Scientists at Caltech have developed a new type of polymer that prevents fuel from misting during an explosion. The breakthrough could decrease the amount of damage caused by industrial accidents and terrorist attacks.
Had the new polymers been added to the fuel of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, the Twin Towers might have survived the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
When members of al-Qaeda flew a pair of jumbo jets into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the engines and fuel tanks exploded upon contact, spitting out a fiery mist of fuel. The ignited mist blew out hundreds of window, increasing the flow of oxygen to the resulting fire. The explosion also damaged concrete reinforcements and stripped away a protective coating from the buildings’ steel beams.
The misting effect amplified the damage caused by the two crashes.