Earlier Kittenthis week, I read about a new study on the sinking of the Titanic: Two experts on metallurgy claim that rivets of sub-quality were the main reason why the Titanic’s outer hull gave in so quickly:

“A rivet works by holding two plates together on a ship. And, during the collision, pressure, or load on that plate would have caused the heads of the rivets to pop open. So, the theory really is that the sub-quality iron caused weak rivets, and therefore, the seams were weak, and opened up during the collision.”

The authors say that because of pressure to finish two equivalent ships and other financial reasons, the shipbuilder Harland and Wolff was forced to buy up material of providers that may have have not been of consistent quality. A Harland and Wolf spokesman disputed these claims:

“We always say there was nothing wrong with the Titanic when it left here

Your job as a spokesman sucks when you have to defend something that happened almost 100 years ago. To Harland and Wolff’s credit: they maintain an excellent website about the construction, maiden trip and the tragedy of the Titanic. If that doesn’t fix your ‘centennial Titanic addiction’, the US NOAA also maintains a site about the current ‘resting place’ of the ship. Excellent pictures and videos (multiple formats) there too. If your daily hobby is metallurgy (Don’t feel quilty about it: everybody enjoys hammering on iron things!), the NIST has a whole set of PDF files on the rivets of the Titanic.

And now a word from my sponsor. Cute, riveting kitties

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