Cutting into the hull

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Dave Tuttle

Guest
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Interesting isn't it? The vast increase in corrosion has been in the last ten years. And, coincidentally, the biggest volume of traffic to the wreck (salvage, documentaries, feature films, and paying tourists) have also been over the last ten years. During all this, surface landings, prop wash, and salvage activity continue to clear away rusticles, silt, and marine life---exposing more bare area to the sea. Why the wonder?
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Dave Tuttle
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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They should start setting up rules regulating visits and expeditions to the wreck - especially salvage!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Why the wonder? <<

Because it may be confusing cause and effect perhaps???

For what it's worth...and considering that Tim Foecke is a trained metalurgist...his remarks made on 10 August 2003 in the "What's Next For The Wreck" thread are worth giving some hard thought to;
quote:

In the respect that a microbiologist, an archeologist, and a naval officer are giving opinions regarding the collapse of the wreck, and that it has nothing new in the story.

Yes, the wreck is collapsing, and once all the members reach a certain slenderness, there will be an exponential increase in gross collapse events. Then things will calm down after the next 25-40 years after most of the potential energy is gone with collapsing, and the debris pile will slowly rust into iron ore over the next century or so.

Roy says that he sees lots more rusticles, and claims it is rusting at 600 pounds per day. Heck, if you just take the likely surface area of the steel that is exposed to sea water, and use the textbook corrosion rate of mild steel in sea water (o.1 mils per day), you get about 1000 lbs per day. Nothing new here. And Roy has never proven that the corrosion rate is increasing, that the bacteria concentration is increasing, or that they are eating the ship. Rusticles form and fall off all the time. Thats where you get the floc piles along the sides of the hull. He has no way of knowing, from 3 glimpses over 7 years, whether his data means anything or not.

The ship is progressing into oblivion in just the way that a metallurgist and mechanical engineer would tell you it would.

The only thing of interest in the article was the observation of all the beer bottles from one of the RMSTI's officer's son's band on one of the expeditions. Glad someone finally pointed it out, even if he didn't get the source right.
The time frame in the year when the wreck can be accessed is a rather small one because of the natural (Read that to mean downright vicious!) conditions on the North Atlantic, so it's quite a stretch to say that the visits and the exploration have much of anything to do with the acceleration of decay in the wreck. That's not to say that continued molestation of the wreck isn't a factor but if it is, it would seem to be a bit player in the drama. A drama where Mother Nature is...as usual...having the last laugh.

I'm hoping Tim will speak up and add some more to this. His is one of the few voices amid all the press hysteria that is one who actually knows what he's talking about. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be getting much of a hearing.​
 
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Kathy A. Miles

Guest
As much as I despise every salvager who's been to the wreck, I can't blame them for the rate of decay. I'm also just as sure they haven't helped. But the idea with the microbes (which I do feel there is solid evidence for) is that initially they had just the smooth side of the plates on the ship to munch on. But when they eat pits and dig in horizontally - they increase the available surface area and so can increase the amount they eat a day. That has nothing to do with salvage or other expeditions to the wreck.

As for those beer bottles - how like RMSTI, is all I can say.

Cheers,
Kathy
 
Jan 29, 2001
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And so too where is there scientific fact that the submersible visits to the wreck have hastened
the decompostion of the wreck?

Michael A. Cundiff
USA
 
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Dave Tuttle

Guest
How about just PRACTICAL evidence, for a start? Go back to even the earliest expeditions: Ballard, Pellegrino, IFREMER, etc. Read early accounts and logs as to silt clouds, detached rusticles, snagged cables of ROVs, and choosing alternate landing sites for submersibles due to shifting and lack of stability felt during landings. And all this before salvaging even began!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>How about just PRACTICAL evidence, for a start? <<

How about it? Can anyone show that this is anything more then a bit player in the drama? The ship is not resting in a preservative solution, she's resting in an environment known to be acidic and in a briny solution known as salt water. This is far from kind to steel plates and frames. We can see the same thing happening to the remains of the Hood and the Bismarck. While the corrosion is not as advanced in the here and now, I wonder if they'll look much better after they've been underwater for 92 years. Smart money is that they won't.

>>And so too where is there scientific fact that the submersible visits to the wreck have hastened
the decompostion of the wreck?<<

And in fairness to Dave, where is the evidence that it hasn't? We seem to be wallowing in a surplus of opinion, but there seems to be a distinct shortage of facts out there. However, the only metallurgist who's spoken publicly on this forum doesn't put too much stock in a lot of the hooplah and he has the training and prectical experience to know what he's talking about. (If anyone else here can say the same, I would welcome their insights.) If Tim's of the opinion that it's nature taking it's course, I'm inclined to go with it unless somebody can show hard and verifiable data which positively and unmistakably links cause and effect.

As always, you're results may vary....(Not a member of the FDIC!)
 

Jeremy Lee

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What can the submersibles do to hasten the speed of corrosion?

Do they discharge toxic or acidic fumes into the water near the wreck?

Its definately Nature.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>What can the submersibles do to hasten the speed of corrosion?<<

In and of themselves, probably not a whole helluva lot. Since these things are powered by high capacity batteries, they don't produce emissions of any kind either.
 
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Dave Tuttle

Guest
> They uncover vast amounts of surface area to the sea by blowing away the protective layers of silt with their propwash. They weaken already questionable surfaces with their weight. And, don't even get me started about the stupidity of trying to scrape clean the side, wiping away the layers of barnacles and/or rusticles in an attempt to reveal the name Titanic on the port side of the bow (early expedition).

Dave Tuttle
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>They uncover vast amounts of surface area to the sea by blowing away the protective layers of silt with their propwash. They weaken already questionable surfaces with their weight.<<

But to any signifigent degree in the grand scheme of things???? If somebody has some hard scientific data to support that, I'd welcome the opportunity to read it.
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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>>They weaken already questionable surfaces with their weight<<

Do the submersibles of the recent expeditions still land on Titanic's decks?

>>And, don't even get me started about the stupidity of trying to scrape clean the side, wiping away the layers of barnacles and/or rusticles in an attempt to reveal the name Titanic on the port side of the bow<<

Only one stupid attempt at it, and I think nobody is so stupid to try it today.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Only one stupid attempt at it, and I think nobody is so stupid to try it today.<<

I wouldn't count on that, Jeremy...but if somebody is that dumb, it's a good bet that Charles Darwin will end up having the last laugh!
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Jeremy Lee

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About the name of the ship, I remember reading from somewhere that because Harland and Wolff etched the names of the ships too thinly on the bows, and that was why on both the Titanic and Britannic wreck, the name wasn't found on the bow.

Perhaps John Brown & Co did a better job with the names. At least Lusitania's is still visible on the wreck although the wreck is in worse shape.
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Dec 2, 2000
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I don't know about the Titanic, but I really doubt the way the name was etched has anything to do with why the lettering is not visible on the Britannic. Anything not resting in the mud is thoroughly covered with barnacles. That would include the ship's name.
 
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Dave Tuttle

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> That, plus the fact that Britannic is only at a little over 300 feet. The increased oxygen level would mean that even under the barnacle layers, surface areas are probably much less pristine than Titanic.

Dave Tuttle
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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But the wreck isn't as smashed up and I don't think it is disintegrating as fast as the Titanic.

Has the rate of iron-eating microbes been determined on the Britannic, or are there none at all?