Rosie O'Donnell unleashed another string of idiotic statements on The View, the other day. Among them was this gem, regarding the collapse of World Trade No. 7,
I do believe that is the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. ...World Trader [sic] 1 and 2 got hit by planes, 7 - miraculously - the first time in history - steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible.
Since Rosie is so fond of Googling (e.g., "Gulf of Tonkin. Google it.") she should try Googling the words steel beams melted over wood beams. If she did, she'd find a link which produces the following photo and chart (credit - Softwood Export Council):
The caption for the photo is: "Steel beams have melted and collapsed over charred timber beam, which, despite heavy damage, remains in place." Note that the wood beam, while badly charred, retains enough structural integrity to support the deformed steel beams.
From the Softwood Export Council website,
"When exposed to fire wood retains its strength for a longer period of time than metal. Unprotected metals quickly lose their strength and collapse suddenly, often with little warning. In contrast, wood loses strength slowly and only as material is lost through surface charring.
Average building fire temperatures range from approximately 700º to 900º Celsius. Steel weakens dramatically as its temperature climbs above 230ºC, retaining only 10% of its strength at about 750ºC."
From the Wikipedia entry for structural steel:
As the critical temperature for steel is around 540°C..., and design basis fires reach this temperature within a few minutes, structural steel requires external insulation in order to prevent the steel from absorbing enough energy to reach this temperature. First, steel expands, when heated, and once enough energy has been absorbed, it softens and loses its structural integrity. (emphasis added).
Also, Rosie is obviously ignorant of Sherman's neckties,
Named after William Tecumseh Sherman, a Union Army general, Sherman's neckties were railway rails destroyed by heating them until they were malleable and twisting them into loops resembling neckties, often around trees. (emphasis added)
And I guess Rosie has never heard of the fine art of blacksmithing, which requires heating the iron or steel in order to shape it.
And... well, you get the picture.