Titanic's Rivets

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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby Aly Jones » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:29 pm

Minus Frozen water brittle the Rivets underneath the waterline which contributed to the sinking of Titanic. Bergs are sharp and strong heavy type material, any handycap Titanic received doomed her even more so.
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby VW1956 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:59 am

Hello. When there is talk of rivet falure due to the not perfectly made rivets (although perfect for 1912) there is much talk of too much slag in the steel.making the rivets weaker. But was this the real type of falure of these rivets. If the rivets popped out due to the extreme pressures they were put under as Titanic went past the iceberg then the rivets themselves did not fail such as breaking up or colapsing. They popped out but were still in one piece. Now supposing the rivets below the surface had had a head on them both sides then surely that would have stopped them from being popped out. Ken.
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby Dave Gittins » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:41 am

I have a photo that shows a failed rivet. It has split down the middle and the point has come right off. The point is far weaker than the head. See the drawing I posted earlier.
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby Aly Jones » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:06 am

An Titanic rivet?
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby Dave Gittins » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:21 am

A Titanic rivet! :twisted:
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby Aly Jones » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:23 am

Just keeping you on your toes Dave. :lol:

Do you have a photo of A Titanic rivet?
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby VW1956 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:15 pm

Hello Dave. I assume it was a rivet from Titanic that you have a picture of. Even so, they wouldn't all of split in this way. And do you think that if the headless rivets had seats on them both sides that it would have made them hold much better as to still open up the plates would have meant stretching or snapping them first. Ken.
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby North 52 West » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:21 pm

Do you know from what part of the ship this river came from Dave? Otherwise is it possible this river failed during the break?
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby ardtornish » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:47 pm

Hello all!

Here is something from one of my old books you might find interesting:
riveting practice.jpg
riveting practice.jpg (158.29 KiB) Viewed 866 times


Note that a countersunk rivet is one which has a flush or almost flush head. Also that the countersunk hole is reamed to take the flush head of the rivet. Some more from my book:
holes.jpg
holes.jpg (474.17 KiB) Viewed 866 times


Note the Rules concerning countersunk holes and shell plating!
It seems that Titanic's underwater hull was rivetted in this way. Therefore there is no way the ice sheared the heads off the rivets.

As a matter of interest, it was the rule that as well as plate edges; the rivets on watertight connections had to be caulked. This was a highly skilled, pains-taking job.

Hello Dave:

Rivets normally fail in the manner shown in your picture due to them being streched along the line of the rivet shank. This happens when the joint is pulled apart. Rivets will fail much easier when elongated. The fact that the point failed reinforces this. They are strongest against shearing stresses. The point is the weakest part because of the amount of heat used in forming it. Sounds like the rivet in the picure had a slag inclusion in the shank which caused the metal to fracture and the fracture to propogate longitudinally causing the shank to fail at the circumference of the point. I have seen this when plates are buckled in way of a plate joint. Do yu know what part it came from? is it a countersunk rivet?

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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby VW1956 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:48 am

Hello. I still cant understand how by "punching" a hole in a 1" plate of steel you can get a perfectly round hole. But I guess you can as that is what they did. I also find it incredible that they were able to pre drill or pre punch holes in exactly the right place so as to make the holes match up once they had been placed on the ship ready for riveting. Ken.
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby VW1956 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:51 am

Hello. I have been looking at those diagrams that Ardtornish posted and have just found out that by left clicking on the diagram you get to see the whole diagram instead of a bit at a time. Thought I would mention that incase anyone else didn't know. Ken.
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby Dave Gittins » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:17 am

Ard, the photo I have shows a snap head rivet. I believe it was found beside the ship but I don't know exactly where.
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby ardtornish » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:12 pm

Hello Dave

I think the rivet you have a picture of must be from superstructure above 'E' deck. If you look here: http://curiosity.discovery.com/topic/we ... ures33.htm
at images 35 to 37 you get a good idea of how it was.


Hello Ken!

When they punched a hole in the steel, it left a bigger hole on the side away from the punch tool. That's why the hole was not parallel sided. It also left a ragged edge round the rim which had to be removed. It was removed by a 'Rimer'

They really did have problems with holes not matching. These were called 'unfair' holes. They solved the problem with special tools. One was a 'drift punch' a tapered steel tool not unlike an old carving knife sharpener which was driven through both sets of holes in an attempt to align them. There were two Rimer tools. Both were steel tools much like the previously described Drift Punch. One had four parallel grooves which formed four sharp edges 90 degrees apart. End-on, it looked like a cross. The other was much like a flat bladed rasp file. These were also used in trying to 'fair' 'unfair' holes.

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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby VW1956 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:58 am

Hello Ardtornish. Thanks for that information on hole punching. Now that you have explained that the holes were not perfect every time I can understand it now. And the "unfair" holes also makes a lot of sense. I just had it in my head that they were somehow managing to punch perfect holes in exactly the right place every time and I just couldn't see how that was possible. I am now thinking that if there were a line of holes that required the use of a "drift punch" would that not put an extra strain on that area of the hull. A bit like a section of hull is spring loaded waiting for that extra push to pop out the rivets? Maybe I'm doing a bit too much thinking. Ken.
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Re: Titanics Rivets.

Postby ardtornish » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:00 pm

My life experience is that there are never too many ideas. As long as they keep coming..some day the right one or ones will come along. If you don't think you don't get ideas. If you share them then you are being generous, not silly!

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