Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 429169, 9 pages
Research Article

Collapse Scenarios of High-Rise Buildings Using Plastic Limit Analysis

1Singapore-MIT Alliance, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore 117576
2Civil Engineering College, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001, China
3Department of Building Services Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

Received 21 August 2008; Revised 23 January 2009; Accepted 15 May 2009

Academic Editor: Ser Quek

Copyright © 2009 G. Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York, USA collapsed on 11 September, 2001. The incident is regarded as the most severe disaster for high-rise buildings in history. Investigations into the collapse scenarios are still being conducted. Possible collapse scenarios assessed by local and international experts were reported. Another possible collapse scenario of the WTC based on two hypotheses was proposed in this paper, and the idea of plastic limit analysis was applied to evaluate the approximate limit load. According to the theory analysis and numerical calculations, a conclusion can be drawn that the large fires, aroused by the terrorist attack, play a significant role on the collapse of the WTC.