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Old 04-16-2008, 02:50 PM   #1
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Lousy Rivets!/Weak rivets sunk the Titantic?

Why the Titantic Sank: Lousy Rivets!
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 1956Safari
that and the low grade steel that was used. It tore instead of bending and stretching.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1956Safari
That story is somewhat edited and a long version was carried in the paper here in STL. Apparently there was also a shortage of rivets and available riveters. So not only is there issues of the rivet quality but of the work quality also. Apparently records show that all kinds of suppliers were providing rivets (more companies than ever used before).

There were actually 3 sister ships being built at the same time. The Olympic, the Britanic, and the Titantic. The Britanic was sunk by a mine or torpedo, I forgot which. The architects or ship builders dispute the rivet theory since they say the Olympic was built with the same rivets and never suffered from any structural failures.....although it never hit an iceberg either.

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Old 04-16-2008, 05:37 PM   #4
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Other ship builders were moving on to steel rivets, but they were apparently bucking the trend and the rivets in Ireland.
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:05 PM   #5
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:20 AM   #6
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Weak rivets sunk the Titantic?

I just read an interesting news article on CNN about a theory that it was weak rivets that sunk the Titantic. Metallurgists tested 48 rivets from the ship and found that slag concentrations were at 9 percent, when they should have been 2 to 3 percent. A little slag is needed to take up the load that's applied so the iron doesn't stretch. They theorized that the weaker rivets were used in the bow and stern which the engineers didn't think would carry any stress loads. As it turns out, that is where the iceburg hit so when the weaker rivets gave way, the stronger rivets were then over taxed and subsequently failed. We all know the rest of the story.
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:27 AM   #7
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I think hubris played a part as well.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:54 AM   #8
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Another one involved the structural steel - back then, the steel used for ship hulls got very brittle the colder it got and if the Titanic had stuck an iceberg in the Caribbean, it is surmised that the ice would have had no effect at all on the hull. Good thing steel metallurgy has progressed since then.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:47 AM   #9
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Another one involved the structural steel - back then, the steel used for ship hulls got very brittle the colder it got and if the Titanic had stuck an iceberg in the Caribbean, it is surmised that the ice would have had no effect at all on the hull. Good thing steel metallurgy has progressed since then.
No, it hasn't. Steel still becomes brittle when very cold, as evidenced by a recent sinking of an "iceberg cruise ship" a very short time ago.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:42 AM   #10
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Weak rivets in/on an Airstream will leak also. Ok, I am NOT making light of a tragic event.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Weak rivets in/on an Airstream will leak also. ....
You raise a good point. Has anyone ever seen an example of where the rivets in an Airstream got stressed enough to fail? I wonder what that "failure" would look like in an Airstream?
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:29 AM   #12
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Rivets don't need to be cold to fail....improper balancing of running gear can contribute as well.

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Old 04-18-2008, 12:34 PM   #13
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:14 PM   #14
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You raise a good point. Has anyone ever seen an example of where the rivets in an Airstream got stressed enough to fail? I wonder what that "failure" would look like in an Airstream?
Sorry I did not take any pictures of the outside of the trailer when repairing the front end seperation. All rivets, inside and out, from the door around to the other side failed. The only indication was the fact that the lid on the tounge box started to hit the banana strip when raised from the body skin moved forward.

You can see the rivets in the channel that held the skin are sheared, the rivet that held the vertical rib to the channel is sheared, and the rib has hammered the channel creating a hole. On the outside the bottom 3/4 in. of the skin had folded up against the channel and had to be supplemented when repairing.

Unlike the ceiling rivets not all failures are out in pain sight.

Whether it was the rivets or the plates that failed on the Titanic it was the fact that the 14 water tight compartments in the lower part of the ship had no ceilings. They were in fact bathtubs and we all know what happens whe a bathtub fill up, it over flows.
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