Titanic's Hull

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Micheal Napier

Guest
Hi all.

Can anyone tell me how thick the Titanic's hull was, and is such a thickness comparible to the thickness of hull on modern ships?

Thank you for your time.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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To Michael,

I believe, but am not certain, that the hull of Titanic was around two feet thick. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong; I would hate to be the bearer of misinformation.

-B.W.
 
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Micheal Napier

Guest
Thank you Brandon,

Just wondering does that mean 60cm thick in the metric system?
 
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Micheal Napier

Guest
Sorry if i did not make myself clear.

Yes Mark i am reffering to the hull plating, sorry if I confused anyone.
 

Dan Cherry

Active Member
Mar 3, 2000
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Micheal,
the hull plating on Titanic was one inch (2.5+/- cm) thick.
I do not know how that compares to today's ships.
 
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Micheal Napier

Guest
Thank you all.

Sorry for not replying sooner but I have been kept busy. Thanks for your responses, they are very helpfull and much appreciated.

Mike
 
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jean leysman

Guest
Hi all,

Maybe I can add some interesting information here:
I heard the hull plates of modern ships are much thinner. Because the steel used now is stronger and less brittle than in Titanic's days.

Maybe the experts on the subject (I'm sure they're out there!) can correct or confirm this.

Leysman
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Hi Jean, the thickness of the steel used depends on several factors such as the quality of the steel used, it's application, spaceing of framework and the size of the ship. I've seen hull cuts on several frigates and destroyers where the plating wasn't all that thick at all. On an aircraft carrier, I've noted hull plating an inch thick. It has to be in order to carry the load of the flight deck which is (Supposedly)armoured in some places and the weight of up to fifty fully loaded warplanes.

Plating used for the hull itself will tend to be thicker as this is the part of the structure that carries the heaviest load. For superstructures, it will tend to be thinner as it's not carrying the whole load of the ships weight. It's also wise to keep it thinner to avoid topweight problems.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Stephen Stanger

Guest
Just a dash of irony. I click on the tech section and there are 401 entires. Had to say something under this heading.
 

Dave Hudson

Member
Apr 15, 2011
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Ah, that's true Stephen, but your post makes 402! Oh well, I recal one section having 1912 once. I checked back later and there were 1985.

Spookilly,

David
 

Cal Haines

Member
Dec 2, 2000
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Tucson, AZ USA
Micheal asked:
Can anyone tell me how thick the Titanic's hull was, and is such a thickness comparible to the thickness of hull on modern ships?

Hi Micheal,

Titanic's hull plating was 1.0" thick in the mid-body of the ship, except near the keel where it was heavier. The bow and stern were plated with 0.6" thick plates, but the spacing of the frames was also reduced fore n' aft.

As for modern ships, the US Navy's Ticonderoga-class cruisers have 0.5" thick hull plating, of course, they only displace about 20% of what Titanic did.

Cal
 
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Stephen Stanger

Guest
Hang on a minute.
I remember that 1912 was about the time where action was starting to brew in Germany and Austria-Hungary. Didn't the Admiralty specify that all ships had to be double plated along the waterline around about this time?
Figure it would have made more sense to do so during construction than have the RN waste time during the requisition refits.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Sorry if I seem a little confused here, but what exactly do you mean by "double plated"???

If you're talking about armour plate, I don't think you would find any such in a merchent vessel, and simply making the plates twice as thick all over would not have offered substantial protection against the heavy guns of the day. It would however substantially add to the overall weight of the ship, decrease it's useful capacity for carrying cargo and troops, and seriously degrade performance while increasing fuel consumption.

Refits on requisition would have included adding on whatever was needed to do the job, and removing what wasn't without neccessarily making any substantial modifications to the hull. For example, when the Britannic was taken over, most of the passanger accomadations and fittings and accessories were removed and all the hospital/medical equipment and fittings added in...without adding armour to the hull. The Olympic and Mauritania were likewise stripped down and refurbished to handle troops.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Morgan Eric Ford

Guest
Dan Butler makes reference to double plating in his book about the Lusitania. Supposedly the extra weight contibuted to her capsizing. The double plating was around some of the upper areas as I recall, maybe to protect the bridge? I don't think it was at the waterline.

It wouldn't have stopped any main armament but maybe it would have stopped shell splinters and machine gun fire.

Morgan Ford
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I suspect the differential flooding did much more to put the Lucy on her side then anything else, but any additional topweight imposed by splinter plating couldn't have helped. I understand she was already topheavy as it was.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Topheavy ships were somewhat normal prior to WWI. One reason was the search for speed without breaking the bank. Narrow ships go faster on the same amount of fuel. It was called the "plank on edge" school of naval architecture. The Germans built a ship that was so "tender" (as sailors call a topheavy ship) that it was retired after one round trip. The Italians set the record with a ship that capsized during its launch and was scrapped on the spot. Here on the Great Lakes where I live, we had our Eastland disaster in which about 840 people (mostly women and children) died when the ship capsized while still tied up in the Chicago River.

Making the problem worse was the Edwardian style of interior decorating which was heavy (emphasis on weight) on the use of woods, marble, and other materials. Even those tall funnels on ships of the period contributed to the problem. The higher weight is, the more it reduces stability.

Sailing yachts of the pre-WWI era went through a similar design phase. They got so narrow that they could not lift their own weight over the waves. It was not uncommon for one to sail into a wave and never come out. A change in handicapping rules outlawed that dangerous trend.

Stability is now a #1 priority with the U.S. Coast Guard when it comes to inspected passenger vessels. I'm currently trying to get a small launche (capacity 18 people) certified by the Coast Guard, but no dice. The owner took out the passenger seats. Without seats, the boat can't be issued a certificate for technical reasons under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulation. So, we are now replacing cheap factory-made seats with expensive ones made out of teak. A phone call would have prevented this error.

--David G. Brown