...and to think RMSTI roughly retrieved only about 30 for the composition test of slag. BTW, I had the opportunity to see a large one on display at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, along with L-brackets and other various pieces of steel.
>>Doesn't matter if they "look good." The point is, are they any good?<<
Good enough that they're still there after nearly a century, most of that in the water. The rivets on the Titanic are good enough that most of them remained right where the riveters put them even after a 30+ knot collision with the ocean's bottom.
There's a lot of sound and fury over the materials that the ship was built of which may not be entirely misplaced in some instances. The problem with all of that is that it's over-rated. Absent the interaction with an iceberg, and through hull damage along the ship's length which no vessel could survive, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
The original poster said "they looked good." "Looking" is irrelevant, its the quality that counts. If the original poster has said "they are still good" then great, but an opinion of aesthetic attractiveness is irrelevant.
And I've addressed that issue. The rivets are good enough on the Nomadic to have survived this long. The rivets on the Titanic were good enough that they survived anything except human fallibility, and the vast majority of them survived even that.
That all its takes is the failure of a few substandard rivets in a seam to lead to progressive failure along a length of that seam when subjected to higher than expected loadings such as impact with a massive body at high speed. All evidence points to the opening of riveted seams along the plates as opposed to plate fracture on the hull. Something had to give.
Can you say 100% that the rivets that were tested came form the critical point of Titanic where it hit the iceberg. What was the stress weight exerted on these rivets. Rivets were installed throughout the ship and not just on the exterior.
Ships are not built to withstand icebergs. They are built to withstand large waves.
Today a under spec weld would have the same effect.
As Paul Mathias ('96 RMSTI) detected with his EOSCAN the actual wound on the starboard hull, was as H & W's Wilding suggested...12 sq. ft., basically the size of a standard refrigerator. I believe it was substandard rivets, which in turn sheered the heads upon impact with the iceberg, and as Sam said opened the *joggled* seams.
...and what about the more serious damage that Matthias found on the port side? This has hardly been mentioned. Since we know the ship hit on the starboard side, and there is damage to both sides, what Matthias found must be a combination of iceberg and bottom impact damage.