything else. Our privacy is under invasion and the government wants opaque secrecy?
From Scott T Davis
Dear Jeff,
I want to ask all Americans - who have just read this article which has such overwhelming statistical information exposing the World Trade Center cover-up - to take just a minute and e-mail the article to their Senators, Congressional Representatives and all media outlets.
All the e-mail information we need to expose the coverup is right on the main page of your web site.
We as Americans are held accountable for our actions by government everyday. It's well past time we hold the people we employ to represent us equally as accountable.
Scott T Davis




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