Monday, 7 March 2016
COAL AND SCANTLINGS.
Miners' coal strikes flared up regularly and the cost of coal could double overnight. This factor could have had an influence on the 3456 tons of coal in the above post.
In the case of the Titanic it was suggested that the 1 inch plating and 7/8 inch rivets approved by the Board of Trade were not sufficient and should rather have been 1 1/4 inches for plating and 1 inch for rivets. The rationale for such a blatant disregard for structural strength referred to the additional weight caused by the thicker plates and rivets, which had an obvious impact on fuel consumption. It was also argued that thinner plates and rivets used for superstructure decks reduced weight and top heaviness, with better flexibility than thicker plates.
If they got away with this on Titanic, I can quite imagine a similar rationale dominated the design phase of Waratah - reduced production costs; reduced top hamper weight; reduced fuel consumption - all at the expense of structural integrity.