How it really happened?

Titanic was a virtually unsinkable and safest ship in the world at that time. But unfortunately, an iceberg able to sunk Titanic ship with breaking in two pieces on 15 April 1912. There were more than 2220 people at that time.

Titanic was made of thousands of mild steel plates with thickness of inch and three million steel and wrought iron hydraulic rivets in 1911 and 1912. Every dish and every revert were perfectly milled and rolled to exact tolerances. Some of these plates were 6 feet wide and 30 feet long, with weighing around 3 tons. This was the largest ship in the world, and to that obtain high strength, it was needed to have massive calculations according to stress distribution and materials properties. There was a lot of expertise in the manufacturing team as well. With these things, titanic given a name called ‘battleship quality.’ All of these things were these metals unbale to bare that iceberg pressure?

Titanic Disaster - Ductile and Brittle fracture

Because of these reasons, it is straightforward to identify the failure by observing the crack surfaces of the remaining parts. When Titanic hit the iceberg, it was broken into two parts and sunk 2.5 miles away from one piece to another. After Titanic sunk, crack surfaces were observed by using ultrasonic and radar sensors. Then sing professional swimmers, parts of the ship were collected to investigate more. There were no any cup and cone shape fractures in the metal plates or rivets. All identified crack surfaces indicate the brittle fracture. How did that happen in metals?

Every metal has a critically low temperature called Glass Transition Temperature. Below this temperature, minerals act as brittle materials. In that case, metals can be broken without any physical deformation

Glass transition temperature region on metals

Toughness is simply resistant to fracture. Width of the glass transition region and the position on temperature scale will differ from metal to metal. The seawater temperature around the Titanic ship was -2.2ᴼC (29.8ᴼF). Because of this low temperature, these metals transition into a fragile state. In that case, it can be broken easily with a relatively small force than the room temperature condition. That’s why the ship was split into two parts. Suddenly it got hit by the iceberg. Because of the physical design of the vessel, it remains almost 3 hours (more than 2.5 hours) before it sunk totally.

This is the primary MATERIALS issue of the Titanic ship disaster.

Titanic Disaster Metal Cracks  Ductile and brittle fracture

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3 comments
  1. Hi tharidu,
    Very nice article,
    TITANIC film was very favorable at that time.
    I respect to you that these kinds of article, brought out for the public.
    This is the first time, I heard the real reason to break the ship.
    thank you a lot.
    Hope , more new articles.
    Sunith

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