9/11 Scholars Forum

Exposing Falsehoods and Revealing Truths

HOW INDEED CAN NANOTHERMITE BE EXPLOSIVE?
& THE NANOTHERMITE CHALLENGE


T Mark Hightower, B.S., M.S., Chemical Engineering

INTRODUCTION

This paper explores the explosiveness of nanothermite.

Steven E. Jones made the error early in his research, of classifying nanothermite as an explosive in the same category as the high explosive RDX, with no published science to back up his claim. The 911 truth movement has never recovered from this error, for to this day nearly everyone in the movement refers to "explosive nanothermite," as even this clever cover for a fictitious "For Dummies" book illustrates. (1)

Examples of Jones confusing these issues are cited and commented upon. Two technical papers on nanothermite are cited to support my contention that nanothermite is not anywhere near being an explosive in the sense of a high explosive like RDX. These two papers are also cited on the issue of adding organics to nanothermites to produce gas generating nano-thermites (GGNT) and I maintain that these papers suggest that the only way to make a nanothermite truly explosive is to combine it with an explosive or other high-explosive mechanism. “It's not the “nano” that makes it explosive. It's the explosive that makes it explosive.”

Finally, I make recommendations of what those who advocate the nanothermite theory for WTC destruction can do to clarify their position and I announce The Nanothermite Challenge.

EXAMPLES OF JONES CONFUSING THERMITE AND NANO-THERMITE WITH EXPLOSIVES

Here is a two-paragraph quote from Steven Jones' first paper. (2)

“Thus, molten metal was repeatedly observed and formally reported in the rubble piles of the WTC Towers and WTC 7, metal that looked like molten steel or perhaps iron. Scientific analysis would be needed to conclusively ascertain the composition of the molten metal in detail.”

“I maintain that these observations are consistent with the use of high-temperature cutter-charges such as thermite, HMX or RDX or some combination thereof, routinely used to melt/cut/demolish steel.” (2)

Here Jones puts thermite, HMX, and RDX in the same category. But thermite is totally different than HMX and RDX. Thermite is an incendiary. It gets very hot, it produces molten iron, it can melt steel, and it can catch things on fire, but it is absolutely not an explosive. It is not even a low explosive. On the other hand, HMX and RDX are high explosives. HMX detonates at 9,100 m/s (meters per second) and RDX detonates at 8,750 m/s. He also lumps all three under the category of cutter-charges, but a cutter-charge with thermite would be totally different than a cutter-charge with a high explosive. A thermite cutter-charge would cut by melting the steel with the high-temperature molten iron it produces (an extremely low velocity and slow process compared to high explosives), whereas an RDX cutter-charge would cut by the supersonic detonation of high explosives in what is known as a shaped charge, which essentially produces a supersonic projectile of molten metal (copper is often used in shaped charges) that instantly penetrates and severs the member.

Later in the paper Jones says

“"Superthermites" use tiny particles of aluminum known as "nanoaluminum" (<120 nanometers) in order to increase their reactivity. Explosive superthermites are formed by mixing nanoaluminum powder with fine metal oxide particles such as micron-scale iron oxide dust.” (2) And further down he says “Highly exothermic reactions other than jet-fuel or office-material fires, such as thermite reactions which produce white-hot molten metal as an end product, are clearly implied by the data. In addition, the use of explosives such as HMX or RDX should be considered. "Superthermites" are also explosive as must be remembered in any in-depth investigation which considers hypotheses suggested by the available data.” (2) From page 85 of a presentation that Jones gave early in his work (3), he says “Gel explosives: Tiny aluminum particles in iron oxide, in a sol-gel: “High energy density and extremely powerful” and “can be cast to shape”. http://www.llnl.gov/str/RSimpson.html (Livermore Nat’l Lab, 2000) I have read the LLNL web page that Jones cites above (4) very carefully and I cannot find anything in it that implies that the “thermitic nanocomposite energetic material” referred to is an explosive. It refers to the result as a thermite pyrotechnic, releasing an enormous amount of heat, but it does not say that it is an explosive. In the web page another class is explained briefly, energetic nanocrystalline composites. "The Livermore team synthesized nanocrystalline composites in a silica matrix with pores containing the high explosive RDX or PETN." No mention is made here of thermite, so this wouldn't apply to Jones claiming that nanothermite is an explosive.
WTC Devastation by public domain

COMPARING NANOTHERMITE REACTION VELOCITIES TO EXPLOSIVE VELOCITIES

The explanation given for claiming that nanothermite is an explosive goes something like this. The thermite reaction is

Fe2O3 + 2 Al ---> 2 Fe + Al2O3

By making the particle sizes of the reactants smaller, down to the nanosize (approximately 30 nm to 60 nm) and mixing them well, the reaction takes place so fast that it becomes explosive. Let's look at some data from technical papers where the reaction velocity of nanothermites were measured and compare these values with the reaction velocities of explosives to see if it seems reasonable to call nanothermite an explosive.

A paper by Spitzer et al. published in the Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids in 2010 presents a variety of research on energetic nano-materials. (5) In one section they deal with nano-thermites made with tungsten trioxide (WO3) and aluminum nano-particles. They experimented with different particle sizes, but they highlight the mixture made with the smallest nano-particles of both WO3 and Al for its impressive performance.

“WO3/Al nano-thermites, which contain only nano-particles, have an impressive reactivity. The fireball generated by the deflagration is so hot that a slamming due to overpressure is heard. The combustion rate can reach 7.3 m/s. This value is extremely high compared to classical energetic materials.” (5)

A paper by Clapsaddle et al. published by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2005 also contains some reaction rate data for nanothermite composed of nano-particles of Fe2O3 and aluminum. (6) In Figure 2. in the paper the combustion velocity is plotted versus percent SiO2 content. The highest values were obtained at zero percent SiO2, so those are the only values I am going to cite. The nanothermite produced by a sol gel process had the highest velocity of 40.5 m/s, compared to the one produced by a simple mixing of the nano-particles with a combustion velocity of 8.8 m/s. (6)

Compare the above combustion velocities of nanothermite with the detonation velocities of high explosives HMX and RDX of 9,100 m/s and 8,750 m/s, respectively, and they are dwarfed by the velocities of the conventional high explosives. Steven Jones appears to be calling the nanothermite reaction explosive only in the sense that it is reacting much faster than regular thermite, but not in the sense that it is anywhere near as explosive as a conventional high explosive. By failing to make this distinction Jones has misled nearly the entire 911 truth movement into believing that nanothermite is a super explosive, possibly even more powerful than conventional high explosives.

From the above, it is quite clear that the “nano” in nanothermite does not make the thermite explosive anywhere near the degree of a high explosive like RDX.

In addition to saying that nano-izing thermite makes it explosive, I have heard Jones say that adding organics to nanothermite also makes it explosive. This issue is explored in the next section.

CAN ANYTHING BE DONE TO MAKE A NANOTHERMITE EXPLOSIVE?

First I would like to quote an entire two paragraph section, with its title, from the LLNL paper. (6)

“Gas generating Al-Fe2O3-SiO3/2-R (R = –(CH2)2(CF2)7CF3) nanocomposites. ”

“One limitation inherent in any thermite energetic material is the inability of the energetic material to do pressure/volume-work on an object. Thermites release energy in the form of heat and light, but are unable to move objects. Typically, work can be done by a rapidly produced gas that is released during the energetic reaction. Towards this end, the silica phase of sol-gel prepared oxidizers, in addition to modifying the burning velocities, has also been used to incorporate organic functionality that will decompose and generate gas upon ignition of the energetic composite [3-4, 7]. Phenomenological burn observations of these materials indicate that the Al-Fe2O3-SiO3/2-R nanocomposites burn very rapidly and violently, essentially to completion, with the generation of significant amounts of gas. Figure 5 shows a comparison of the ignition of an energetic nanocomposite oxidizer mixed with 2 μm aluminum metal without (left) and with (middle) organic functionalization. The still image of the energetic nanocomposite without organic functionalization exhibits rapid ignition and emission of light and heat. The still image of the energetic nanocomposite with organic functionalization also exhibits these characteristics, but it also exhibits hot particle ejection due to the production of gas upon ignition. This reaction is very exothermic and results in the production of very high temperatures, intense light, and pressure from the generation of the gaseous byproducts resulting from the decomposition of the organic moieties.”

“These materials were also mixed with nanometer aluminum. Figure 5 (right) shows a still image of the ignition of the Al-Fe2O3-SiO3/2-R nanocomposite mixed with 40 nm aluminum. This composite is much more reactive than the same oxidizing phase mixed with 2 μm aluminum metal; the burning of the composite with 40 nm aluminum occurs much too quickly to be able to observe the hot particle ejection. This observation is a good example of the importance mixing and the size scale of the reactants can have on the physical properties of the final energetic composite material. When the degree of mixing is on the nanoscale, the material is observed to react much more quickly, presumably due to the increase in mass transport rates of the reactants, as discussed above.” (6)

Note that in the title of the section quoted above, the symbol R is used to represent the organic functionality added to the nanothermite. In this case it is a 10 carbon atom straight chain functional group fully saturated, with hydrogen atoms on the first two carbon atoms of the chain and fluorine atoms on all the rest. I have not explored the precise energy level of this functional group, but I can tell by just looking at it that it will consume energy (from the thermite reaction) in order to break it down into multiple smaller molecules in order to get the expanding gases necessary to make it behave as explained. This is not an efficient way to make an explosive. I wouldn't expect the explosiveness to be anywhere near that of a conventional high explosive, and the qualitative description given in the paper certainly does not seem to support it being a true explosive, but unfortunately the paper does not give data on what its reaction rate would be. Wouldn't it be better if the organic added to the nanothermite was a molecule that, instead of consuming energy to drive its decomposition, actually produces energy as it decomposes? Such a molecule could be the RDX molecule. This leads to the quoted two-paragraph section below from the Spitzer et al. paper. (5)

“3. Gas generating nano-thermites ”

“Thermites are energetic materials, which do not release gaseous species when they decompose. However, explosives can be blended in thermites to give them blasting properties. The idea developed at ISL is to solidify explosives in porous inorganic matrixes described previously. Gas generating nano-thermites (GGNT) are prepared by mixing Cr2O3/RDX and MnO2/RDX materials with aluminium nano-particles. The combustion mechanisms of these nano-thermites were investigated by DSC and high-speed video. In the case of Cr2O3-based GGNT, the decomposition of RDX induces the expansion and the fragmentation of the oxide matrix. The resulting Cr2O3 nano-particles, which are preheated by the combustion of the explosive, react violently with aluminium nano-particles. In the case of MnO2-based GGNT, the mechanism of combustion is somewhat different because the decomposition of RDX induces the melting of oxide particles. The droplets of molten MnO2 react with aluminium nano-particles.”

“The non-confined combustion of GGNT is rather slow (1-11 cm/s) in comparison with other nano-thermites presented here. However, in a confined environment their combustion rate is expected to be significantly higher. Indeed, the thermal decomposition of GGNT produces gaseous species, which contribute to increase the pressure and the combustion rate in accordance with the Vieille’s law. The thermal decomposition of miscellaneous GGNT compositions was studied in a closed vessel equipped with a pressure gauge. The GGNT were fired with a laser beam through a quartz window. The pressure signal was recorded along time for each material (Fig. 7). The pressure released by the combustion of a GGNT is directly linked to the RDX content of the nano-composite used to elaborate it. Depending on its formulation, a GGNT can provide a pressure ranging from a few bars to nearly three thousand bars.” (5)

I am surprised by the low number given for the reaction velocity, only 1-11 cm/s. Also, it does not say what percent RDX resulted in this low velocity. Maybe it was a very low content of RDX. But the main point I want to make about the above quoted section does not depend on this velocity anyway. The key point is that you have to blend explosives (like RDX) into nanothermite to make it an explosive (“give them blasting properties”).

WHAT NANOTHERMITE ADVOCATES NEED TO DO TO CLARIFY THEIR THEORY

Steven E. Jones and other nanothermite theory advocates should be upfront and truthful about these issues, and clearly elaborate upon the factors missing from their theory that need further fleshing out. It is not good enough to just say “explosive nanothermite” over and over again without explaining exactly what is meant by the term. If they think that incendiary thermite or incendiary nanothermite or low explosive nanothermite or high explosive nanothermite were used in cutter-charges, or some combination, then they should say so. The lack of or degree of explosiveness claimed, whether incendiary, low explosive, or high explosive, is key, because the type of cutter-charge used would depend on this. Once they clarify what they mean by their use of the term “nanothermite”, then they should start describing the quantities of thermite that would have been necessary for the destruction. Only by adding these details to their theory can it be fairly evaluated against alternative theories of the destruction of the buildings of the World Trade Center for the benefit of the wider 9/11 truth community.
___________________________________

THE NANOTHERMITE CHALLENGE

Find and document peer reviewed scientific research that demonstrates that a gas generating nanothermite (GGNT) based upon iron (III) oxide (Fe2O3) and aluminum (Al), where the gas generating chemical added to the nanothermite is not itself a high explosive, can be made to be a high explosive with at least a detonation velocity of 2000 m/s. The author of this paper will donate $100 for every 1000 m/s of detonation velocity that can be documented, the donation not to exceed $1,000. For example, if a detonation velocity of 5500 m/s can be documented, then the donation amount will be $550. Only one prize will be awarded in the form of a donation to AE911Truth, and it will be awarded based upon the highest detonation velocity that can be documented. Those submitting entries grant the author the right to publish their entries. Entries must be in the form of a brief (no longer than one page) write-up, with the peer reviewed research cited, and at least scanned copies (electronic pdf files) of the cover page(s) and pages relied upon of the technical papers, if not a submittal of the entire paper(s). Entries should be sent by email to DetonationVelocity@att.net by June 20, 2011. The award will be announced and paid by July 20, 2011.

1 May 2011

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: T. Mark Hightower began his awakening in January 2004 after having stumbled upon the Serendipity web site and learning that the explosive demolition theory for WTC destruction was a more probable explanation than was the official story.

http://www.serendipity.li/

He has worked as an engineer for nearly 30 years, initially in the chemical industry, then in the space program, and currently in the environmental field. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

His research on 9/11 is an exercise of his Constitutional rights as a private citizen and in no way represents his employer or the professional societies of which he is a member.

REFERENCES

(1) Fictitious Book Cover, “Explosives in the WTC for Dummies”

(2) Jones, Steven E., “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?” Journal of 911 Studies, Volume 3, September 2006

(3) Jones, Steven E., “Answers to Objections and Questions,” Department of Physics and Astronomy, Brigham Young University, 18 July 2006

(4) LLNL Web page cited by Jones – “Nanoscale Chemistry Yields Better Explosives,”

http://www.llnl.gov/str/RSimpson.html

(5) Denis Spitzer, Marc Comet, Christian Baras, Vincent Pichot, Nelly Piazzon, “Energetic nano-materials: Opportunities for enhanced performances,” Institut franco-allemand de recherches de Saint-Louis (ISL), UMR ISL/CNRS 3208, 5, rue du General Cassagnou, 68301 Saint-Louis, France,
Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids 71 (2010) 100–108

(6) B. J. Clapsaddle, L. Zhao, D. Prentice, M. L. Pantoya, A. E. Gash, J. H. Satcher Jr., K. J. Shea, R. L. Simpson, “Formulation and Performance of Novel Energetic Nanocomposites and Gas Generators Prepared by Sol-Gel Methods,” March 25, 2005, Presented at 36th Annual Conference of ICT, Karlsruhe, Germany, June 28, 2005 through July 1, 2005 UCRL-PROC-210871, LLNL This paper is free to download at
http://www.osti.gov/bridge/product.biblio.jsp?query_id=0&page=0...

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Replies to This Discussion

All very good observations in my view Jeannon. Thank you for your willingness to discuss this.

I re-read the article by Dr. Ed Ward in which he discusses the difference between low and high velocity "explosives."  While making thermite into a nano-thermite powder does increase the rate of reaction due to the increase in surface area, it is still a low velocity "explosive" what is called a deflagration reaction agent meaning, it is not capable of doing the work of moving objects.

Nano-thermite would be a better cutting agent than thermite but not a high velocity explosive that would move heavy objects like large steel beams. Therefore, in order to explain the explosive damage that occured with the Twin Towers, we must explain what explosive had the power to perform the work required. Options might include RDX, C4, HMX and nuclear fission/fusion reactions.

The dust analysis carried out by the USGS on September 17-18, 2001 strongly suggest that a nuclear fission reaction of very high energy was involved (extremely high levels of Barium, Strontium and Lead for example) and the presence of tritium would imply that a nuclear fusion reaction occured. A combination fission/fusion reaction is possible as well unless the tritium levels were faked. By the way, WTC first responders are now developing cancer at a markedly elevated rate over what would be expected from what the FG has claimed they were exposed to and many of these patients are very young. The kinds of cancers being diagnosed are not normally seen in younger patients. This is very suggestive of radiation exposure. See my other discussion post today for details.

 

Here is a post of Dr. Ward's article in which agrees with Mr. Hightower:

 

The velocity of instantaneous combustion has been measured for most explosives and is referred to as the detonation velocity of the explosive. Detonation velocities of high explosives range from approximately 3,300 feet per second (fps) to over 29,900 fps. To bring this speed down to our terms - If we took a five-mile length of garden hose and filled it in with a high explosive and then detonated one end of the hose, it would only take one second for the chemical reaction to reach the other end.


In a detonation, the chemical reaction moves through the explosive material at a velocity greater than that of sound through the same material. The characteristic of this chemical reaction is that it is initiated by and, in turn, supports a supersonic shock wave proceeding through the explosive."


In a deflagration, the chemical reaction moves rapidly through the explosive material and releases heat or flames vigorously. The reaction moves too slowly to produce shock waves."


There are two types of Explosives Low Explosives and High Explosives. Low explosives are said to burn or deflagrate rather than to detonate or explode. The burning gives off a gas which, when properly confined, will cause an explosion. Most low explosives are mechanical mixtures or a mechanical blending of the individual ingredients making up the low explosives.


High Explosives do not require confinement to shatter and destroy. It must generally be initiated by a shock wave of considerable force. This is usually provided by a detonator or blasting cap.


The varying velocities of explosives and configuration have a direct relationship to the type of work they can perform. The difference in velocities determines the type of power exerted by high or low explosives. Low explosives have pushing or heaving power and high explosives have shattering power(Brisance)." http://www.securitydriver.com/aic/stories/article-114.html


"Professor Jones does not stop there, however, his most important piece of evidence comes from samples of the molten steel from the twin towers. He works from a hypothesis that the bright yellow explosions and molten metal seen in video footage of the attacks on the WTC appear to be that of Thermite, which is widely used in controlled demolition. (Note use of the term 'explosions' for what is clearly seen as 'burning' or 'deflagration'.)
Thermate, used to cut rapidly through steel beams in controlled demolition." http://infowars.com/articles/sept11/la_con_infowars_team_thought.htm (similar quote) http://www.physics.byu.edu/research/energy/htm7.html


Thermate, Thermite, SuperThermite, etc, are cutting agents Not High Pressure Wave Explosives. An explosive quality is counterproductive to a cutting agent. Cutting agents must be used in conjunction with explosives. The cutting agents cut and the explosives move the cut product away from their support structures. This is standard demolition. If contact cutting agents produced a generalized 'high pressure wave', i.e. typical explosion', the pressure wave would blow the cutting agent away from the steel it is supposed to cut as well as any other cutting agents in the immediate vicinity. That is why the process of demolition requires cutting agents to cut the steel, then explosives to move the cut pieces away from their support.


A low explosive is usually a mixture of a combustible substance and an oxidant that decomposes rapidly (deflagration); unlike most high explosives, which are compounds.


Under normal conditions, low explosives undergo deflagration at rates that vary from a few centimeters per second to approximately 400 metres per second. However, it is possible for them to deflagrate very quickly, producing an effect similar to a detonation, but not an actual detonation; This usually occurs when ignited in a confined space. Low explosives are normally employed as propellants. Included in this group are gun powders and pyrotechnics such as flares and illumination devices.


High explosives are normally employed in mining, demolition, and military warheads. They undergo detonation at rates of 1,000 to 9,000 meters per second. High explosives are conventionally subdivided into two classes differentiated by sensitivity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explosive

Government Classification of an Explosive:


The explosives listed in 18 V.S.C. §841(d) represent speeds from several millimeters per second to tens of kilometers per second. Neither of these materials are considered explosives, regardless of burn rate, because they do not contain a fuel and an oxidizer http://www.tripoli.org/documents/batfe/20061013atfapcp.pdf

More information on Explosives vs 'SuperThermite':


Other so-called insensitive explosives can also be used safely, including compositions of 80-90% RDX or HMX, the explosive powders or crystals being thoroughly coated with plasticized polymer (20%-10%) and wherein the HMX is usually in a bimodal crystal form (see "Explosives and Propellants (Explosives)"; Vol. 10, 4th Ed. Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, especially pp. 55-56). Primasheet (Ensign-Bickford Co.) has a burn rate of 23000 ft. per second, i.e. 7010 meters per second; the aforementioned HMX has a burn rate of 8800 meters per second; and PETN has a burn rate of 8260 meters per second. http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6200615-description.html


For example, it has been proven that because of their large surface area, the nanopowders can increase the burn rate in some types of propellants 1,3,8-10. There were also significant developments made in the "super thermite" area with mixes of nanometric aluminum and metal oxides (11). Those compounds are said to react at rates approaching (and under particular conditions even equivalent to) those of high explosives (Investigators note: While the report does not relate the particular conditions, other articles indicate that confinement is one of the conditions.)

 

http://www.intdetsymp.org/detsymp2002/PaperSubmi

t/FinalManuscript/pdf/Brousseau-193.pdf.


An energetic material has been routinely manufactured from nano-metric powders of aluminum (Al) and molybdenum trioxide (MoO3). When optimized, the burn-rate of these materials (~400 m/s) exceeds that of conventional thermites (based on micron-sized powders), but is less than that of conventional explosives. Similar burn-rates around 350 m/s are measured for these "super-thermites"...

http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/sec_subscribe.asp?C

ID=2642&DID=115853&action=detail


0114] Low Order Explosion--Low explosives change into gases by burning or combustion. These are characterized by deflagration (burning rapidly without generating a high pressure wave) and a lower reaction rate than high explosives. The overall effect ranges from rapid combustion to a low order detonation (generally less than 2,000 meters per second). Since they burn through deflagration rather than a detonation wave, they are usually a mixture, and are initiated by heat and require confinement to create an explosion. Gun powder (black powder) is the only common example.


[0115] Deflagration--The chemical decomposition (burning) of a material in which the reaction front advances into the reacted material at less than sonic velocity. Deflagration can be a very rapid combustion which, under confinement, can result in an explosion, although generally it implies the burning of a substance with self-contained oxygen. The reaction zone advances into the unreacted material at less than the velocity of sound in the material. In this case, heat is transferred from the reacted to the unreacted material by conduction and convection. The burning rate for a deflagration is usually less than 2,000 meters/second.

 

[0117] Detonation--Also called an initiation sequence or a firing train, this is the sequence of events which cascade from relatively low levels of energy to cause a chain reaction to initiate the final explosive material or main charge. They can be either low or high explosive trains. It is a chemical reaction that moves through an explosive material at a velocity greater than the speed of sound in the material. A detonation is a chemical reaction given by an explosive substance in which a shock wave is formed. High temperature and pressure gradients are generated in the wave front, so that the chemical reaction is initiated instantaneously. Detonation velocities lie in the approximate range of 1,400 to 9,000 m/s or 5,000 to 30,000 ft/s.


[0118] High Order Explosion--High explosives are capable of detonating and are used in military ordinance, blasting and mining, etc. These have a very high rate of reaction, high-pressure development, and the presence of a detonation wave that moves faster than the speed of sound (1,400 to 9,000 meters per second). Without confinement, they are compounds that are initiated by shock or heat and have high brisance (the shattering effect of an explosion). Examples include primary explosives such as nitroglycerin that can detonate with little stimulus and secondary explosives such as dynamite (trinitrotoluene, TNT) that require a strong shock (from a detonator such as a blasting cap). http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20050242093.html

A chemical explosive is a compound or a mixture of compounds which, when subjected to heat, impact, friction, or shock, undergoes very rapid, self-propagating, heat- producing decomposition. This decomposition produces gases that exert tremendous pressures as they expand at the high temperature of the reaction. The work done by an explosive depends primarily on the amount of heat given off during the explosion. The term detonation indicates that the reaction is moving through the explosive faster than the speed of sound in the unreacted explosive; whereas, deflagration indicates a slower reaction (rapid burning). A high explosive will detonate; a low explosive will deflagrate. All commercial explosives except black powder are high explosives.

Low-order explosives (LE) create a subsonic explosion [below 3,300 feet per second] and lack HE's over-pressurization wave. Examples of LE include pipe bombs, gunpowder, and most pure petroleum-based bombs such as Molotov cocktails or aircraft improvised as guided missiles.

A High Explosive (HE) is a compound or mixture which, when initiated, is capable of sustaining a detonation shockwave to produce a powerful blast effect. A detonation is the powerful explosive effect caused by the propagation of a high-speed shockwave through a high explosive compound or mixture. During the process of detonation, the high explosive is largely decomposed into hot, rapidly expanding gas.

The most important single property in rating an explosive is detonation velocity, which may be expressed for either confined or un-confined conditions. It is the speed at which the detonation wave travels through the explosive. Since explosives in boreholes are confined to some degree, the confined value is the more significant. Most manufacturers, however, measure the detonation velocity in an unconfined column of explosive 1- i/4 in. in diameter. The detonation velocity of an explosive is dependent on the density, ingredients, particle size, charge diameter, and degree of confinement. Decreased particle size, increased charge diameter, and increased confinement all tend to increase the detonation velocity. Unconfined velocities are generally 70 to 80 percent of confined velocities.

The confined detonation velocity of commercial explosives varies from 4,000 to 25,000 fps. With cartridge explosives the confined velocity is seldom attained. Some explosives and blasting agents are sensitive to diameter changes. As diameter is reduced, the velocity is reduced until at some critical diameter, propagation is no longer assured and misfires are likely.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/explosives...


CLASSIFICATION OF EXPLOSIVES

Low Explosives: Low explosives deflagrate rather than detonate. Their reaction velocities are 2000 to less than 3000 feet per second. Black powder is a good example. pg 27

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/npsg/explosives/Cha...
Low explosives - Their detonation velocity rate is below 3,280 feet per second. (Black powder rate is 1,312 fps) High explosives burn or detonate at a rate of above 3,280 f.p.s. (Dynamite-about 9,000 f.p.s.; RDX - 27,500 f.p.s.)

http://www.jus.state.nc.us/NCJA/hazmat.pdf
A Normogram for determination of pressure waves as they relate to 'burn rate'.

http://www.usace.army.mil/publications/eng-manuals/em1110-2-3800/c-...
Other so-called insensitive explosives can also be used safely, including compositions of 80-90% RDX or HMX, the explosive powders or crystals being thoroughly coated with plasticized polymer (20%-10%) and wherein the HMX is usually in a bimodal crystal form (see "Explosives and Propellants (Explosives)"; Vol. 10, 4th Ed. Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, especially pp. 55-56). Primasheet (Ensign-Bickford Co.) has a burn rate of 23000 ft. per second, i.e. 7010 meters per second; the aforementioned HMX has a burn rate of 8800 meters per second; and PETN has a burn rate of 8260 meters per second. http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6200615-description.html


Dr Ed

Question: What would a company which has to restrict itself from causing too much ash and polutants from escapinig use to get 2 110 stories reduced to 3 stories, cause the least amount of gas, dust and ash as possible use? This was a plan to implode the buildings to avoid asbestos abatement. Think of it in a way a demolition expert would plan for a demolition causinig as little polution as possible.

 

I want to withdraw my thought that this could be an incendiary device. This video that I found is probably a photoshop animation. The frames are just TOO BLUE. I suspect someone probably put this out there as bait and I took the bait.
I withdraw my thought. I never was more than a thought. I am more concerned with getting the perps arrested and put in jail.

"Thermate, Thermite, SuperThermite, etc, are cutting agents Not High Pressure Wave Explosives. An explosive quality is counterproductive to a cutting agent. Cutting agents must be used in conjunction with explosives. The cutting agents cut and the explosives move the cut product away from their support structures. This is standard demolition. If contact cutting agents produced a generalized 'high pressure wave', i.e. typical explosion', the pressure wave would blow the cutting agent away from the steel it is supposed to cut as well as any other cutting agents in the immediate vicinity. That is why the process of demolition requires cutting agents to cut the steel, then explosives to move the cut pieces away from their support."

 

correct, which is why after the "planes hit" (they certainly did not), until the towers "collapsed" (they did not), the thermate was cutting the steel into small pieces but the mini nukes weren't detonated for about 50 minutes.  Then when the nukes exploded, they had an easy job of pulverizing the concrete and blowing the small steel chunks upward and outward.  Chuck has talked about the lathering up of the buildings which is a by product of the thermitic reactions AlO for those 50 minutes, a white cloud mixed with blackish melted steel spherules.  

 

I presume these are Dr. Hubert's words from 21 hours ago.  I checked the links immediately before and after this paragraph and these words were not there, so guess they are Dr. Hubert's.

 

"Thermate, Thermite, SuperThermite, etc, are cutting agents Not High Pressure Wave Explosives. An explosive quality is counterproductive to a cutting agent. Cutting agents must be used in conjunction with explosives. The cutting agents cut and the explosives move the cut product away from their support structures. This is standard demolition. If contact cutting agents produced a generalized 'high pressure wave', i.e. typical explosion', the pressure wave would blow the cutting agent away from the steel it is supposed to cut as well as any other cutting agents in the immediate vicinity. That is why the process of demolition requires cutting agents to cut the steel, then explosives to move the cut pieces away from their support."

 

From the same posting by Dr. Hubert, and again Dr. Hubert's words, I find this...

 

There are two types of Explosives Low Explosives and High Explosives. Low explosives are said to burn or deflagrate rather than to detonate or explode. The burning gives off a gas which, when properly confined, will cause an explosion. Most low explosives are mechanical mixtures or a mechanical blending of the individual ingredients making up the low explosives.

 

Chuck B. spoke on one of the radio shows regarding how the "thermite charges" (my words but you get the idea) could have been wrapped (or confined) to provide "explosive" capability.  But from reading Dr. Hubert's post, this wrapping or confining would have only produced a "low explosive".  Low explosives do have ability to "push or heave" and these low explosives wrapped around the thermite charges could have flung the cut pieces of the large steel beams outward from the building and I guess had the strength / velocity to fling them out the large distances the beams were said to have been thrown from the building.

 

The shattering of the materials into fine dust, as I understand this "thermite plus mini-nukes" hypothesis in this ostensible "3-step" sequence was solely accomplished by the mini-nukes, either of the fission and/or fission & fusion type.

 

So I still do not quite understand the timing of what I perceive to be 3 steps, i.e.,

Step 1:-cutting,

Step:2 - moving the cut product from their support structures (the throwing or flinging of largish chucks outward from the building, and then

Step 3 -the pulverization into dust of the material.

 

Thoth appears to be saying that Step 2 was accomplished over about a 50 minute period, but I do not think that is what any of us observed on the videos nor does it seem to be what Dr. Jones is saying.  The "Step 2 that Dr. Jones spoke about" is a different "Step 2" than I understand as what is being set forth in this thread and Dr. Jones's Step 2 was not characterized by the throwing of the beams out from the building, but was characterized by "motlen metal" flowing from the building which he suggests is thermite.  Dr. Jones' Step2 was fires inside doing their work but did not involve over this 50 minute period the throwing of beams from the building. (By the way, the yellow color of the flows could have been produced by burning of aluminum as demonstrated in labs by Dr. Wood and by others and not necessarily the burning of steel.)

 

I just think we need to be careful in what we say how those "explosives" that were wrapped or confined with the thermite charges "acted" or functioned.  They started doing their work immediately after the cutting, or so it seems I am being told, so it does not seem to me that timed fuses or ignitions could be connected only with the explosives that were with the thermite charges but were connected with the entire "thermite/explosive" charge, so that when the thermite started cutting, the explosive started moving the cut material away.  But that is not what happened in those 50 minutes.  The "cut material" was not moved away during those 50 minutes.  That time period is said to have been a time of metal burning and melting and flowing."

 

The wrapped or confined thermite/[low]explosive charge and my perceived Step 2 seem to be contradictory.

 

I hope someone understands what I am saying. 

 

I am sure Dr. Fetzer could have epressed this much more succinctly.

"

Jeannon,

 

I'll clarify my own opinion:

 

what you call Step 1:  cutting, I meant that that occurs over the 50 minute period.  In other words, after the "plane crash", for 50 minutes they "lathered" in Judy Wood's words, which Chuck has described as a thermitic reaction of thermate on the core steel columns.  This would melt much of the steel in fine tiny sphere spherules and also produce aluminum oxide.  This would produce a grayish cloud that was seen emanating from the tower for much of this 50 minutes.  This is the 50 minutes when the steel was being destroyed.  About half I'd say was turned into these small spheres by heat and got mixed into the AlO cloud to make it darker in appearance, and emanated out open or broken windows.  The other half of steel was simply cut up into small lengths which were observed in rubble afterwards.

 

What you call Step 2 and 3, that was the same time, when the computer program started the demolition sequence.  The mini nukes (about 15 of them) were ignited from top down over 10 seconds, roughly 1 sec per mini nuke.  Some of the energy flung these remaining steel members outward and upward from the ground zero of the mini nuke, and some energy provided the "fracture energy" (talked about by Frank Greening) to pulversize all the concrete into 60 micron dust, which composed most of the clouds seen over Manhatten that day.

 

So just to clarify, I think it was really 2 main steps.

Thanks for clarification.  Will have to think about this a bit but something is still not "gelling" in my mind but not sure what it is.

 

"Step:2 - moving the cut product from their support structures (the throwing or flinging of largish chucks outward from the building"  My Step 2

I understand you see this "moving of the cut product from their support structures" as taking place partly during the 50 minutes in the melting of metal and partly when the nukes go off.  Something not clear or right seeming to me about that.

 

"The other half of steel was simply cut up into small lengths which were observed in rubble afterwards."

 

What caused big beams to spew from the building long distances?  The "pulverization" function of the nukes?

 

Also, a minor issue, but what caused the broken windows?

Jeannon,

 

"

I understand you see this "moving of the cut product from their support structures" as taking place partly during the 50 minutes in the melting of metal and partly when the nukes go off.  Something not clear or right seeming to me about that.

 "

 

yes, I would say that the cutting was a thermate reaction occuring for 50 minutes.  During this time , metal and the weld joining metal beams would be melted by the reaction.  Then, most of those metal beams would just lay passively where they were cut from the time they were cut (sometime during the 50 min. interval) until the nukes were ignited. 

 

Then when the nukes went off, it would take about 1 second for the shock wave to hurl these steel beams outward and upward from each mini nuke.  We saw this taking place in the videos as the nukes were exploded one at a time from top down for a total of 10 seconds.  At the same time, we saw the nukes pulverizing concrete and saw the beams within the dust cloud created.

 

"

"The other half of steel was simply cut up into small lengths which were observed in rubble afterwards."

 

What caused big beams to spew from the building long distances?  The "pulverization" function of the nukes?"

 

Actually, these larger beams, as well as some smaller ones, were hurled outward by what physicists call a "shock wave".  Now the shock wave is a powerful compression of air  (similar to a sonic boom but much bigger), and this can do different things to different materials.  Here, the small and even big beams were simply lifted and pushed outward by this shock wave and that is why we saw them hurled outward, according to Newton's 2nd law:  the acceleration they were given was proportional to the pressure of the shock wave, very high for nukes.  The concrete reacted differently to the shock wave.  Because concrete is "inelastic", it simply broke into a zillion 60 micron sized dust particles that became the cloud.

 

As for why the windows were broken, I'm not sure.  We do see the "lather" cloud from one tower though that is evidence of the thermate reaction on the steel.

 

I am very convinced this is actually what happened, and Chuck B is doing the detailed research of course.  

 

"Chuck B is doing the detailed research of course."

 

 

How can a temperature of millions of degrees not be visible? Can I get an answer?

 

Shallel,

 

I would guess that the dust cloud was so thick that it hid the luminescent hot materials in the core.  Also, I am not positive the mini nukes need to be as hot as above, they could be engineered at lower temperatures.

 

Jeannon,

 

I just saw a show on R Lee Ermey the viet vet who had a show about history of field artillery.  That reminds me of the steel columns ejected by the mini nukes, the same physics

Please regard this as a friendly discussion.  It would never be my intention to discount anyone's ideas. 

 

 

“yes, I would say that the cutting was a thermate reaction occuring for 50 minutes.”

I have always acknowledged and understood that that the “thermate reaction” performed the cutting function during the events. But that is not really the subject of this thread though it is important to conjecture about the full sequence of events and timing. The subject of this thread is “How Indeed Can Nanothermite be Explosive.”

You say that during this 50 minutes when the beams were being “cut” that “metal and the weld joining metal beams would be melted.” So here again you are just referring to the cutting property of thermate as well as the high heat / melting of metal property of thermate, and do not seem to be referring to the “explosive / explosives / explosions” that were part of the “nanothermite” that Dr. Jones and Mr. Gage consistently reference.

Dr. Steven Jones, and Richard Gage / A&E for 911 Truth have almost constantly drummed in the idea of “thermate / thermite”, and “explosive” “Explosives”, and “molten metal.” You can just listen to any radio show that Gage has been on over the last year or two and count how many times he uses those words. As Dr. Hubert and Mr. Hightower have pointed out so well, and as I have expressed a like opinion, Dr. Jones and Mr. Gage have not used these words in a logical clear way, not in their speech and not in their research papers. They have been so vague and unclear so as to be confusing, and I think deliberately confusing.
That “melting of metal and weld” that went on during the cutting that you describe does not seem to incorporate the concept of “explosives or explosions.”

 

Thoth, you seem to be glossing over this "explosives with thermate" matter.


I also find it difficult to see how the melting and cutting stops without displacing the two parts that have been cut apart, in many many sites throughout the building. The two parts at each site just stay so nondisplaced, and I guess perfectly level cut,  that the entire huge building is standing upright during the 50 minutes.


The only thing that looked like “explosions” to me was those nukes going off and those big chunks of material flying out the sides of the building, though I must confess that I never really conceptualized the bigness of those “sticks” flying out of the building because they looked rather small in proportion to the building which was rapidly fading from sight because of the clouds.
But again this thread and Dr. Hightower’s paper want to zero in on Dr. Jones’ research and findings.


When discussing these matters in terms of conjectures regarding steps and sequences and functions, as I think they should be, I still am properly confused by the question “How Indeed Can Nanothermite be Explosive.”

 



Shallel Octavia said:

 

"Chuck B is doing the detailed research of course."

 

 

How can a temperature of millions of degrees not be visible? Can I get an answer?

 

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