Stress Fracture Possibility Or Not


Erik Wood

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Good Morning all,

As you can all imagine I am rather happy to have this conversation into a private forum. Well we all know what I think but for the sake of having all of the information into one place I am going to restate my views and I hope that you all get here within the day to tell me that I am on crack.

The Time of Damage to the Ship and Reasoning for the Even Keel Flooding:

1. The time of damage has been thrown around alot as of late but I am convinced that the majority of both bottom damage and side damage occured as the rounding manuver began to take effect. Here is why:

We know that for the most part the bow cleared and the rounding order was given and was accomplished. Now here is where some large liner ship driving comes into play (which luckily for me I have). It is also important to remeber that the ship has now stopped her engines. She is no longer making way on her own power but is still moving forward because of her mass and her momentum from the 22 knots she was doing just previous. No because of two things I believe she not really turning to starboard as we think of turning to starboard she was moving to starboard meaning this:

Because she has lost her forward power she no longer has a driving force moving her, her wheel was just in the oppisite direction and the order was given and carried out to shift the rudder. The ship has now stopped the swing but her stern because of the power that was driving her faintail is still having some tork applied to pushing the stern to starboard. So she is in reality moving sideways (I believe) at impact.

No the rudder begins to take a deeper bite into the water the bow starts to swing more obviously and then the bow comes up onto the ice shelf as reported by Lookout Lee. Now this fact right here. That he reports the bow coming up. Then not 7 minutes later Smith seeing the list to Starboard could be this:

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">That power still wanting to drive the stern to the right is now being forced to stop because the bow is being pushed up and to the right. The stern is desperatly trying to go left but can't because for the most part the bow is now stationary in it's turn. Causing mass amounts of pressure in three places:

a. In the middle of the reciportacting engine room behind funnel 3 and in front of funnel 4.

b. Just behind the iceberg. Just behind where the hull is on the berg and right in front of where it is off the berg.

c. To the point nearest the center line where the hull is on longer on the berg. On the starboard bow area.

Source: Naval Architecture Book 4 page 233

So now we have what I believe to be a stress fracture. Which can cause:

a.Broken seems.
b.Most likely at deck plate level or just below. c.Rivets to pop in high stress areas.
d.The Possibility of the keel breaking. e.Structural weakness as discussed above.

These could be inconsistant. No real pattern. Speratic. Obviously lethal.

Source: Naval Architechture for the non naval architech. Page 146

Now all during this time the ship is till making with forward momentum and all the while is punching holes of about but definitly not limited to 12 feet of broadside damage. Plus the underbelly damage as discussed in the Abandon Ship Thread.

The extent of damage and where. The progression of flooding.

1. I believe that because of this stress fracture she was broken just forward of cargo hold 2. Just beneath the hatch. She received inconsistant flooding which oddly enough allowed her to sink on a more even keel.

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">On of the things that bother me most is the thought that the broad side damage showed in the list, yet did not result in a role over. Which according to my brief yet ever growing research on the any other ships breaking apart while sinking. Ships of Titanics look and built. The Lustitania sufferend major side damage yet for some reason rolled over. If we are to believe that Titanics 2 cargo holds flooded uncontrollalbly then by physics the ship should have rolled to one side or at the the least made the list more obvious. The Britanic and the Andrea Doria did the same thing. Battle ships same thing. How and why didn't Titanics list become more hard to keep if she suffered that much side damage?

I believe that the flooding in the cargo holds was limited. Was not what we all think and since we (to my limited knowledge) have no real record of anyone saying that is was uncontrolled we are assuming that because the mail room flooded. Lets look at that:

a. The room below the mail room is divided into two different compartments. The mail room and to port the 1st and 2nd class baggage. In front of that we have the cargo holds. Plus reserve coal and some kind of voids. Mr. Standart pointed those out to me and those voids if filled could have given a list of about 2 degrees providing the ones oppisite where empty.

b. The water filled that space broke the door to the 1st class baggage and began to fill that space. Went up the ladder, took the post office then went down the passage ways and back down into cargo hold 2 and 3.

Perhaps the holds recieved some side damage but not enough to cause it to flood rapidly and not enought that spread along the majority of the broadside of the spaces. Enough to start flooding yes I think. We also have to remeber the forepeak is a lost cause. Once the weight of the forepeak plust he weight of the mail rooms, boiler room 6 and possibily the voids is all weighed in. Then we have the well deck flooding which would cause cargo hold one to complete fill evenly.

The air thing I am still researching.

2. The damage in Boiler Room 6 and minor in boiler room 5 is now no doubt broad side damage. Thanks to Cal. However. I still am standing by the theory of the bunker collapsing and not the bulkhead and that the bunker door gave way probably taking some of the wall with it. Everything aft of Cargo Hold 3 I am putting on hold and I am attempting to find out whether I may be on to something here.

So to rap up the hitting of the berg caused stress fractures and because of that the ship began to flood evenly although the damage was spread to both sides of the ship and was speratic. I am currently attempting to dig up some numbers and I am doing some number crunching. However I will be underway for the next 10 days at least so bare with me if my posts are short and less frequent.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Hmmmmmmmm....what we desperately need are some working drawings of the ship to help us with this. In the Abandon Ship thread, Cal mentioned something about the flooding pattern in which the fireman's tunnel acted as a conduit that may have helped even things up after a time. He also mentioned something about some of the bulkheads being non watertight. The longitudenal bulkheads I believe. In any event, we need to know which is which. We also need to know about pipes, and vents and explore how they may have been a factor. The general deckplans we have aren't revealing in this case.

If I have this wrong Cal, please correct me. I don't want to toss any red herrings into this.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Cal Haines

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Hi Guys,

Just checking in here, and I really haven't had time to digest Erik's post. Several quick things:

1) Engine orders: My take is that the engine stop order was rung down about the time of collision, but that the starting platform had some advance warning that they would need to stand by to answer bells. If this is true, the engine order may not have changed the outcome. Might be a good time to review the "Reversing Engines" thread.

2) Bunker Collapse: Erik, the balls in your court. How did that happen? The bunker door has to go first, IMHO. If you disagree, tell me why.

3) Drawings: I have a pretty good collection of plans, including tank top, bulkheads, bunkers and E, F, G deck iron. I don't have Orlop forward and the plans for the bow are not available at this time (can't be copied). I don't think drawings that show the piping details that you are interested in are available. The pipe penetrations would probably not be large contributors to flooding, so that is not a large problem. The major openings in the decks, for coal chutes, ladders, hatches, etc., are on the deck plans.

4) Grounding. I've spent quite a few hours looking at the ship's lines and trying to see if there is any way that a grounding scenario would work. I'm having a real problem with it. Basically, to get from the peak tank back to bulkhead there is just too much change in the shape of the hull and too much vertical change (6 to 8 feet) for true bottom damage to work. Titanic also did not have a true double bottom much forward of BR#6, where the wing tanks end. The tanks forward of bulkhead "D" are pretty small. Don't know how this relates to Erik's theory, but (big surprise) I have some thoughts on it.

5) Suggestion. Morgan Ford is really sharp, I think he would be an asset to this discussion. His e-mail address is ford777@pacbell.net.

Cal
 

Erik Wood

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Cal,

I will drop Mr. Ford a email and see what his thougts are. I really only have a probelm with number 1 and number 4 of Mr. Haines post and I will respond to number 2. I think that it important to remeber a couple of things before getting started on a more hard core form of research. It is important to understand that in the world of ship driving numbers don't mean a thing. Just as projected fuel numbers don't mean a thing. There are all estimates. Different ships act different ways. Some of the information that I am sharing comes from personal experience and my own backround in structural damage to ships. Don't get me wrong numbers are a very important part but just because numbers say one thing doesn't mean that is what happened. I also realize the reverse is true.

1. If the orders hadn't taken effect yet that further prooves my possibility of a stress fracture. The stern is now being pushed by the power of the engines away from the berg yet the bow is hard against something and the stern has no where to go. <FONT COLOR="119911">Since I was laughed at when I suggested the possibility in a earlier post I have decided not to publicall say it. But the engines still making forward way provides a better chance for a stress fracture.

4. That vertical change is described in Lees testimony when he sees the forward section of the bow lift. That in my mind accounts for the vertical lift that would be needed by the contours of the ship.

In a grounding situation the contours of the bottom of the ship have very little to do with actual grounding of the ship. The ship with enough forward momentum (which Titanic had) can and will run onto and up anything. The Morro Castle, QE2, Explorer of the Seas, (unfortunalty for me)Festival, and severl others where there is a noticable difference in the contour of the hull have run themselves up onto the rocks shall rocks mind you in some cases where the ship draws 24 feet the rocks where at 18 feet. That is 6 feet of difference. Now the ship stopped because power was stopped. Titanic had the fortune to push herself off. It wasn't a constant ledge.

2. I am still doing some research. I do believe that side damage may have caused that bunker space to fill. Rather then underbelly damage. The door wasn' desgined to hold that kind of pressure and when she finally could take no more the door just popped off taking some of the wall around it with it. Giving Barret the elusion of a bulkhead collapse.

Also, I have asked Mr. Standart since he has very good knowledge of the ships layout to look at the possiblity of water progression starting from further aft and the cargo holds. See what he comes up with.

Erik
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Since the grounding theory originated with me, I had better come to its defense. It is the shape of the forefoot, its upsweep to the stem, that made possible the "soft" impact on the ice. The shape of the forward end of the hull allowed Titanic to ride onto the underwater ice shelf much like the forward end of a snow ski goes over rough snow.

The simularity of QE-2's grounding of Sow & Pigs cannot be overlooked. Very similar events, very similar descriptions by passengers. In both cases, the ship continued moving and nobody was knocked off their feet.

I also noted that there are reports of damage at the foot of the circular stairway. This damage could not have been done by ice coming in sideways through the side of the ship. But, it would be highly likely if the steel structure beneath the stairway had been displaced upward in a grounding.

Lookout Lee reports that the ship lifted slightly on the starboard side as it slid over the ice.

Finally, we know that the ingress of water was at such a speed that the combined area of the holes was relatively small. Wilding's 12 square feet is generally accepted as being accurate enough for practical purposes. No other mechanism other than a grounding can explain why such small holes were created above the tank top deck by a 22.25 knot impact against an iceberg. Grounding is essentially a "soft" event at any speed. And, because of the tank top deck being a "double bottom," grounding allows for extensive damage to the hull without allowing immediately fatal amounts of water into the ship.

In my original thesis I discounted any side impact against the ice. And, I continue to hold the opinion that side impact was not necessary to create any of the damage reported by eyewitnesses. Some postings by Parks and Erik are weakening my resolve with regard to side impact -- but I remain committed to the idea that the primary mechanism of the accident was a grounding and not a side-on collision.

--David G. Brown
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Erik, and all, I'm going to have to put in quite a bit of skull sweat on this, but I just had a wild thought today, and it might be worth our while to see where it goes in regards the damage done. Specifically, I was wondering if maybe the mailroom filled up faster then the space below it?

Would the structure have enough strength to support the weight, or would flooding below compress air enough to prevent a collapse until the lower space filled up. Also, would that centerline bulkhead have enough strength to at least dam up the water so that we have extra weight on one side? To my knowladge, that door shown in the Eaton&Haas plans between the mailroom and 1st Class baggage is not watertight, so this may be nothing.

I was looking over the cargo loading planogram in the Eaton & Haas Titanic Triumph and Tragedy, page 64-65 and found out about the tankage up forward. The tanks were ballest tanks with the following capacities;

Forepeak; 190 tons.
Number One; 71 tons
Number two; 113 tons
Number three;210 tons

Question, were these tanks actually filled at the time? also, were they distorted or did they have split seams/deckplates so it would be possible for water to well up out of them into the compartments above?

Also, how were these tanks sectioned? With watertight divisions or were these just baffles to prevent surging?

One other thing that just occured to me; could the cargo have shifted on impact with the berg? If so, would that in combination with the flooding be enough to account for the five degree list which weve been kicking around? (The cargo tallied at 559 tons.)

Just my wild thoughts for the day and I may be way off base. I'll likely be back to the drawing board no matter what.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Michael -- all good thoughts in your last post.

Regarding the tanks, they would not have had baffles as such. Rather the transverse frames would have served the purpose. These would either have been built-up or made of sheet steel with lightening holes.

The forepeak was undivided. Tanks beneath the holds were divided into two watertight compartments along the keel. Those beneath the boiler rooms were divided into four compartments.

This is from the BOT hearings. Not many people have looked into the tankage beneath the tank top deck because there are no convenient drawings. Most researchers stop at the tank top, assuming that was the "bottom" of the ship. I believe there is a lot to be learned in the dark space inside those overlooked tanks.

I have suggested privately that BR #5 and #6 may have been "drained" by opening manholes into the tanks. The water in the BR would then have gone down, out of sight. (Of course, that would only have improved stability, not acutally have solved the flooding problem.) However, those tanks must have been rigged with suction intakes and pumps for discharge of the ballast. It would have been quick and easy to use the ballast pumping arrangement to send water overboard. This process of draining water down is something that I have done in the real world.

--David G. Brown
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Hi David, FWIW, I think tankage is something we need to look into. Whether they were filled or not (Possible as the ship was not loaded to her full capacity to begin with), and how damage to the bottom would have affected the effort to contain the flooding.

If, as Erik believes, the strike was hard enough to fracture if not completely break the keel forward, I doubt the hull plating would have fared any better. Also, if I had a tank I thought was flooded solid and open to the sea, I wouldn't be in any hurry to open it and remove all doubt the hard way. With bottom damage, that's what we're looking at. Holes, perhaps some big ones.

Question, were there any sounding tubes available where this could be safely checked? I would think the opening to same would have to be above the waterline. I certainly wouldn't want to open one below the waterline if I suspected uncontrolled flooding.

Your thoughts?

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Cal Haines

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Ballast Tanks

The double bottom had three major longitudinal watertight boundaries. The first was the vertical keel plate, which was watertight for most of its length. This divided the double bottom into two halves. The other two boundaries were the vertical margin plates, nominally 30 feet on either side of the keel, but tapering at the ends. If you look at Titanic and Her Sisters, Olympic and Britannic, page 94, you can see the margin plate coming in from the lower left corner of the frame. The spaces between the margin plates and the keel plate formed the major compartments of the double bottom. Aft of bulkhead "D" there were wing tanks athwart the margin plates. In the photo mentioned, you can see the wing floors in place, the floors appear to stop at about bulkhead "D". (As in interesting aside, for some reason they stopped work on the forward double bottom of Olympic at this stage for about a month and started on the aft framing.) From the photo you can see how much smaller the wing tanks were.

There were watertight floors under each watertight bulkhead, dividing it laterally, so that each boiler room had 4 tanks under it. The peak tank had no double bottom. The first forward tank had only one compartment--there were holes in the keel plate to allow water through. You can see similar holes in the photo of the after end of the keel plate on page 95 of T&HSO&B. Even thought there were wing floors between bulkheads A & D, they did not have tanks in them. The tank top plating appears to have had a 2 slot in it athwart the margin plate in holds 2 and 3. This is odd, since #3 was a reserve coal bunker.

So to summarize:
forward of bulkhead A - peak tank, but no double bottom tank
bulkhead A to B - 1 tank
bulkhead B to C - 2 tanks, one on either side of the keel
bulkhead C to D - 2 tanks, one on either side of the keel
aft of bulkhead D - 4 tanks, one large tank and one wing tank on either side of the keel
(I haven't looked at the setup in the stern)​
As to ballast lines being useful for controlling flooding, doubtful. The only drawings that I have seen that show the piping is in the reciprocating engine room and the pipes are quite small compared to the 10" ballast main. (By the way, Morgan reminded me that the doubling of the ballast mains began forward of BR#5, not BR#6 as I had previously said.) From somewhere I recall that, on most ships, trimming ballast tanks took quite a bit of time (hours) to accomplish, probably due to the size of pipes. In any event, someone would have to go line up all the right valves to be able to pump a particular tank.

I'm 90% sure the starboard ballast tanks forward would be flooded to compensate for the coal removed from the bunker in BR#5.

I want to say that the forepeak tank was fresh water, not ballast, but I can't prove it. There is a suggestion in the Mersey report that boiler feed water was stored in each boiler room. I don't know if that would be in the big tanks or in the wing tanks. It makes sense that they would have feedwater in each boiler room--if something happened to the supply from the engine room they would need to be able to switch to reserve feedwater quickly and could not afford to take any chances with its availability.

Grounding

I know zip about grounding (unless we are talking about the electrical kind). Of the grounding incidents you cite, which were on rocks and which on soft bottom? I would think that there is a real limit to how far you could lift the bow of the ship before you will punch through the bottom. Won't grounding on rock rip out the side or bottom unless the top of the rock is pretty close to the draft of the vessel?

One thing that I noted while studying the lines drawing is that side damage 9 to 12 feet above the keel (which is right for Barrett's testimony) will do the whole job of damaging everything from the forepeak tank to bulkhead "E". One thing that is of particular note is that the 9 and 12 foot waterplane lines form and almost straight line for the entire length of the damage and the angle of the side does not change dramatically.

I am not suggesting that some damage did not occur to the bottom tanks, I just think that there is not way to prove it based on the available information. To me, side damage is the more simple explanation. True bottom damage requires a much more complicated set of damage, requiring that both the bottom plating and the tank-top plating fail.

The forward bulkhead at the base of the spiral stair is bulkhead "B". Side damage to "B" could as easily explain the flooding there as would damage to the double bottom. Don't forget, there is no wing tank at the turn of the bilge plating, under the stair. The bottom tank there is quite narrow. The bottom tank extends only about 7 feet, the side bulkheads extends another one to two feet beyond the margin plate and the tanks.

I can't prove that there were sounding tubes for the tanks, but I think it's a good bet that there were.

It was the hold below the mail room that flooded first. It could have flooded by the #2 hatch from side damage to the starboard side of the #2 hold.

bulkhead collapse

Erik, if you are saying that failure of the bulkhead was a bunker door, then we agree. If you suggest that the watertight bulkhead may have leaked I cannot disagree. But if you still think that large sections of either the bunker or watertight bulkhead carried away, then we do not agree.

Michael wrote:
... would that centerline bulkhead have enough strength to at least dam up the water so that we have extra weight on one side

If you mean the bulkheads on either side of the fireman's passage, I would say yes--that was the idea. They would need to be able to stand the full head of water that could form on either side. Just for the record, the passage was 8'6" wide, 10'6" tall with a rounded overhead (3'9" radius). I don't have all the drawings for the passage, but I've got it where it goes through the bulkheads.

Cal
 
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Hi Cal, actually, I was thinking of the bulkhead seperating the Mail Room from the first and second class baggage room.

If that's a bulkhead of course. The Eaton & Haas plans show a door between the two, but I'm wondering if that's correct. These plans are good, but I've never heard anyone say they're flawless.

BTW, thanks for reminding me of those pictures in the Titanic and Her Three Sisters book. Since we don't have access to plans for the tankage, it's about the best we can do.

David, befor I forget, on the issue of side impact, I've mooted the possibility that were looking at a combination of both. Like you, I don't see how a simple sideswipe makes any sense, yet with that Mail Room filling so rapidly...it's deck is located 24 ft above the level of the keel...we can't rule it out either. For the life of me, I can't see any way for it to come up from behind and below unless were looking at bulkheads and decks which have been compromised.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Erik Wood

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Groundings don't have to even rip major holes in anything. The worst part of a grounding is the forces applied on the ship if she has forward or reverse power on and has the rudder turned or unturned.

The force of a soft grounding as Captain Brown says is very probable. Given both the description by Lee and most of the other passengers. However as you have pointed out and I believe that your theory is that power remained or was just being shut off at time of impact. I will have to nod to you and admit defeat on this one. I have been doing some talking to some Chief Engineers and some naval engineers who say that damage could have been easily done by have the power turned off even seconds before impact. The screws where still turning in the forward direction. Which would mean that the forces torking the haul forward and aft are unbelievalby strong.

I am still in reserve on the flooding pattern. Especially forward of boiler room six. I am willing to take part on a combination of grounding damage(although I am leaning towards broken seems caused by a stress fracture) and the obvious side damage that occured. My question is this. We to my knowledge have no real record of damage forward of the mail room. I.E. we don't know the extent of flooding or its location. I think that we should run some numbers assuming all the possibilities. Then go with the ones with the even keel sinking.

Cal, I believe that the bunker door gave way in Boiler Room 5. But it may have pulled some of that bunker wall with it. Not the watertight bulkhead or anything connected to it. Just the bunker wall.

I like Captains Browns suggestion of water being allowed into the tank top deck. It is a real possibility but needs to be further investigated. I will attempt to run some numbers.

Thanks for all the info from all!!!!

Erik
 

Cal Haines

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Michael wrote:
... I was thinking of the bulkhead seperating the Mail Room from the first and second class baggage room.

Hi Michael,

The plans in The Shipbuilder show a door in the bulkhead as well. Both the baggage and mail holds have openings into the #3 hatch (that's how they get the mail and baggage into the holds), which would allow water to move from one side of the bulkhead to the other. They were able to get and ROV into the mail hold via the #3 hatch. I don't think there was any sort of doors to stop the flow of water, just gates to keep you from falling down the hatch. There was also the shaft for the mail lift that penetrated G-deck.

... on the issue of side impact, I've mooted the possibility that were looking at a combination of both. ... I don't see how a simple sideswipe makes any sense, yet with that Mail Room filling so rapidly...it's deck is located 24 ft above the level of the keel...we can't rule it out either. For the life of me, I can't see any way for it to come up from behind and below unless were looking at bulkheads and decks which have been compromised.

How is the flooding of the mail hold inconsistent with side damage, or bottom damage for that matter? Water can come up the #3 hatch from below and flood the baggage holds on the orlop deck and the baggage and mail holds on G-deck. It can flood the post office via the mail lift and the stairway. This all seems pretty consistent with side damage at a constant height above the keel to me. What am I missing?

I agree that a "simple sideswipe" is out. But one explanation seems to be a collision that involves the ship moving both forward and to port during the impact, crabbing sideways if you will, such that her direction of motion is at about a 10 degree angle to the keel. This would allow the bow to "sideswipe" the berg and the stern to clear. To me, this means that the rudder was over and she was coming to starboard when she hit. I don't know if that means she had turned to port first or not, but it seems clear to me that she had to have begun turning to starboard some time prior to impact. I have seen turning circles that show that some ships "crab" sideways in the early stages of the turn, moving out of the turn before the stern begins to swing. But that's a turn that was begun from straight ahead, I don't know what happens in a port around.

Warm Regards,

Cal
 

Erik Wood

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I agree with Cal that she had to be making forward way. Most likely the orders just had been given and the engines stopped but the props where still spinning and slowly slowing down. Also I believe that the rudder was hard over in the port order (starboard 1912) and ship was turning to starboard. I still think that the ship crabbed somewhat at the time of impact.

Another possibility is that the stress fracture could have busted the seems between the decks. Flooding the mail room ONLY and allowing water up.

To my knowledge the forepeak is a lost cause. Air is attempting to escape it and the damage is probably extreme. Now as far as any other damage forward of the mail room. We are just guessing. We have no concrete proof of what did or didn't happen. So I am suggesting the following. That the stress fracture broke seems at obvioulsy foot level. This would have weaken the bulkheads but not enough to cause them to break. Some of them could have recieved minor injuries resulting in a seem here or there.

The Stress fracture as I describe it could have would have weakened the superstructure and keel plating aft of funnel three, just starboard of the centerline right around cargo hold 2 and 3. And just under the mail room.

Another burning question is how far on this underwater shelf did she go. How much of her underbelly scrapped bottom? Ideas??

Erik
 

Erik Wood

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After talking to a structural engineer and a naval architech on this cruise they told me the following:

1. One of the weakest parts of the ship during a stress fracture situation is the joint joining bottom of the bulkheads with the keel. If this is lifted on one side and torked on the other bulkhead will pop seems at the deck plate level. At a angle. How this translates to us is if the forepeak was first This is assuming that the damage was done at the curviture of the bowthat as the ship came up onto the berg those joints Highlighted in bold on the Eaton and Haas Plans would be popping and girating forward.

2. It is possible that the worst damage was done to cargo hold 3 (aka the lower part of the mail room) and that minor seem damage caused by the ship twisting was done to flood those holds but at a even rate. The seem would have broke almost the entire width. So the entire length of the bulkhead (or most of it). You add that to one side damage that could result in the ship sinking more evenly. The flooding is coming in from one side. It is coming from underneath and the side. But it is coming from underneath at a faster rate.

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">CAUTION: This uses my theory of the grounding and stress fracture. This would not only explain the even keel sinking but would also explain who the flooding was pretty much even accept for the Mail Room which must have recieved either a larger amount of damage to the side or serious underbelly damage.This would also explain more definitly why the ship did not roll but the 5 degree list was because the keel was up lifted and the bow section to boiler room 6 had been up lifted and possibily bent the keel.

However underbelly is more likely. There were men in there clearing mail bags out. So it either came from foot level or from a open seem as thought of above. In all of this the weak point is the fact that I don't know that much about the connnection of the watertight bulkhead to the keel. I hope that Cal could help us here.

I keep coming up with these hair brained ideas and I am now about a day behind in my logs. So I will be off until tomorrow probably. Have a good day all. I am.

Good Work Mr. Standart and Mr. Haines.

Erik
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Hi Erik, hope you get caught up with those logs.

My latest wild idea: what if the Fireman's tunnel is the conduit for water moving forward and up? It goes right under the Mail Room, and according to the BOT report, flooding was observed there within the first five minutes following the collision with the berg. (Though specifically in the portion beneath No 2 Hold. See page 32 for the details in context.)

Question; was the fireman's tunnel seperated into watertight sections or was it open for it's whole length? My deck plans suggest it was divided by the WT bulkheads.

Data on the keel which I picked up from The Shipbuilder(Corrections welcome!)"The keel of each vessel is formed by a single thickness of plating 1 1/2 inch thick and a flat bar 19 1/2in. wide by 3in thick. The bottom plating is hydraulic riveted up to the bilge. the strakes being arranged clincher fashion for this perpose; and the frame bottoms are joggled to avoid the use of tapered packing peices(sic)"

I hope this is useful; The Discovery Channel documentaries stated that the bending load the keel was designed to survive was 22,400 psi. Do we know if they got this right? If not, what are the actual figures?

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
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Who knows hopefully Cal might be able to help. I will have to do some digging on this myself. What do you think of my post above Mr. Standart. I think that it is rather well thought. But I am hoping that somebody will shoot it apart.

That way I have to defend it. Making me rethink my own theory and researching it that much harder.

Erik
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
G'Day Erik, it sounds reasonable given what we've gone over so far. Bottom damage is nothing if not unpredictable, and in any grounding, it can also be quite extensive even if it doesn't penetrate the inner hull.

The thing is that we don't need a lot of penetrations here. Just a few. A distorted frame or bulkhead with some splits and tears, some popped rivets, maybe a sprung manhole cover or two (However unlikely) spread out over six compartments and letting water into the inner hull...that's really all it takes. The pressure of the water between ten to thirty four feet below the waterline does the rest of the dirty work.

It might be helpful if we could dig up some analysis of ships which have been in grounding incidents and survived. The QE2 for example. Photos, forensics and all that. Can you get any of that?

Of course, were at the point of speculation now and we'll have to do a lot of research and fact checking to be sure of our ground. I think I'm going to start by checking some testimony to see what the surviving crew saw. Then I can post information as I find it and we can try to figure out what it points to. You might want to dig out your transcripts and do the same.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

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