The back half stern area

Dec 2, 2000
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>>a meeting at the planning stage the builder offers the owner two types of hull plating. One type is more impact resistant more malable steel used in warships however can be suseptable to corrosion requiring more maintinance and painting.<<

Malcolm, I'm afraid you're missing something here. The steel used in the construction of the Olympic class liners was the same steel used in the construction of Great Britain's warships. Cut it any way you like, it was simply the best available to shipbuilders in Great Britain at the time and Harland & Wolff went with it. There was no debate as to what kind to use as there was nothing to debate. White Star wanted the best available and they got it.

The simple fact of the matter is the sheer mass of the Titanic at high speed vs. the sheer mass of the iceberg was more then any ship could have survived, even if they had the very best 21st century steels available then...which they didn't.

The whole steel and rivet's thing is a purely modern day red herring. No more and no less.

And a little historical sidenote: Contrary to what a lot of the popular histories would have you believe, the Titanic was not trying to break any records for speed, nor was she capable of doing so. There is some conjectural evidence that she *might* have been attempting to better the Olympic's time, but at the time of the accident, she was going at her expected service speed, and not all out flank speed.

Second historical note: The Titanic had no gash! What she suffered was the usual collection of split seams, buckled plates and sheered rivets that any ship would have suffered in a similar accident.

>>captain wants to shut down for the night as have other ships(normal practice in this situation)due to fog,low visabillity and no moon, but the owners and their investers do not want to dissapoint well wishers in New York by arriving hours late, captain told to press on through the ice field, wrong choice! <<

Nope...sorry...didn't happen that way. There was no fog and no reason to slow down. Captain Smith was known as something of a hot-dogger and needed little persuasion if any to just keep right on going as was the normal practice of the time. Otyher shis did much the same, and were navigated in a similar fashion. A rather embarassing fact that came out at the inquiries.

>>In retrospect, the shipping lanes and their location were established in the days of sail using the gulf stream, like hoping on a coveyer belt. It fails me why the T,s captain chose to stay in the shipping lanes?<<

That's because he didn't stay in the shipping lanes, She was actually a bit south of them.

>>You may notice the photo of the Britanic in ET(made of the same plating showing the area of impact) shows the hull plating shattered and broken off like a plate glass window! thanks Malcolm.<<

One: I found no such photo of the Britannic on ET, and in any event, I've seen quite a few photos of the wreck. Not one of them shows any plates that were shattered like glass.

Two: That was *not* what I asked you. What I asked you was "What evidence is there...from the wreck itself...that the plates in the area of the impact with the ice shattered and broke away on impact? If you can, please be so kind as to present scientific documentation of same which has survived the scrutiny of the peer review process."
 
Jul 21, 2004
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> Michael, I thought had already explained but I guess that must have been another poster.When I said plates shattered and broke away, I dident mean whole plates, as breaking away from the ship and settling to the bottom, I ment shearing of the rivets and fracturing and shattering of the plates, some in aprox a 8" jaged semi circle area out from and around the rivets on the edges of the plate due to a massive impact of all that wieght. "Breaking away" was ment as the plate on these edges or plate edge overlap areas breaking away from the steel frames behind the plate that the plate was attached too.Even breaking awaya half inch or more below the water line would cause an unstoppable ingress of water. this report was compiled in the "sname" investigation with photos showing small sections of the hull plating that had shattered and broken away in the area of the connecting rivet edges of the plate that they had retreaved from the sea floor, parts still had the rivets heads inplace but sheared at the frame connection, others showed the rivets missing, believed to be sheared.I believe the "sname" report as they are professionals in this area, the other reports where they compare a canal lock made of riveted steel from the same time frame sounds like a smoke screan, that lock will never experiance the same conditions, or strain or impacts as a ship at sea.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>When I said plates shattered and broke away, <<

And what I asked was "What evidence is there...from the wreck itself...that the plates in the area of the impact with the ice shattered and broke away on impact? If you can, please be so kind as to present scientific documentation of same which has survived the scrutiny of the peer review process."

The reason I ask this is because the side scan sonar imaging of the region below the mudline where the collision actually occured simply doesn't bear that out. The SNAME report may well have been compiled by professionals, but it's not without it's problems, quite a few of which have been discussed in the Collisions/Sinkings Theories folder. You might want to search them out.

As to the rivets, I recall addressing that and pointing to the physics of the matter. Having rivets being sheered away as well as having hullplating buckled, bent, and even cracked with seams being split is only to be expected in events where a large ship comes in contact with an iceberg at high speed.

None of this is de facto evidence of inferior steel.
 
Jul 21, 2004
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> "None of this is de facto evidence of inferior steel." These are your words michael not mine I said "the wrong type of steel" very few shipyards then and no shipyards since will built ships of this type of steel, One of cunards ships that was built with this type of steel, she was hit with a topedo amid ships,her plate was heavy enough she should have survived but dident,the impact sheared the plate rivets and she opened up like a tin can and rolled over in 18 min. Your referance of Side scan sonar dosent hold water, this sonar can find and show outlines of imeges of hull forms below the sea bottom, but show details of hull plating and impact areas! I dont think so, if it did they would have shown it! and we wouldent be hear wasting are time would we!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>These are your words michael not mine I said "the wrong type of steel"<<

Semantically, it's the same thing. What you started out saying initially was this;
quote:

The steel may have been the best of its type at the time, but it was the wrong type! it was proberbly more ready available and cheaper but it was the wrong type, H&W had to know this, plus they were under pressure to get the job done
Please take note of what I underlined and the implications become pretty clear.

>>few shipyards then and no shipyards since will built ships of this type of steel,<<

Again, misleading and in one respect just plain dead wrong. The same type of steel using the same formulas and made by the same methods was widely used, not just in Britain's merchent vessels, but in her warships as well.

>>One of cunards ships that was built with this type of steel, she was hit with a topedo amid ships,her plate was heavy enough she should have survived but dident,the impact sheared the plate rivets and she opened up like a tin can and rolled over in 18 min.<<

Once again, misleading and irrelevant. The Lusitania was the victim of a torpedo loaded out with a couple of hundred pounds of high explosive. The quality of the steel had absolutely nothing to do with why the Lusitania sank, it was not an issue in 1915, and it has not been an issue in any modern investigations or theories. (And since you brought it up, you might want to do some research on the problems caused by assymetric flooding, and what happens when watertight integrity is compromised by explosions, a very possible failure to set watertight boundries, as well as bursting steam pipes and possibly even a boiler giving up the ghost)

>>Your referance of Side scan sonar dosent hold water, this sonar can find and show outlines of imeges of hull forms below the sea bottom, but show details of hull plating and impact areas! I dont think so, if it did they would have shown it!<<

But *show* it is exactly what that one Discovery channel documentary did. They negelected to show the additional and even more extensive damage on the port side and the reality is that it's virtually impossible to distinguish iceberg damage from impact with the bottom. Nevertheless, is was indeed shown and it was seen in millions of households.

Now once more, could you please address the following question which you've been conspicuously avoiding: "What evidence is there...from the wreck itself...that the plates in the area of the impact with the ice shattered and broke away on impact? If you can, please be so kind as to present scientific documentation of same which has survived the scrutiny of the peer review process."
 
Jul 21, 2004
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> Michael I have given you my explination and answered your questions over and over (please put your glasses on). If you carnt find the articals and photos in hear or in the sname documents, or copies of the sonar images im sorry, but I hardly have the time to write this, never mind hold your hand to guide you through the pages of factual evidence. thank you.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>> Michael I have given you my explination and answered your questions over and over (please put your glasses on<<

I've done exactly that and responded to the lot point by point. Your explainations are questionable at best and in some of them shows an incredible misunderstanding of the history as it really was. Basically, you're tryng to champion the Brittle Steel theory and I've already shown where it's a red herring.

>>If you carnt find the articals and photos in hear or in the sname documents, or copies of the sonar images im sorry, but I hardly have the time to write this, never mind hold your hand to guide you through the pages of factual evidence. thank you.<<

I've been pouring through all of that for years. Quite a bit of it doesn't say what you claim and some of it has alternative explainations, none of which you've really addressed. As it stands, as the one who has been making the claims, the burden of proof is yours.
 
Jan 15, 2006
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Hi guys, i have just stumbled upon this thread and hope you are all still paying attention. It's a bit off topic but i was wondering Malcolm where you got the impression that H&W were a tiny unknown shipyard when they got the contract to build the Olympic class? I would be very keen to know why you feel this is so when everyone knows they were in fact producing more floating iron than anybody else on the planet in both Belfast and in the U.K. mainland. I think in one year their order books were so full that they outputted almost half of the worlds ship tonnage!
 
Jul 21, 2004
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This is another reason for choice of steel.
look at the date. Germany was saber rattling getting ready for war,the best hull plating at the time was imported from Crupp in Germany,they had the biggest modern furnesses and best hull plate in the world,it was widely used for UK ship building. With the massive amounts needed at the time for T and the prospect of war with Germany they couldent afford delays and the prospect of being shut off, so they went with a local provider to provide his best, and it was, but not as good as Crupp.This was proberbly due to the type of ore available, old fashion furnesses, and contamination. british iron was not the best at the time, most hullplating was imported.. Just about every iron tall ship that is still in service today has a krupp iron riveted hull.
 

Steve Santini

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Nov 29, 2000
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Pardon me, but I want to chime in here.

I agree with Michael that such a collision, under the same circumstances, is more than any ship of the time, and perhaps since, would have been able to withstand regardless of steel quality or content.

Simply put, two large objects meet, one of them at speed, and one of them with a pile more mass and hardness and something's got to give!

Regarding rivets, it is a common thing for rivets to shear off when force transferred to a hull plate bends it inwards.

The rivets are at the edge of the plate and have very little material between the hols and the edge.

Either there would be cracks from the edge of these rivet holes to the outside leading edge of the plates or the rivet heads would pop off.

Physics 101.

When doing talks on Titanic I like to describe it like taking both front panels of your buttoned down shirt and pulling them apart in opposite directions.

And is the shirt likely to tear?

Is the material going to rip?

Possibly, but not before a few buttons go flying off.

Just my 2 cents worth here.

Steve Santini
 

James Smith

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Dec 5, 2001
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Mr. Chapman--

I went to the SNAME website Michael linked to above but couldn't find an article that dealt extensively with the differences between Harland & Wolff steel and Krupp steel as applied to the Titanic. I realize you're busy, but if you could provide a reference or link to the specific article or articles you've been using as a source, I'd be grateful.

--Jim
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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A small point. It wasn't the heads of the rivets that failed. It was the points that failed. They were quite small and were formed by crushing the rivet ends by hammering or hydraulic pressing. The metal was forced into the shallow depressions made when the holes were punched. At least one rivet has been recovered, minus its point.