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A Riveting Return to Titanic

Posted April 28, 2008 8:18 AM

April 2008 marked the 96th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic and the announcement that faulty materials, combined with corporate hubris likely doomed the ship. Evidence gleaned from the shipbuilder's archives suggests that Harland and Wolff faced shortages of quality steel or iron rivets and skilled riveters during construction of Titanic and her two giant sister ships and allowed substandard metallurgical materials in the stern and bow. A better rivet incorporated into the bow may have kept the ship afloat long enough to effect a rescue, contend some scientists. Would use of available, superior iron or steel materials have resulted in a different outcome?

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#1

Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

04/28/2008 8:53 AM

And there's me thinking that running into an Iceberg was the problem .

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#2

Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

04/28/2008 1:34 PM

It depends first on where the hull was torn initially.

For example, upon impact did the tear run along a riveted joint, or just slice through the plate steel like a knife through butter?

After HMS Titanic took on water, and began to lisp, at some point the vessel buckled and sank. Is it likely that had higher quality rivets been used and installed, that the vessel might not have buckled? I believe not. Rather, that the design did not anticipate the ship loaded in such fashion.

Perhaps a stronger rivet may have bought 10 minutes added time before breaking apart.

Unfortunately, Carpathian was still too far away and the Captain did not navigate correctly to the scene so it may not have made any difference in lives saved.

Probably could have used a few sea trials before embarking on the maiden vogage.

As Del said, dogging the icebergs wasn't such a good idea. They should never have sailed this course and did so only for bragging rights as this course was shorter.

Carpathian was well to the south where Titanic belonged in April.

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#3
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

04/28/2008 1:48 PM

After HMS Titanic took on water, and began to lisp
mmm I did't know th' Titanic Lithped I thought It jutht hit the Ithberg and thlipped under the thea

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#7
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

04/29/2008 11:47 AM

You may set a well-deserved record for sinking threads - I just gave you your 8th OT vote...

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#8
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

04/29/2008 12:51 PM

nah.. I think my best OT is 11

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#12
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

05/01/2008 6:11 PM

Ain't you just the cat's meow?!?

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#4

Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

04/28/2008 6:44 PM

I always wondered why the captain after his realization that the ship was going to go down he did not try to ground it on the same iceberg.

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#5

Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

04/29/2008 10:21 AM

I remember a program (History Channel?) where a plate from the hull was retrieved and tested. It turned out the transition temperature, where the material changes from ductile to brittle, was very high, in the lower 40's F. As a result, not only were the rivets a problem, but the hull was too brittle to bend. Instead, it shattered. This was not a matter of faulty material, by the way. 1912 metallurgy was not aware of transition temperature.

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#19
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

05/16/2008 9:15 AM

OHHH Brotherrrrrr! So that mean that by 2012 it will be it 100 Aniversary then. Holy Lord-Jesus- I dont know then. You know so much stuff pointing out at 2012 year and with such other many incidences all over the place now, I dont Knoowwww... Anyway better not to find out then. Or better yet the true will come out victoriously ahead.

Allset hanging in there and wait for the -BEST- he'll fix it up eventually down the road. We better be in good standing by then enjoying the ride. Really it just sounds like make good sense to me too. Lord have the tools. It just make good sense definetly. Nice data you buddys bring it up now. Alrigth I get to leave now see ya' later then and nice day all.

Hasta la Vis...,

MC

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#20
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

05/17/2008 2:28 AM

∫∏ยขψ/ //. You may need these settings to add additional computers and devices to your network

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#6

Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

04/29/2008 11:03 AM

I read some time ago, after the recovery of some steel from the Titanic, that metallurgical analysis showed brittle failure due to the steel strength loss at the low water temperatures. Study was done by steel researchers from a major manufacturer (Bethlehem Steel Co. Homer Research Lab s, I believe). Further it was commented that the now current steels would have prevented the tragedy.


I would assume that most ships built today have some sort of radar system operating to inform them of icebergs.

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#9

Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

04/29/2008 1:36 PM

The only thing that's kind of odd about the "brittle steel" or "bad rivets" mystery is that, so far as I remember, the two "sister" ships, Britannic and Olympic, made dozens if not hundreds of trans-atlantic voyages apiece and remained afloat for several decades with no problems. I think one of them was even converted to a troop ship for WW/2.. ???

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#10
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

04/29/2008 8:27 PM

Yes, I agree but they probably didnt hit any icebergs at full speed either.

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#11
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

05/01/2008 1:27 PM

Well, that's my point - if the steel and/or rivets and/or other construction materials and methods for the Titanic were so bad, then one assumes the sister ships, made at the same time, would also have suffered eventual defects that do not appear to have materialized. So one must then believe that it was NOT so much the rivets or the steel that caused the problem, but the impact with the iceberg. ANY ship, however well built, and with whatever modern materials, probably would not (have) survive such a long, glancing blow below the waterline.

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#13
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

05/01/2008 6:13 PM

Well, I suspect you are right, but I doubt there'll be a rush to test your hypothesis...

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#14

Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

05/08/2008 12:56 AM

If the Titanic had hit the iceberg head on perhaps it may not have sunk at all. The instictive sharp turn to avoid the berg caused it to slam into the ice broadside and the loss of too many of those watertight compartments which made the ship "unsinkable". My guess is that the quality of the rivetting was of little moment in those circumstances. The real mistake was the overconfidence in the ship's unsinkability and faillure to provide enough life boats. And then after it happened why did they not consider off loading passengers on to the floating ice and have an all night party while they waited for the rescue ?

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#15
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

05/08/2008 8:45 AM

"...why did they not consider off loading passengers on to the floating ice and have an all night party..."

I suspect the ship was far, far away by the time they could have thought of that. It takes a looooong time (and distance) to stop any ship (no brakes, y'know, except reverse all engines), and there's no known method of positive control of an iceberg. Besides, it would be a rare floe indeed that would be flat enough to offload any passengers onto even if they had sufficient control over the ship to come alongside. And if that's not enough, remember, it was a dark and stormy night...wait, maybe that was another story...

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#17
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

05/09/2008 12:03 AM

It was not a stormy night. It was so calm that there was no surf against the iceberg. In the story this made it particularly difficult for the lookouts to spot the berg. Many people have in fact wondered at the glass calm of the Atlantic on that fateful day. The engines of the ship were reportedly kept going for a long time after the collision to provide lighting until the final moments.

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#18
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

05/09/2008 8:13 AM

Like I said, that was another story. Yes, the Atlantic is not known for being glassy calm. Part of the reason the Pacific is called that is the fact that it can often BE glassy calm, and by comparison, that is unusual enough for it to be "peaceful" to a sailor. Not in typhoon season, of course... The Titanic disaster had so many contributing causes, it is nearly impossible to assign the greatest importance to any one of them. There were equipment and material failures and inadequacies, bad judgement decisions, unfavorable environmental conditions, plenty to go around twice!

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#16
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

05/08/2008 1:20 PM

A valid point - I've read several items by naval architects that postulate that a head-on collission would PROBABLY not have been damaging enough to sink the Titanic, or at least would have delayed it for several hours. In terms of "unsinkability", it was the local journalists who attached that moniker to the ship, not Harland & Wolff....anything for an angle, you know... And the Lifeboat situation was actually not unique - the British Board of Admiralty only required enough boats for 1/3 of the passengers...on ANY liner...

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#21

Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

08/06/2008 10:49 AM

It is my understanding that the reason two different types of rivets were used is that in the area of the hull with the greatest beam, the rivets were applied by a machine developed for the purpose. This machine apparently made stronger and better attachments than the traditional "manual" method. In the case of the bow, and the forward part of the ship in general, as the beam decreased ,the machine would not fit into the decreasing interior volume. Therefore, it was by necessity that the builders returned to the standard of the time, the "manual" method. To do so, required, apparently, a different metallurgical formula for the rivets, as the machine was capable of deforming stronger rivets than the traditional method. It seems a bit foolhardy to blame rivets in any case. As previously mentioned, sister ships performed just fine for many years. Ships, in general, are not designed to collide with icebergs, and it is probable that any ship of that time, and perhaps even today, could be made to succumb to such a mishap. It would have been a better story if the ship had never struck the iceberg in the first place. What have we learned, if anything, about improvements in ship design from all the time, inquiry, research and opinion spent on this single accident? I am unaware of any design change of significance as a result.

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#22
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

08/06/2008 12:22 PM

this single accident

Accidents happen during unforeseen events. This was no accident. Ice is was expected in April 1912 in this portion of the North Atlantic.

blame rivets

Correct. Don't blame the rivets. It was not their fault.

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#23
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Re: A Riveting Return to Titanic

08/09/2008 5:27 PM

Yeap yeap... Probably due some metal fatigue due extreme low temperatures and some lack of insulation to protect some piping branchs some where down there througth the bottom line in water caused a piece of pipe burst and damaged some other piece of equipment enougth to started a fire somewhere down there, who know's ? Expansion / Contraction / Weigth / Ice / Speed... Holyyy Macaronni!

Other than that I agree they did hit something real hard to make such damaging events to caused so much flooding there. Also I don't know but the movie pointed out that a lot of people were kind of confined down there at the bottom of the ship too, so I assume that didn't help neither the whole thing then, something went wrong for sure, I believe.

Huge Ship,

MC

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