The ship could stay afloat


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Chung Rex

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Dec 25, 2006
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In various Titanic movies, Mr. Andrews said that the ship would sink in about 1 hour, and the pump could not alter sinking so much.

But It was not true. The ship started sinking at 23:40, and it sank entirely at 02:20, 160 minutes after collision.

Also, it was noticed that, with 50% of cabin windows opened, the ship's flooding rate slowed down after 00:20, for more than one hour.

As someone mentioned, at the quasi-stationary state(00:20 to around 01:40), pumps reduced water inflowing rate by about 20%. A question arises: if most of the cabin windows were closed, could the water inflow be compensated by water expelled by pumps?

Also, the 5th boiler room flooded as the bulkhead between 5th boiler room and 6th boiler room failed, instead of spilling from E-deck. If the bulkhead stayed still, the small amount of water coming from E-deck could be controlled by one of following procedure:
1. by pumping
2. by closing the door at the top of 5th boiler room. I am not sure whether 5th boiler room could withstand the pressure created by water.

Even if the 5th boiler room was flooded, the fact that the ship stayed quasi-stationary for another half hour(01:40 to 02:10) until 4th boiler room imploded. That tells us that if some procedures like closing some doors were done, the ship would sink much more slowly.

Concerning the breakup event, if all of the watertight doors were closed, the stern will stay afloat definitely, as no water will flood engine room and 1st boiler room.

Lastly, as someone mentioned, according to fluid mechanics, if captain Smith decided not to stop the ship from forward motion, the flooding rate would increase. But what if captain Smith decided to slowly move the ship backward? The inverse effect would happen. The water inside the flooding area would tend to move away from the ship such that less water would flow into Titanic.
The moving speed could be set at a very low level so that the lifeboats could be loaded safely.

Let me draw some conclusions:
1. Mr. Andrew's conclusion was partly wrong. Certainly if 1-4 water compartments were flooded, the ship will stay afloat, but what if 5 water compartments were flooded as in the real case?

2. Mathematically, the ship must sink if 5 water compartments were flooded. However, there are other factors affecting the flooding of Titanic.
a) Although the cabins were not watertight, the closing of doors or windows would greatly delay the flooding.
b) As the water flowed through E-deck attempting to flood 5th boiler room, the bulkhead could stay intact.
c) Pumping of water played an important factor when Titanic stayed quasi-stationary.
d) Closing the top door of 5th and 4th boiler room delayed the sinking event greatly.
e) If crew noticed the flooding initially, they might place some sandbag(or other temporary barriers) on appropriate place of E-deck to prevent water flow to next compartment.
f) The sinking of stern was anyway preventable, therefore saving up to 1000 passenger's lives.
g) Other way of slowing down sinking by moving the ship slowly backward could be effective.

3) Bruce Ismay said that "The ship is unsinkable". He could be right if the above procedures were followed, at least the ship would stay afloat as long as electricity was generated.

4) The disaster of losing 1500 lives was preventable even after the collision of Titanic.
 
T

Trevor William Sturdy

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Hi Chung & welcome to the board.
You have obviously put some thought into you're post,however, without trying to discourage you in any way, it is very hard to find anything that is feasible or probable in what you have written.

Instead of spending the next 2 hours sitting here pulling you're theories apart piece by piece, I would suggest to you the following.
Spend a month or two going around this site, use the articles that are provided, the links that are given, and the opinions of the many knowledgable people that post here to try and verify you're above points. I can guarantee you that after this two month period you're thoughts on, and understanding of this event will have changed dramatically.

By the way, one thing is for certain - the only way to have prevented a loss of life that night would have been not to contact the ice in the first place.

Regards.
Trev.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Mr. Andrew's conclusion was partly wrong. Certainly if 1-4 water compartments were flooded, the ship will stay afloat, but what if 5 water compartments were flooded as in the real case?<<

Simply put, it sinks. Thomas Andrews knew the Olympic class liners as well as anybody could and it wouldn't have taken a lot of effort for this bright and talanted man to crunch the numbers to see where it would all lead. He knew the stability data, the floodable length curves, and could get a good picture of the rate of water ingress by using information on the observed flooding.

>>Although the cabins were not watertight, the closing of doors or windows would greatly delay the flooding.<<\

Define "Greatly." What sort of time are we talking about? Keep in mind that the Titanic's pumps could only deal with 1200 tonnes per hour. With an initial flooding rate of up to seven tonnes per second, they were already overmatched.

>>As the water flowed through E-deck attempting to flood 5th boiler room, the bulkhead could stay intact.<<

Which bulkheads are we talking about? IF you mean the watertight bulkheads, they probably stayed intact. With non watertight bulkheads, it doesn't matter quite as much as you might think. The water is still percolating in through natural ventilation, doorway frames and gaps, wireways...quite a list and it goes on.

>>Pumping of water played an important factor when Titanic stayed quasi-stationary.<<

Unlikely. The Titanic was moving with the prevailing current which was backed up by the mass of the entire ocean. Since water being discharged over the side has little to no propulsive effect, I don't see how it could be a factor.

>>Closing the top door of 5th and 4th boiler room delayed the sinking event greatly. <<

What "Top Door?" If you mean the existing watertight doors, I'm not aware of any in BR#5 being opened once they were shut. If you're talking about watertight hatches, forget about it. Titanic had none.

>>If crew noticed the flooding initially, they might place some sandbag(or other temporary barriers) on appropriate place of E-deck to prevent water flow to next compartment. <<

What sandbags? Damage control proceedures weren't really all that well defined at this point in history and much of what's known now has come by way of combat experience in two world wars. In any event, Titanic had no sandbags and even today, ships don't carry any such for damage control purposes.

>>The sinking of stern was anyway preventable, therefore saving up to 1000 passenger's lives.<<

Sorry, it wasn't. Once the hull girder gave up the ghost, the structural integrity of the stern was compromised to such a degree that it sank in only a few minutes.

>>Other way of slowing down sinking by moving the ship slowly backward could be effective. <<

Possible but questionable. It might have slowed down the ingress of water but to what degree is anybody's guess. The catch is that if the ship was moving, there could be no attempt made to launch the lifeboats.

>>Bruce Ismay said that "The ship is unsinkable". <<

Where did he say that? He might have said that. Hell, he might have even believed that, but what's extant in writing from the trade press of the day used the qualifyer "Practically unsinkable," not "Absolutely unsinkable.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Noticed that the other half of my post never made it up, just the first sentence. Hmmm?

What I was going to add was that when I first registered on ET back in early 2003 I spent quite a bit of time reading up on several threads that were of most interest to me before posting on this forum. And when I did start to post they were mostly questions to those more knowlegable than I was at the time, not information that I had researched or evaluated. I was always a bit reluctant to offer my own opinion until I got much more knowlegable in a few specific areas, including contacting people privately who knew a lot about a particular subject. I still consider myself a student of the affair. There are few, if any, real experts, and that includes many authors of books and articles. Collectively, however, there is a lot of expertise out there. And the goods news for those interested in trying to figure out what really happened, there are some good on-line resources available, including primary source materials such as on the TIP website, and a few other places.

And never believe anything you see in a movie.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I still consider myself a student of the affair.<<

So do the real experts Sam, so you're in good company. Quite a few of my opinions have changed, sometimes dramatically, based on the discussions here over the past 6 years.
 

Bill West

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Dec 14, 2005
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Welcome Chung. One of the things that is deceptive about water is how much force it can build up when you try to restrain it. A tiny 2’x6’ cabin door flooded to its top is faced with over a ton of force, nothing less than a reinforced steel door in a structural frame and wall will hold the water back. The calculation is 2’x6’=1728 square inches door area, water exerts roughly 0.5 psi pressure for each foot of depth, so with an average depth against the door of 3’ we get 1728 square inches times 1.5psi for a total load of 2592 pounds. The same sort of story will go on for sandbags and ordinary bulkheads. Leaks that lead to a build up of water depth are very hard to stop without a heavy structural wall to brace against.

As the others suggest, browse the discussion index for threads that sound interesting or use the search tool to look for interesting keywords in posts and then read what has been said around them. Picking up information is very much an exercise of exploring about the board, it makes for hours of interesting reading. Good luck!

Bill
 

Chung Rex

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Dec 25, 2006
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I read this site soon after I visited here, and it provides a lot of answers.

Yeah, I was convinced that most movies were unreliable if I want to know how Titanic sank. I did see that in Titanic(1997), the ship tipped as much as 45 degrees before it broke up.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I did see that in Titanic(1997), the ship tipped as much as 45 degrees before it broke up.<<

Whether or not she did so in the real world is open to debate. One claim kicked around is that her boilers would have torn free of their mountings had it gone vertical as some of the eyewitnesses stated. The problem with that one is that the Britannic...a sister to the Titanic...lies on her side so the stresses on the mountings would be the same. For all that, the boilers are still firmly attatched to their mountings, right where the builder left them.

Regarding movies, I wouldn't take any of them as reliable, though to Cameron's credit, he did more or less accurately present the forensics side of the matter as it was understood ten years ago. As always, further research and analysis has rendered much of that understanding invalid. That's not Jim Cameron's fault. It's just the nature of the game that new knowladge comes to light which either adds to or trumps the old, and he couldn't draw on an understanding that didn't exist.

Since you've shown an interest in technical issues, you might find the articles at http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/index_tech.htm to be of enormous use. Scroll down to the midpoint of the page to the Ship Design and Construction section. While warship design and construction is the main focus of this website, much of the material is evergreen when it comes to understanding shipbuilding design and construction issues. You may want to pay particular attention to anything dealing with stability as much of that goes to the very core of why the hull behaved as it did as the ship went down.
 
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