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Metallurgical Analysis of Wrought Iron From the RMS Titanic



J J. Hooper, Timothy J. Foecke, L Graham, Timothy P. Weihs


The discovery of the RMS Titanic has led to a number of scientific studies, one of which addresses the role that structural materials played in the sinking of the ship. Early studies focused on the quality of the hull steel as a contributing role to the ship's rapid sinking, but experimental results showed that the material was state of the art for 1911. Instead, it was suggested that the quality of the wrought iron rivets may have been an important factor in the opening of the steel plates during flooding. Here the quality of RMS Titanic wrought iron is examined and compared to contemporary wrought iron obtained from additional late 19th/early 20th century buildings, bridges, and ships. Traditional metallurgical analysis as well as compositional analysis, mechcaniocal testing, and computer modeling are used to understand the variation in the mechanical properties of wrought iron as a function of its microstructure.
Marine Technology and Sname News
No. 2


cells, composites, fracture, GMC, slag, strength, wrought iron


Hooper, J. , Foecke, T. , Graham, L. and Weihs, T. (2003), Metallurgical Analysis of Wrought Iron From the RMS Titanic, Marine Technology and Sname News (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created March 31, 2003, Updated October 12, 2021