Titanic Fragments Analyzed by Bethlehem Steel Experts

Discover a little-known link between Bethlehem Steel and the Titanic

It’s been 100 years since the “unsinkable” super ship Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic and slid to the ocean floor as more than 1,500 passengers and crew died.

The anniversary of the April 1912 disaster is being observed with memorial cruises, a TV mini series, a wave of new books and an auction of Titanic artifacts.

Bethlehem's connection to the Titanic saga comes from the city's namesake steel company.

Researchers from Bethlehem Steel were among a team assembled to apply forensic science to the case of the doomed ship as part of the creation of a 1997 Discovery Channel documentary called “Titanic: Anatomy of a Disaster.”

The group of experts included naval architects, marine engineers, metallurgists, microbiologists, and remote-sensing experts who investigated the potential causes of the sinking of RMS Titanic, according to Titanic Archive Online.

The Bethlehem Steel metallurgists analyzed steel fragments and rivets recovered from the wreckage. They discovered that the specimens contained a significant amount of impurities called silicate slag, which could have caused the ship’s steel plates to crack during impact with the iceberg.

“Brittle steel” and “weak rivets” are two theories that have been developed to explain the catastrophe.


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