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Iceberg And The Titanic Disaster

explanatory Essay
1653 words
1653 words
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Were there any physical factors that could have contributed to the disaster? It’s believed that upon impact with the iceberg, the steel hull failed due to brittle fracture. The cause of this includes excessively low temperatures, high speed impact and high sulphur content. On the night of April 14th 1912, each of these three factors was found present. Proof that brittle fracturing of the hull steel contributed to the Titanic disaster came following the recovery of a piece of steel from the Titanic wreck. After being cleaned, it was analysed by scientist and its condition was noted. It was concluded that the sharp jagged edges of the piece of steel showed it have almost shattered and showed not evidence of bending or deformation. Typical high-quality ship steel is more ductile and deforms rather than breaks. Similar characteristics were found in the damaged hull steel of Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic, after its collision while leaving harbour on September 20th, 1911 with a British cruiser. (Basset) The wrought iron rivets which secured the hull plates to the main structure of Titanic were believed to have been of inferior quality and failed for the same reasons as the hull steel. Due to the tremendous forces created on impact with the iceberg, the rivet heads in the areas of contact were simply popped off, which caused more seams to open up. Normally, the rivets would have deformed before failing because of their ductility, but with water temperatures below freezing, the rivets had become extremely brittle. (Basset) There is also contradicting evidence that suggests that Titanic’s steel was not of inferior quality as first thought. Tim Maltin has stated in his book that “The force with which Titanic struck the iceberg was e... ... middle of paper ... ...pen. Design flaws are at fault because if the hull hadn’t become brittle in the freezing temperatures it would have been more ductile and not have given way under pressure. Together Captain Smith and Bruce Ismay shouldn’t have been so negligible and had the ship set to a suitable speed for the conditions of the ocean on that night. Jack Phillips should not have ignored the warning from other ships, if he’d relayed those messages to the bridge early all precautions put in place prior would have happened earlier preventing the Titanic’s collision with the iceberg. Murdoch’s hesitation in giving orders proved fatal and then it all came down to Hitchin’s turning the wheel the wrong way. It was this series of chain events that led to the disaster so infamously known today, right back during construction through to Hitchin’s. Titanic was doomed before it even set sail.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that captain edward john smith, 62, had four decades of seafaring experience and served as captain of titanic’s sister ship, rms olympic.
  • Explains that brittle fracturing of the hull steel contributed to the titanic disaster.
  • Explains that the lack of lifeboats on titanic made her unprepared as a cruise liner. bruce ismay, chairman of the white star line, didn't see it necessary as open promenade decks were selling points.
  • Explains that jack phillips, a 25-year-old wireless operator, was responsible for the events that led to the sinking of the titanic.
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