Welome To The Titanic Tech Thread

Roy Mengot

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I hunted around but you need to be more specific on the post title and category. There's a lot of stuff of there.

Tomorrow I'll fly out to Washington DC for the MFP meeting on Thursday. A main topic will be the technical findings from the Discovery Channel trip last year. I'll let you know if there are any interesting developments.

Reagrds
Roy Mengot
 

Erik Wood

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My apologies the thread regarding watertight bulkheads in the Collision area.

Have fun and I think we will all be hoping for some good developments.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Roy, when you get back...and I'm looking forward to anything you'll be free to discuss...Erik's post is can be found at The Titanic and her watertight compartments | Encyclopedia Titanica Message Board

Remember the discussions we had about the nature of the breakup at the Topeka event? His post touches on some of that but also the presentation he gave at the MMA symposium two years ago. You can read more about that at ... and see Erik's presentation on a Microsoft Word document.
 

Roy Mengot

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Does anyone still believe a WTB gave way anywhere? I reject that out of hand. BR 6 flooded from the hull damage and overflow from E-deck. Barrett's wall of foam at about 1:40 was from the collapse of the forward end of the linen drying room above that had been filling from Scotland Road for over an hour. That area wasn't designed to hold water.

The WTB's were integrated with the coal bunkers to form a honeycomb, with lots of I-beams supporting the structure. While the support beams get progressive lighter going up, the WTB's were designed to hold water.

On the stability issue, I talked with Chris Hackett (of Bedford/Hackett fame) and he told me they played some what-if games with the Titanic sinking simulation that were not documented in their 1996 paper. Titanic's GM/GZ curves go negative about the time that BR4 is roughly half flooded and the ship tips up. At that point, if you magically move half the water in BR4 to BR3, the ship would roll.

Regards
Roy Mengot
 
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I don't know if a WTB gave way, but I'm going to go with the "Jury's out" crowd on that one. it may not be so much a case of giving out as they may well have been undermined or rendered irrelevant by any secondary damage such as any splitting or parting of seams and plates. That would explain why water was seen ingressing from below in BR#4 for example, though I'm certainly open to other possible causes.

BTW, as a little sidenote, I don't suppose the data from the inclining experiment done on the Titanic in Southampton is still extant, is it? I've been wondering about that for years.
 

Roy Mengot

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Water was trickling down the GSC already at 12:30. It was pooling on F-deck for an hour at the fan room above BR4 before water appeared at the floor plates. Nothing in the fan ducting or other openings around there was water tight. Water was running down inside the bunkers and vents from above. By 1:30, there was a strong head of water above #4 on F-deck. The WTB had simply been circumvented via Scotland Road.

Regards
Roy Mengot
 

Erik Wood

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After the Topeka event and prior to the Maine one, I had discovered that the likely hood of a water tight door being the cause of the sinking, as I had previously wrote in Topeka was very unlikely. I had orginally thought that the mysteries 12 square feet came from a watertight door.

I was wrong. I have reason to believe that it was not the door but some other part of the structure.

If I recall rightly we discussed it at some length, at that time I could not find any other means. Now I have, and the means are far more likely then before.

I have done some more research regarding bent ship and the stress fracture theory. While at the time when I first said it, I didn't have the research to back it up. Slowly I have began to gather that research.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Without any bias toward any particular idea or theory...

Primary ingress water moving horizontally through the hull from bow to stern caused Titanic to sink. There are many possible ways this could have happened:

1. Through the bulkheads -- This is the "failed" or "collapsed" bulkhead possibility. The nature of a bulkhead failure might range from an open seam to a total structural failure. In Titanic, the latter was not witnessed, so if a bulkhead in any sense "failed," it must have been more of a failed seam or somesuch. The most likely place for a failure is where the bulkhead was riveted to the tank top deck since that area would have been under the greatest load of water.

2. Failure of Watertight Door-- doors are always a weak spot in any structure. A door that either did not close, or failed to stay closed would have compromised the bulkhead to which it was attached. From the testimony, all of the doors seem to have operated correctly when shut from the bridge. And, there is no testimony of doors anywhere failing after being closed.

3. Around a bulkhead -- water effectively could have "come around" a bulkhead through an opening in seam that went past a bulkhead. This is apparently what Barrett observed.

4. Under a bulkhead -- water might come up through the tank top deck as the result of damage to the cellular bottom structure and outer plating of the double bottom. This could happen if hogging caused seams and butts in the tank top to lose watertight integrity.

5. Piped in -- there were lots of pipes and conduits from compartment to compartment. More than one ship has been lost when water found a way to get through bulkheads through one of these pipes or conduits. Sometimes, builders even forgot to cap or put valves on these pipes to the frustration of damage control efforts.

6. Deliberate flooding -- damage control efforts are sometimes at odds with saving the ship. It is more critical to maintain an upright stability than to delay sinking. If Titanic had rolled on its side, perhaps 350 additional deaths would have resulted from half the lifeboats not being launched. Could the engineers have added water to their sinking ship? Perhaps to maintain stability.

7. Over top of bulkheads -- this is the conventional "ice cube tray" theory of the sinking first proposed during the BOT hearings in 1912. The idea is that water rises in one compartment high enough to overtop the bulkhead into the next. This pattern repeats until the ship sinks.

At some point, the ship sank enough that water began to pour in through hatches, doors, ports, etc. that were normally well above the waterline. This sort of ingress is known as "secondary flooding" and is often the real cause of loss for a damaged ship. Titanic began experiencing serious secondary flooding when the well deck went under. For a while, secondary flooding would have far exceeded primary damage water ingress.

When the hull began to break apart toward the end Titanic experienced what might be considered a third, or "tertiary" flooding. This was water ingress through openings created by structural failure.

What sort of water occurred where? and when? and why? Lots of theories abound. I suspect that other than during the first few minutes after impact most flooding came from a variety of sources. In other words, the sinking was of a more complex nature than what conventional wisdom holds.

-- David G. Brown
 

Erik Wood

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David has said something that somewhat echoes a discussion we all had in Maine:

Deliberate flooding -- damage control efforts are sometimes at odds with saving the ship. It is more critical to maintain an upright stability than to delay sinking. If Titanic had rolled on its side, perhaps 350 additional deaths would have resulted from half the lifeboats not being launched. Could the engineers have added water to their sinking ship? Perhaps to maintain stability.
This in my mind is a very under discussed issue in regards to Titanic or any ship for that matter. This hints at something or is another aspect of what I discussed in the collision/watertight door thread earlier in the week.

Stability is more then the ship sinking by water intake. It is more then flooding and it means doing some things to make the ship more stable (a siginificant difference then "being stable").

The doors are opening....let's keep it going.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Well, in this case, I have to ask what evidence is there, if any, to the effect that spaces were deliberately flooded to try and keep the ship upright. I'm not aware of any direct evidence though it may perhaps be inferred by the way the ship behaved during the sinking. Was there something or a group of somethings that happened which make no sense otherwise, and what means did the engineers have at their disposal to accomplish this?

Also, what alternate explainations are there?

If I sound skeptical, well, maybe it's because I am. (And I think it's one of the purposes of this folder to not take anything for granted.) Shipboard damage control is as much art as science and still is in a lot of respects. A lot of what's doctrine now was learned by sailors who realized they had to MacGuyver something up on the fly...like stuffing mattresses into holes backed up by plugs, beams and shoring...or take their chances with the sharks.

The problem is that a lot of that was learned through combat experience in two world wars. What was their understanding in 1912 and what did they actually have to do it with?

Lots of questions here.
 

Erik Wood

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This is the last post I will make before my trip. I will return on the 27th (in theory).

To my knowledge there is no direct evidence that water was pumped in.

However that does easily explain several other things that occur during the night. I have suggested it in the past more as an aside (the same manner in which I discuss it here).

Because we have no testimonial evidence, and the physical evidence on the bottom is non exsistent when it comes to this we have no way of saying one way or the other.

However, we can say that by flooding portions of the ship on purpose, portions such as tanks that may have been dry, the ship may have been more stable for a longer period of time.

Note my use of the phrase "may have been". I don't have, nor does anybody else have the ability to prove or disprove it. But for the purpose of this thread I think it should be viewed as a possibility.

The whole purpose of this thread is to get all of us to think outside of the traditional theory (something most us have been doing for some time).

As I noted in other threads I doubt highly that Bell and company had the knowledge to do such actions, but that doesn't mean that they couldn't do it.
 
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>>As I noted in other threads I doubt highly that Bell and company had the knowledge to do such actions, but that doesn't mean that they couldn't do it.<<

Granted. However, that doesn't mean that they couldn't have been the first to come up with some ideas. In the situation they were in, it's not as if they had a lot to lose either.

For reference, participants in this folder might find it useful to review Samuel Halpern's outstandinging "Titanic's Hidden Deck" at Titanic's Hidden Deck

>>This is the last post I will make before my trip. I will return on the 27th (in theory).<<

Bon voyage! I'll be looking forward to your return.
 

Roy Mengot

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Thanks to a new break-up theory being presented at the MFP meeting yesterday by Richard Woyt(?), a materials sciences professor in NYC, he and I will collaborate on a paper for the 2007 SNAME convention on how Titanic broke-up.

His approach is just a variation of what I've postulated for years and he has better reasons for suspecting the bottom-up break. Bill Garzke was impressed enough with what Rich and I said to formally task us with writing the paper. The target is to have the paper ready for the SNAME Convention in 2007.

I also saw some of the detailed photos and reduced versions of Ken Marschall's drawings of the two hull sections found on the NG special last year. I hope to get the full resolution versions before long. Ken drew each section with central top-down view and a L/R side and fore/aft view aligned around the edges. The detail is incredible!

Regards
Roy Mengot
 

Roy Mengot

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On some of the last few posts, I see way too much over-analysis going on.

a. Leaks in bulkheads, or around watertight doors, or through pipes is noise. Not worth the time it took to write this paragraph. The only two watertight doors that may have mattered (minorly) were the two between the pool and Turkish bath. Cameron confirmed they were closed. Any doors left open forward of there (and many probably were) were irrelevant. All water tight doors aft of there were for decoration after 2am.

b. Counterflooding. Drop it. It only works where a ship has longitudnal bulkheads. The silly idea of flooding the stern to raise the bow would only accelerate bringing the ship to the point where the GM/GZ curves go negative and Tom Andrews knew that. That idea was never discussed.

c. The over-topping of bulkheads is a useful and simplistic explanation for most people. And true. But in the minds of Andrews and Wilding, the real issue was reaching the damage stability limit, and they knew it would happen. At that point, it didn't matter if the ship broke or not. It would roll or tip up. The ship would sink.

d. Submerging more opening forward, like the well deck, has little effect. The compartments are already flooded. What matters is the depth of the water on decks overtopping the bulkheads and the head that produces in forcing water into compartments farther aft. That is the new flooding.

Damage stability is everything. It was a well understood concept, even back then. When the ship takes X amount of water, it no longer wants to float upright. I can reproduce Andrews' calculations on the back of an envelope. The only relevant number was initial rate of inflow.

That number was bad. It would overtop the bulkheads. The ship would reach a point where the GM/GZ curves go negative. The ship sinks. Forget leaks. Forget break-up. Forget extra openings later. Forget the ice-cube tray explanation. The curves go negative, it sinks.

Wilding knew this inherently as he made his presentation to the board of trade. The only relevant number was initial flow rate in that many compartments. The rest can be calculated.

Regards
Roy Mengot
 
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>>Thanks to a new break-up theory being presented at the MFP meeting yesterday by Richard Woyt(?), a materials sciences professor in NYC, he and I will collaborate on a paper for the 2007 SNAME convention on how Titanic broke-up.<<

I'll be looking forward to that, Roy. Will there by chance be any updates to your website based on that information? I was also wondering if you had seen any of the information from the History Channel expedition that was telecast last February and what your take on it is.
 

Roy Mengot

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At the MFP meeting, I saw a reduced pre-release version of Ken Marschall's drawings. They are super good. You can count frames and see each hull strake, butt joint, and bent longitudnal. The aft section under the recips is slightly raised off the bottom because the engine bed plates are still attached. I saw a number of the detailed photos as well. They gave Richard Woytowich much of the information he needed for an analysis.

My website is severely out of date. I need to by some new webware to fix it. The Adobe Page Mill I used won't run on my machine anymore and I'm not forking over $600 for Front Page. What's a cheaper webware tool for creating a basic website? I need to find out as well where my website is physically located. My ancient ISP has been bought up a couple times and is now part of prodegy.

Regards
Roy Mengot
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>At the MFP meeting, I saw a reduced pre-release version of Ken Marschall's drawings. They are super good.<<

Which doesn't surprise me in the least. Since Ken has access to this folder, if he drops by, he may have a thing or dozen to say about it unless he's under a non-disclosure agreement.

>>My website is severely out of date.<<

Even severely out of date, your website still has better information describing how and why ships sink then most any other contender out there. I still use it as a reference. I wish I knew a good webtool that was cheaper then Front Page. Maybe somebody at a nearby Staples or Office Depot can make some reccomendations.

You might want to update your links if you can. Some of the websites they lead to croaked ages ago.
 

Erik Wood

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I am back and I have somewhat unlimited amount of time to post a rather lengthy post, so you have all been warned.

We will start with Roy's post of June 23rd. As all of you (and I hope Roy) know I have the upmost respect for him and his work. But I of course have some questions and disagreements and here they are:

Counterflooding. Drop it. It only works where a ship has longitudnal bulkheads. The silly idea of flooding the stern to raise the bow would only accelerate bringing the ship to the point where the GM/GZ curves go negative and Tom Andrews knew that. That idea was never discussed.
I of course added the emphisis. I don't believe I have ever stated anywhere that the intent of counter flooding was to raise the bow and drop the stern, and I am in complete agreement with Roy's assessment.

My reason for commenting and brining it up was not for the purpose of lowering the stern in raising the bow, but possibily for a brief amount of time, bringing the ship to a even keel or to equal things out. Counter flooding would have in no way stopped the ship from sinking, and probably would have taken minutes away from the ships life, but it could have been done (could being the key point there) to temporarily add some stability in Titanic's case for loading lifeboats.

As an example I will use the Algowood. As a refresher for all I will explain the entire situation.

The Algowood was attempting to moor while fully loaded. The Algowood is bulk carrier with a self unloading boom her verall dimensions are as follows: Length 740' 00" Beam 75'10" Depth 46' 06" Capacity (tons) 31,750 Diesel engine horsepower 10,200

As she approached the pier at roughly 4 knots against the current and the starboard bow thruster at roughly half of capacity she lost bow thruster power and eventually a drop of RPM while less then 8 feet from the pier. The master then took evasive action and pushed the ship hard into the pier lengthways.

She rams the pier striking almost exactly the mid point of the ship, snapping the frame and flooding the loaded 2nd and 3rd compartment (the middle compartment of the ship) and drops the port anchor and stern anchor.

As a result part of the cargo made a slight shift and ship look a list to starboard. The tanks being mostly dry (due to her fully loaded condition) the master then ordered the port tanks flooded to even out the list, and prevent part of the cargo from shifting out of the hole in the starboard side. This proved to be a little to much weight and the starboard tanks where then half flooded.

This did nothing other then stabilize the ship and it's cargo, and actually caused more structural damage. The ship in the end had to be cut in half and a new mid section (hence her extra 20 feet compared to her sisters) put in place. Below are 2 pictures included in my power point presentation from Maine. The first is a picture of the exterior damage as the ship sat at the pier:
algowooddamage1pb.jpg


The second picture is of the emptied flooded hold after the patch had been applied. You can see part of the hole featured in the picture above:
algowooddamage5pb.jpg



My point in brining this up is the master had to counter flood for the safety of the vessel and make the ship stable temporarily. It was also needed so they could safely liter the load. Obviously there are some serious differences between Titanic's situation and the Algowood's but I use it only as a reference. The need was somewhat the same...to stabilize the ship to accomplish something.

I don't think that anybody here is even remotely intending to infer that the reason for counter flooding was to raise the bow and lower the stern.

Now for a question based on this statement that Roy made:

Any doors left open forward of there (and many probably were) were irrelevant. All water tight doors aft of there (turkish bath and pool)were for decoration after 2am.
I again added the part regarding the Turkish bath and pool.

That statement makes it sound like none of the watertight doors mattered at all (other then the two mentioned possibly), which to me means that Mr. Mengot is of the opinion that the ship was going to sink no matter what, irregardless of the ships watertight doors and bulkheads. I am somewhat of the same opinion, but most likely for different reasons. I am just curious as to what in specific brought him to that conclusion. Perhaps Roy could explain???

My reasoning is somewhat the same as it has always been, although with the help of Roy in Topeka and some additional resources and research some differences have been made. But my stance is now, as it has always been is that the ship didn't sink...it fell apart. It fell apart because of the nature of the impact.

Fell apart is a loose term...but what I intend it to mean is that due to water ingress and the stress imposed on the structure by the impact caused the ship to loose the ability to hold back and contain water in accordance with it's design.

Like all things Titanic....the rest is open for debate.
 

Roy Mengot

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Sooner or later I knew I'd have to write this:

>> Fell apart is a loose term...but what I intend it to mean is that due to water ingress and the stress imposed on the structure by the impact caused the ship to loose the ability to hold back and contain water in accordance with it's design. <<

To a naval architect, it's not a question of holding back the water everywhere. Obviously water is getting in or we wouldn't have a discussion. As a premise to discussing damage stability, think about tossing a length of 2X4 into a pool. I floats flat. If I jam the board in sideways, it pops up flat. If I jam it in vertically, it pops up flat. It wants to float flat.

Likewise, a ship is designed to float upright. When water enters the ship, it's like attaching a C-clamp to the side or end of the board holding a bag of lead shot. As I drop more shot in the bag, I'll tip or lean the board off flat. At some point, the righting levers that used to support the board floating flat will shift and make the board tip up or float sideways. That's the point where the GM/GZ curves I talk about go negative. When that point is reached, the board still wants to float, but not necessarily upright anymore. When that point is reached, the change happens fast. The board hasn't changed. It just has more weight in an off location and doesn't float flat.

On a ship, if X amount of extra weight is added to ship by flooding, then the ship will no longer want to float upright. It doesn't matter where the water is. The GM/GZ curve has gone negative. Game over. Andrews knew how to calculate the GM/GZ numbers and that's why the compartments are spaced as they were.

For both Andrews and Wilding, all they needed to know was how long before Titanic took on the roughly 35kt of water needed to drive the GM/GZ curve negative. They already knew the bulkheads would be topped. 4 is good. 6 is bad. At the magic number X, the ship would tip or roll because it didn't want to float upright anymore. Anything else about the ship's design was irrelevant.

So the only number Tom Andrews was looking for initially was the total inflow rate. 15kt per hour. It will probably slow as interior levels approach exterior levels. The bulkheads will be topped. 35kt in maybe an hour and half. That's when we founder.

Tom was not concerned about the list. To do any cross leveling of ballast tanks required using a pump and cross coupling the included tanks. All pumps were 100% dedicated to pumping water out, to keep the ship from reaching X tons, for as long as possible. And Tom knew the pumps were never going to keep up with the inflow rate.

Think on that and we'll discuss it some more.

Regards
Roy Mengot