Metallurgical Analysis of RMS Titanic
This chapter discusses the metallurgical analysis that was performed on the remains of the Titanic. The Royal Mail Ship Titanic began her maiden voyage on April 10, 1912, from Southampton to New York. Metallurgical analysis of the steel taken from the hull of the Titanic’s wreckage was performed, and investigators found that the steel had a high ductile-to-brittle transition temperature, which made it unsuitable for use in the cold. Optical microscopic examination of the hull plates of the Titanic showed banding. Specimens were cut from the hull plate along both transverse and longitudinal directions. The survivors of the disaster disagreed as to whether the Titanic broke into two parts as it sank, whether she broke into three parts, or whether she sank intact. Metallurgists Tim Foecke and Jennifer Hooper McCarty found that the rivets holding together the Titanic’s steel plates toward the bow and the stern were made of low-grade iron.