Boiler rooms during sinking


Chung Rex

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I have read several articles and books(also some simulations), but none have mentioned except a book, mentioning that the boiler room #4 imploded at 2.

Was the process so chaotic that no observations were made?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>but none have mentioned except a book, mentioning that the boiler room #4 imploded at 2. <<

Imploded? It may have started flooding out by then but "imploded" is a gross exageration.

>>Was the process so chaotic that no observations were made?<<

Anybody in a position to observe something like an implosion is extremely unlikely to get out alive and dead men don't tell tales, all of which makes me wonder what book is making this claim. No primary source does.

If you're thinking about when the spaces simply flooded out, that much was observed, but when it happened, it was slow enough for everybody to see what was happening and they had the good sense not to linger.
 
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Matt Pereira

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Michael, the book Ghosts of the Titanic in the sinking diagrams I belive stated that boiler room #4 imploded.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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quote:

dead men don't tell tales
But some live men and women do. I never accept anything I read in a book or see in a video that does not list the source of their information. And even then, if you go back and check the source you may find a different story than what was told or implied. Titanic is one subject that tends to generate visions and embellishments by authors and producers trying to make a name for themselves or get lots of money out of a project or both. A ripe area for exploitation because the general public doesn't know enough what to believe or not to believe. Worse are those who claim they are trying to dispel some myths and do so by creating new ones. And Titanic is one subject that has generated much of that and will continue to do so.​
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Michael, the book Ghosts of the Titanic in the sinking diagrams I belive stated that boiler room #4 imploded.<<

Maybe but just because somebody made a diagram of it doesn't mean it actually happened. I have no doubt that at some point, the space flooded catastrophically, but that's still a long way from an implosion. It helps to know that this area of the ship is intact.
 
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Matt Pereira

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Michael, I feel that the bulkheads could have partially collasped or gave way as Fred Barret stated which could be explained by the coal bunker door giving away but either way, I dont belive those diagrams I did use them as a branch off point for the flood rate diagram I created but most of it was using the base line flood rate and just using the same flood rate even though flood rate should decrease as the water inside the ship raises.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Michael, I feel that the bulkheads could have partially collasped or gave way as Fred Barret stated which could be explained by the coal bunker door giving away but either way,<<

A small point, Fred Barrett was in Boiler Room Six, not Four. He was in no position to see what was happening in Boiler Room Four. Either way, what you described is not an implosion, which is a much more violent and destructive event.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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quote:

even though flood rate should decrease as the water inside the ship raises
That is correct Matt, as water inside comes up toward the waterline, the flooding rate will decrease. I show this in a graph of flooding rate Vs. height in my article over on the TRMA site called, SOMEWHERE ABOUT 12 SQUARE FEET.

Michael, I believe you meant that Barrett was in BR 5 at the time when he saw that rush of water coming through the passage between the boilers. BR 6 was already lost when that happened. I also believe Barrett thought that he went up the escape at about 1:10, but he was not looking at a clock.​
 

Chung Rex

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The illustration above is fantastic. I tried some calculations about the sinking using Bernoulli’s equation but it failed. It seems that some simplification of calculation is needed.

Flooding a chamber is similar to charging a capacitor or a battery. It is exponential in nature. However, the capacitance of water in the ship is changing all the time, when the ship sinks, and the simplified model should be differential equation.

Also, rooms without watertight doors are similar to capacitors too. That means Titanic is made up of a lot of "capacitors" in series and in parallel.

It is noted that the position of pump may alter the process of sinking. In some case, the pump keep the ship staying afloat for longer time, but not other cases. Also, frictional force when water flows inside the chamber reduces the flooding rate.

The article mentioned about hydraulic force. Inflow of water increases when damaged ship moves forward. Inverse effect should take place if the ship moves backward. If the ship is moved backward at an appropriate speed, the hydraulic force may halt the inflow of water at certain point such that the ship will not sink for a longer time.


p.s. Titanic(1953) claimed that the ship's third boiler room was flooded well before the forward-well deck flooded. As the room was flooded, the interior exploded.

It is quite likely that they are stories only, instead of facts.
 
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Hi! I just pass to this interesting conversation! Yes, Barrett was working in No. 6 when the collision took place. Later he worked in No. 5 until something that hold the water back gave way. So far as I saw in the British Inquiry there it was stated that he left at 01:10 a.m. According to Dillon water entered boiler room No. 4 through the plates at around the same time.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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quote:

Titanic(1953) claimed that the ship's third boiler room was flooded well before the forward-well deck flooded. As the room was flooded, the interior exploded.
By 3rd boiler room I assume counting from forward going aft. That would be BR 4. (Boiler rooms, also called sections, were numbered 1 through 6 with No. 6 the most forward of the bunch.)

What we know is that water was seen coming up through the stokehold plates (the floor) at the forward end before the room was abandoned. From other evidence, most of the boiler rooms were abandoned by 1:20 when the remaining firemen and trimmers were sent up with the possible exception of No. 2 which was feeding the electric generators and the pumps. There is zero evidence that any explosions or implosions took place in any of the boiler rooms. The wreck site was discovered years after that movie was made and put to rest many myths.​
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Michael, I believe you meant that Barrett was in BR 5 at the time when he saw that rush of water coming through the passage between the boilers.<<

You may be right. He saw BR#6 tank from the gitgo and went into BR#5 just as you said. However, I know of no evidence that he was in #4 at any time.

>>I also believe Barrett thought that he went up the escape at about 1:10, but he was not looking at a clock.<<

Don't blame him! I'd have more pressing concerns.

>>It is quite likely that they are stories only, instead of facts.<<

That would be my take. Movies seldom get much right. Take a look at the condition of the wreck. If there was an explosion in BR#4, you would think that there would be tell tale evidence of it and that's the problem.

There isn't.

By this time, the fires would almost certainly have been drawn, (and the excess steam had been blown off in any event,) with boiler pressure dropping so the chances of a boiler explosion are essentially nil. Since liners aren't in the habit of keeping high explosives in the mainspaces, that kind of rules out any other potential source for a big BANG!
 
Mar 22, 2003
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>>However, I know of no evidence that he was in #4 at any time.<<

Agree.

>>Since liners aren't in the habit of keeping high explosives in the mainspaces, that kind of rules out any other potential source for a big BANG!<<

But what about the secret antimatter drive hidden in BR 4 which was really used to power the ship since they couldn't get enough coal to put on board to take them to NY and back due to the coal strike? Oh, that must be why Barrett and Hesketh were coming from reserve bunker space in hold 3 into BR 6 when the accident happened. They had nothing better to do but check the reserve supply of antimatter kept up there. :)
 

Steven Hall

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Check the plans again, the antimatter drive was in BR2. The activation switch was on the desk next to the fax machine. LOL.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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You may be right Steve. I noticed the publisher did not allow you to say anything about it in TTSM because it is still considered classified information.
happy.gif
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>But what about the secret antimatter drive hidden in BR 4 which was really used to power the ship since they couldn't get enough coal to put on board to take them to NY and back due to the coal strike? <<

Oh...that??? The Cylons came back in time to reclaim it do they could deal with a rebel faction that allied itself with the Colonial Fleet.

>>it is still considered classified information.<<

Not to worry, you'll find it all in the "Suicide Before Reading" folder.
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Dec 28, 2006
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IMPLODE.
There are references to boiler rooms imploding. These were open at the top and greaser Dillon had reopened the watertight door 3 feet as directed by an engineer from engine room to number 4, in order that the engineers could open the bilge pump manifolds. An air space has to be air/water tight to resist exterior pressure. No implosions.
GORDON.
 

Arun Vajpey

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I would like someone to clarify a point that has confused me for over 20 years. In his book THE NIGHT LIVES ON, Walter Lord mentions that around 01:15 hours some of the crew noticed water coming through the floor of Boiler Room 4, at a time when Boiler Room 5, just forward to it, had not yer completely flooded. Lord reasoned that it could have been due to a separate and hitherto unsuspected damage to the double bottom under Boiler Room 4.

Up to now I had not found any other allusion to that conjecture. But in the excellent new Titanic book ON A SEA OF GLASS by Fitch, Leyton & Wormstedt, there is the following sequence of events:

- Boiler Room 5 has remained relatively dry till around 01:10 hours although the forward bunker had flooded. But around that time Leading Fireman Fred Barrett saw a "terrific rush" of water coming into the boiler room and responded to an order by Engineer Herbert Harvey to leave by climbing the escape hatch. On doing so, Barrett noted that the water was coming along the alleyway from forward. (Presumably, Harvey stayed behind to help his colleague Jonathan Shepherd, who had a broken leg)

- About 5 minutes later, Trimmers Thomas Dillon and George Cavell noticed water starting to come though under the stokehold plates forward in Boiler Room 4. Within a few minutes after that they were ordered to leave their posts and go up to the boat deck.

My question is, where was the water coming into Boiler Room 4 at that time? Was it from Bolier Room 5 or from some other damage?
 
Oct 28, 2000
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My view is that the water in boiler room #4 started entering right from the start. While most of the contact between the berg and the ship was relatively speaking "smooth," there was one big bump. It seems to have come in way of this boiler room. Proof of that comes from trimmer Cavelle's experience being caught in an avalanche of coal as a result. Naval architect Wilding made several comments about this flooding. He suggested that it started later and that the damage may have been staunched by a plug of ice. I doubt that. My view is that the damage was relatively slight and the ingress went unnoticed until almost an hour after impact when the downward tilt of the bow brought the level above the stoker plates at the forward end of the compartment.

There is no way to be sure, but I believe flooding in #4 made itself known some time before boiler room #5 flooded. This is based on Cavelle's testimony about being sent for lamps during the boiler room blackout. He returned with them only to find the electric lights had come back on. His next assignment was to begin drawing fires from under the boilers in BR #4. Meanwhile, Dillon was working his way forward with a party of men opening the watertight doors between the boiler rooms. It was Dillon who seems to have become aware of the water first. That happened just after he was told not to open the door to boiler room #5.

Not opening the watertight door in bulkhead F between boiler rooms #4 and #5 should not be construed as indicating that #5 had flooding. Rather it was good damage control practice. By keeping boiler room #5 sealed at both ends, it could work as a sort of coffer dam between the flooding and the rest of the engineering spaces. If something should happen...as it did with Barrett's "rush" of water...then, boiler room #5 would slow or prevent the catastrophic loss of the ship.

In any case, openings in F deck played no role. As late as when Barrett escaped from boiler room #5 he testified with absolute clarity that water was not overtopping bulkhead E between boiler rooms #5 and #6. If the water had not gotten that far, it certainly could not have been getting into boiler room #4 farther aft.

-- David G. Brown
 

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