Metallographic Examination of Heavily Eroded Structural Steel from World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2 and 7

George F. Vander Voort, Ronald R. Biederman, Rick Sisson and Erin Sullivan
Buehler Ltd, Lake Bluff, Illinois USA

December 14, 2004 5:30 PM


The collapse of the World Trade Center buildings after the September 11, 2001 attach was unexpected, sudden and dramatic. The attack destroy buildings 1 and 2, each hit by a Boeing 767 (each ~200 ton, at ~300 mph, carrying ~60,000 pounds of jet fuel), and also building 7, which housed the fuel oil for heating the center. During the subsequent clean up of the site, several severely eroded structural steel beams were observed and saved for examination. They were made from A 36 structural steel and from Cu-strengthened HSLA steel. These beams, about 12 mm thick originally, were eroded to perforation.

The talk will describe the microstructural features observed in specimens of A 36 and the HSLA beams from these buildings, particularly building 7.

Speaker's Biography

George Vander Voort, Director of Research and Technology for Buehler Ltd., is a graduate of Drexel University and Lehigh University with a background in metallurgy and materials science and 29 years experience in the specialty steel industry. A past president of the International Metallographic Society and past chairman of ASTM Committee E-4 on Metallography.

George has six patents and nearly 200 publications including:

  1. Metallography: Principles and Practice (McGraw-Hill, 1984; ASMI, 1999)
  2. ASM video course, Principles of Metallography.

He is currently serving as a trustee for ASM International. He is also associate editor of Materials Characterization and on the editorial board of Practical Metallography

He is a member of ASM International, IMS, ASTM, TMS, RMS, ISS, MSA, DGM, MSSA, PSM, I&AS, and the State Microscopy Society of Illinois. George is a fellow of ASMI and ASTM and has 26 awards for his microscopy work including the Jacquet-Lucas Grand Prize and the Dubose-Crouse Award of the International Metallographic Contest.


La Mirage
3223 Algonquin Rd.
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008


Executive Committee Meeting: 4:30 till 5:30 PM
Hospitality Hour: 5:30 till 6:30 PM|
Dinner: 6:30 till 7:30 PM
Presentation following dinner

Dinner and Price

ASM Members and Guests: $20.00 for RSVP by Friday, December 10, 2004. $25.00 for RSVP after this date or for walk-ins. Yearly pass holders must also RSVP by Friday, December 10, 2004 or pay $5.00 at the door for late or no RSVP.

Students: $5.00.

Reservations can be made online at or by calling 847-855-4540