Re: Questions about the DH Comet

Date:         28 Sep 97 00:53:42 
From:         coyne@uts.cc.utexas.edu (Michael Coyne)
Organization: The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1997.2303@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
Harry W. Barr <hwbSPAMTHIS@i1.net> wrote:
|Said felton@princeton.edu (Phil. G. Felton) on 17 Sep 97 02:49:24 :
|
||>Recent research on the fate of the Titanic and her sister ship (the
||>Britannic?) seem to indicate that fatigue of welds were a factor in
||>the demise of those two ships.
|
|Didn't researchers recently test a sample of the steel from Titanic's hull
|plates, and find it far too high in sulphur content, which made it brittle
|(thus inducing far more damage from the collision with the iceberg than
|would have occurred with better steel)?

This is pretty far afield for this newsgroup.

The Titanic was riveted iron.  The iron was very brittle due to high
sulfur content.  Riveted iron is much weaker contruction than welded
steel, particularly for a glancing type of collision.  Many many seams
would have been sprung and leaked badly without total failure.
Similarly many of the iron sheets in the hull would have cracked and
leaked without total failure.  No doubt a lot of rivets heads were
scraped off the outer hull as well.

The Titanic is not likely to have suffered much metal fatigue by the
intended midpoint of her maiden voyage.  I do not see much similarity
between the two beyond the fact that neither the Titanic nor the
comets had adequate contruction to deal with the slings and arrows of
their respective environments.