For the past two years, Purdue University in Indianapolis has conducted a study to create a 3-D computer animation sequence to provide a visual contacts to the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11. The National Science Foundation has help to fund the study, and the two are hoping that the simulation will aid in giving them ideas as to how to build a better supported building that can potentially survive such an impact. This would be especially helpful since it has been determined that it was the planes themselves that caused the towers to collapse.

Researchers have found that the impact from the hijacked airplanes stripped away crucial fireproofing material that weakened the towers enough to cause them to collapse under their own weight. The sequence begins with a map of lower Manhattan as it appeared on the day of the attacks. It then shows a plane hitting the World Trade Center’s north tower and follows the plane through the interior and out the opposite side. A flood of flaming liquid knocked out several structural columns within the building and removed the fireproof insulation from other supports. The metal on the plain peeled away on impact, and titanium jet engine shafts flew through the building like bullets.

It is not the steel or the design of the towers that this study credits for causing the collapse. It is instead the fireproofing damage that is to blame. They hope that if the columns were distributed, they might have been able to withstand the fire. Hopefully, the buildings’ replacement will incorporate this newfound information into it.

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