Titanic: Killed By Cheap Do-It-Now!

In Weak Rivets, a Possible Key to Titanic’s Doom

The scientists say the troubles all began when the colossal plans forced Harland & Wolff to reach beyond its usual suppliers of rivet iron and include smaller forges, as disclosed in company and British government papers. Small forges tended to have less skill and experience.

Adding to the threat, the company, in buying iron for Titanic’s rivets, ordered No. 3 bar, known as “best” — not No. 4, known as “best-best,” the scientists found. They also discovered that shipbuilders of the day typically used No. 4 iron for anchors, chains and rivets.

So the liner, whose name was meant to be synonymous with opulence, in at least one instance relied on cheap materials.

The scientists studied 48 rivets that divers recovered over two decades from the Titanic’s resting place — two miles down in the North Atlantic — and found many riddled with high concentrations of slag. A glassy residue of smelting, slag can make rivets brittle and prone to fracture.

I’m beginning to think that deadlines have killed more people than anything else in human history.

Imagine if that turned out to be true.

Today is the anniversary of that horrible disaster.

God rest their souls.

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