For twenty years, so-called “skeptics” have denied that thermetic material could have been used in the demolition of the World Trade Center Towers. Here is a patent application by the Secretary of the US Army for a thermite demolition device capable of heating material up to 3,000 degrees Celsius.
The patent application simply shows that such technology has been available at least since 1996, and that something in the family of this device is exactly what could have been used to destroy the World Trade Center, and cause the “molten steel” observed by countless people.
The effects of such extreme heat match the physical evidence and observation on 9/11.
See here for pictures of the fused steel nicknamed “the meteor.”
Thermite destructive device
Feb 23, 1996 – The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army
A destructive device containing a thermite-type composition having a core burning configuration. The device comprises a housing having a top, a bottom, and a thermally insulated liner to maximize the thermal effectiveness of an ignition. The bottom has a circumferential skirt and defines one orifice therein for directing the expulsion of the thermite-type-composition upon ignition, the top has vents which together with the bottom orifice and skirt balance the escape of gas and prevent the device from moving during ignition.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to destructive devices using thermite reactions and in particular concerns improved means of utilizing such reactions in the destruction of metallic targets.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
For unconventional warfare activities requiring the destruction of machinery and metallic structures, an operational need exists for a device of such simple construction that the user has only to place it in position, start his time delay, and leave. From a tactical standpoint, high heat flux materials such as thermite have the greater advantage of silence; in contrast, high explosives would, without fail, arouse attention in the vicinity of the target area. From an operational and logistic standpoint, a device that is smaller and lighter is a must to assist in lightening the load carried by the soldier and to reduce the number of resupply missions.
The methods and apparatus of this invention are useful in a variety of sabotage or other applications including, but not limited to, the destruction of metallic targets by cutting through the casing steel (up to 1 inch thick with 0.75 pound payload) and fusing the components contained therein, for example, gears, pistons, or shafts with a stream of molten iron at 4500.degree. F. It has unlimited uses for attacking and destroying transformers, generators, electric motors, engine blocks, gun barrels, breech blocks, and mines. Storage tanks or drums can be cut through, causing the contents to flow out. If the liquid is flammable a fire and deflagration will result.
Thermite, one of the most common pyrotechnic incendiary agents, is essentially a mixture of powdered ferric oxide and powdered or granular aluminum. When raised to its ignition temperature an intense reaction occurs whereby the oxygen in the ferric oxide is transferred to the aluminum, producing molten iron, aluminum oxide, and releasing 750 kilocalories per gram. A standard thermite reaction is shown as follows:
8 Al+3 Fe.sub.3 O.sub.4 .fwdarw. 4 Al.sub.2 O.sub.3 +9 Fe
This exothermic reaction may produce a temperature of about 3000.degree. C. under favorable conditions. The white-hot molten iron and slag may itself prolong and extend the heating and incendiary action.
Other types of thermite mixtures containing metals and the oxides of other metals other than iron oxide are known: aluminum/manganese oxide (4 Al+3 MnO.sub.2); aluminum/chromium oxide (2 Al+Cr.sub.2 O.sub.3) and others. Aluminum/iron oxide mixtures (8 Al+3 Fe.sub.3 O.sub.4) have proved to be the most effective incendiary composition for destruction of steel targets because superheated liquid products are formed by the reaction. These molten products affect a high rate of conductive heat transfer to the steel target and, therefore, cause destruction of the target. Any combination metal/metal oxide capable of high rates of conductive heat transfer can be used in the present invention.
However, because of the great difficulty in igniting aluminum/iron oxide mixtures and the almost complete absence of gaseous reaction products, which causes flameless burning and a small radius of action of the hot thermite, aluminum/iron oxide is not used alone as an incendiary mixture. It is used in multicomponent thermite incendiary compositions, in which another oxidizer and binder are together included. THERMATE-TH3, a mixture of aluminum and iron oxide and other pyrotechnic additives, was found to be superior to aluminum and iron oxide alone and was adopted for use in incendiary hand grenades. Its composition by weight is aluminum/iron oxide 68.7%, barium nitrate 29.0%, sulfur 2.0% and binder 0.3%. The addition of barium nitrate increases the thermal effects, creates flame in burning and reduces the ignition temperature.
Prior to the development of this invention, no incendiary grenade or device, utilizing a thermite charge less than or equal to 0.75 pound in weight, was capable of penetrating 1 inch thick steel plate with a container less than or equal to three-quarters the size of the AN-M14 TH3 incendiary hand grenade. The M14 grenade is generally cylindrical in shape with a 2.5 inch diameter by 4.5 inch height.