Page 26 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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25325. I ought to have asked you this question. First of all, the Board of Trade took the view that your collision bulkhead by stepping did not quite comply with their regulation? - Quite right. 25326. And to meet their view somewhat, you undertook to carry up the first bulkhead abaft the collision bulkhead a little higher? - Quite right. 25327. The bulkhead immediately abaft the spiral staircase? - Yes, abaft the upper part of the spiral staircase. 25328. Did that bulkhead in the “Titanic” vary in strength from any of the other bulkheads? - It is on the same basis; that is, all the bulkheads in the “Titanic” were constructed on the same footing for scantlings. 25329. Have you any idea what weight of water might cause that bulkhead to give way at any point? - It is not a question of the weight of water, but a question of the height of water. I tried to explain that before, if you remember. 25330. What height of water in relation to the height of bulkhead would reach either the bending or the breaking strain in the bulkhead? - Any height at all will produce a certain amount of bending; the steel is flexible. But to produce a breaking strain, that is assuming the calculations that were made to be correct, it would take a head of water of about 150 feet to break the bulkhead. 25331. Have you considered the amount of bending that would be caused by different heads of water: take the height of the bulkhead? - I think that one is about 52 or 53 feet - something like that anyway. 25332. Assume the water was up to 45 feet, with the flexibility of the steel, have you any idea to what extent it would cause a bend? - I believe I have got out figures, but I have no recollection what they are. 25333. There would be a certain point reached by the bend which might cause a displacement of the rivets? - That point would not be reached; it was nothing like enough to do that. 25334. Nothing like? - Nothing like. 25335. Have you calculated what extent of bend there must be to displace rivets? - Not for this particular case, but in most riveted structures it goes to something like 7/8ths of the ultimate breaking strength before the rivets give. 25336. If a bend - I am only putting it “if” - if a bend sufficient to cause displacement of the rivets with the weight of the water had in fact taken place, that would indirectly lead to the collapse of the whole thing, would it not? - No. 25337. Assume such a bend by a weight of water as to displace rivets, what was there abaft the bulkhead that would hold it in position? - You say “displace rivets.” I am not quite clear what you mean. Do you mean to push them out, or do you mean to make them slightly loose in the hole? 25338. I mean to make them slightly loose in the hole to begin with, and then to cause a movement of the plates or a movement of the stiffeners. I purposely used the term “displacement”? - Go on. I am not quite clear yet. Mr. Edwards: I purposely used the word “displacement.” The Commissioner: Yes, but he wants to know what you mean by it. 25339. (Mr. Edwards - To the Witness.) There may be degrees of displacement? - Certainly. 25340. There might be the breaking of the head of the rivet? - Yes. 25341. There might be simply a loosening of the rivet? - That would occur, of course, much earlier than the other. 25342. And the moment there was a loosening begun, there might be an accelerated process of displacement? - No, I think not, not an accelerating process. 25343. You think not? - I think not. 25344. Anyhow, you cannot state what would be in your view such a weight of water as
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