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Riveted Hull Joint Design in RMS Titanic and Other Pre–World War I Ships

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Beginning with an overview of riveted joint construction, this paper shows that the efficiency of riveted joints in pre–World War I ships decreased as plate thickness increased. In the case of the RMS Titanic, some of the joints involved in the iceberg impact were only about 27% as strong as the plates they connected. A finite element model is used to show how such a joint would respond to the sort of out-of-plane load that the iceberg would have applied. For one possible load configuration, the joint failure is recreated. Finally, although Titanic and her sisters were not built to class, the design of the riveted joints is examined in the context of relevant Lloyd's Register of Shipping Rules.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-04-01

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