Titanic-Rivets 04-18 Web
Titanic sinking blamed on rivets
The tragic sinking of the Titanic nearly a century ago can be blamed on low grade rivets that the ship’s builders used on some parts of the ill-fated liner, two experts on metals conclude in a new book.
The company, Harland and Wolff of Belfast, Northern Ireland, needed to build the ship quickly and at reasonable cost, which may have compromised quality, said co-author Timothy Foecke.
The company knowingly purchased weaker rivets, but I think they did it not knowing they would be purchasing something substandard enough that when they hit an iceberg their ship would sink," said co-author Jennifer Hooper McCarty, who started researching the Titanic’s rivets while working on her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University in 1999.
The company disputes the idea that inferior rivets were at fault. The theory has been around for years, but McCarty and Foecke’s book, "What Really Sank the Titanic," published last month, outlines their research into the Harland and Wolff archives and surviving rivets from the Titanic.