California Fires in Napa Valley: What twisted the steel?

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Comment submitted to SOTN

Hey folks.  I have a comment about the video presented under the title in the subject line.  I spent some time working for a national lab, which included running the vacuum brazing lab.  I brazed copper to stainless and other materials and know for a fact that steel goes through a phase transformation right around 750-850 deg C (1382-1562 deg F).  When brazing steel (using pure copper is preferred) you stay away form this area, meaning the filler material should be liquidus at a temp above or below the phase transformation range.  Also anyone who has done heat shrinking body work on cars (me) can also attest to the nature of how steel moves in relation to heat.  See the coefficient of thermal expansion chart below that I used on a regular basis and note the 1018 steel line and how it grows with temperature then suddenly shrinks despite the increasing temp!

Much of the phenomenon in this horrible fire can be explained by basic physics but I will admit the wind storm that came out of nowhere then disappeared into nowhere was rather odd.  I live about 80 miles from Santa Rosa and experienced severe winds that night, which for me has happened many times over the years and no fire resulted that I was aware of.

Anyway, keep up the good work because I don’t fully trust the MSM or politicians! — A.L.

 

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