Damage Control

Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
When the water pressure outside is 30 psi and backed up by the weight of the whole of the Atlantic Ocean, and with an initial ingress rate of up to 1200 tons per minute, you do not and cannot just "seal" gashes. it doesn't happen. Especially when the openings in the hull are spread out over five compartments.
 
mitfrc

mitfrc

Member
And watertightness in a coal-fired, riveted ship is dubious at best. Ask HMS Audacious and her top of the line Royal Navy damage fit. Andrews did save a lot of lives; the lack of a longitudinal engine room bulkhead (and longitudinal bulkheads in general) meant Titanic performed better than a Royal Navy warship of the same era.
 
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PeterChappell

Member
When the water pressure outside is 30 psi and backed up by the weight of the whole of the Atlantic Ocean, and with an initial ingress rate of up to 1200 tons per minute, you do not and cannot just "seal" gashes.

Michael

I'm not sure where 30 psi comes from. Measuring off from this diagram, the depth of the gash in boiler room 6 was around 26.8 feet from the water line, this would translate to 11.9 psi. It would increase very slightly soon after collision until the water inside reached over the gash, then the pressure would decrease, until around an hour after the collision as the difference in height of water between the outside and inside, and the net flooding rate (water in - pumped out) reached a minimum. It would then start to increase again as the gash plunged in faster than water rose on the inside of it.

It's probably the pressure difference about an hour after the collision we are most interested in because it would probably taken anyone that long to put something over the gash. Since the gashes are long but thin, perhaps a few inches wide, they should be in principle far more sealable than a circular hole of the same area. However, only the height of the gash in boiler room 6 could have been guessed based on the reports of men who were in there and the continued breach into BR5. Fothering the other gashes was probably beyond that of even a trained damage control crew.

With regards to the flow, based on the increasing height of the water inside the ship, it seems to have reduced to less than 100 tons per minute around an hour after the collision, before it increased again. This 'weight of the whole Atlantic' is rather irrelevant, it's the same pressure for any given difference in height of water, whether it's a lake, a test tank, or the Atlantic.

I'm sure there are plenty of good reasons it wasn't done due to a lack of collision mats and a focus on evacuating passengers, but those are the figures. Others who have claimed it was impossible to cover all of that part of the ship is a straw man argument, since the main battle would have been stopping a breach in one of extra compartments of a narrow strip, and to slow the flooding rather than stopping it altogether.

The point is any damage control in excess of what was done would have considerably increased the sinking time if applied before the time of minimum flooding, about 1 hour after the collision.
 
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Kiku

Member
:D :D About that "theory":

Yes, Cameron is correct--sort of. Steaming backwards may have reduced the ingress of water somewhat, and was certainly better than the actual decision to begin making way again after the collision. Now having said that, would steaming backwards have saved the ship? Absolutely not. Would it have bought Titanic the time it needed for help to arrive? Nope.

And good luck trying to launch lifeboats from a ship traveling at any speed forward or backwards. It could be done, but not safely...
Titanic's then second officer Charles Lightoller actually did this with a warship under his command... I believe he rammed a submarine and then because he was doubtful about the integrity of the collision bulkhead, decided to sail all the way astern to port.
 
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