Furthest Right

Coal Melts Steel Beams, Just Like Jet Fuel

It is interesting how unsystematic our world is. That is: things persist until disproven by chance. It is possible that there is a major hole in how we think about engineering steel objects, and that is that temperatures below the melting point of steel can weaken it enough to be dangerous.

As our gentle readers may recall, this was an issue in the World Trade Center collapse. Sex-starved jihadists flew planes loaded with jet fuel into the tower, immolating themselves and dumping a flaming sea of burning kerosene across several floors of the union labor crafted building. At some point, the steel weakened enough that the floors began to collapse one after another, ending up in a heap of rubble on top of NYFD.

Modernity makes us blockheaded because we think in terms of rules, which are binary like light switches, instead of gradients and spectra over time. Thus, in our “wise” brains, if steel has not reached its melting point, it is still steel, which means it has full strength. In reality, which is more nuanced and complex, steel has different properties depending on a number of factors, none of which our designers consider.

It is thus interesting to see the same event at the heart of another historical controversy, this time a century ago:

Mr Malony said: “We are looking at the exact area where the iceberg stuck, and we appear to have a weakness or damage to the hull in that specific place, before she even left Belfast”.

Experts subsequently confirmed these were likely to have been caused by fire damage, as a result of hundred of tonnes of coal catching fire due to “self-heating” in a three-storey-high fuel store behind boiler room six.

Twelve men battled to bring the resulting conflagration under control, but it was still raging days later – as temperatures of between 500 and 1000 degrees Celsius.

Jet fuel cannot melt steel beams. It does not need to for them to fail. In the same way, democracy does not instantly destroy civilization. It just weakens it enough that it collapses on its own, one level on top of the next.

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