Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Riveting Titanic Information

Nuts & bolts - and rivets (!) - are so important to how our world is held together. To demonstrate the severe importance of this is an article about how poor workmanship and missing rivets contributed to the chain reaction of events that eventually brought down an unsinkable ship one hundred years ago this April 14th - the Titanic. 

A review of scientific evidence was published April 2nd in Physics World that basically said the following:
  • Three million rivets held the ship together
  • Poor-quality rivets meant part of the hull that hit the iceberg was weaker than the rest of the vessel
  • Weak rivets meant air compartments ruptured

Because the vessel was rushed out to be ready for its maiden voyage the workmanship and quality was compromised; rivets were placed unevenly and they did not use the best iron for each rivet but substandard material, which underpressure caused the rivets to splinter.  James Cameron, in his movie Titanic, displayed what probably happened with spot-on accuracy.  There is a moment in the film that shows the rivets popping like champagne corks...followed by the unthinkable.

This thursday marks 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic. The ship continues to be a great reminder that we cannot compromise our standards, especially when our safety is at risk. It pays to have knowledge - and quality is paramount.

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