Archive for the ‘ballast pumps’ Tag

How the Titanic’s water pumps worked – and yet didn’t   1 comment

Titanic had 5 pumps used for trimming the vessel, and 3 bilge pumps with a capacity of 150 tons per hour for each pump. Two 10 inch ballast pipes ran the length of the ship and valves controlling the flow and direction of water were operated from the deck above. The totalĀ  capacity from all 8 pumps running together was 1700 tons an hour. While it seems counter intuitive that putting water in the hull would add stability, in fact, putting water below the center of gravity actually increases stability. This, among other advancements including the bulkheads and bulkhead doors, led many to claim the ship was unsinkable.

During the sinking, some reported that the pumps slowed the flooding of the number 6 boiler room in the first 10 minutes after the collision, while also keeping pace with the flooding in the number 5 boiler room. These pumps could not have kept the ship above water indefinitely, but as long as they had steam to power them, the flooding could be slowed. At 11:50 pm on the night of April 14, 1912, these sections were flooded and the rush of sea water overwhelmed these pumps, at which point Titanic foundered.


Titanic's bow

The bow of the great Titanic


Posted February 16, 2012 by Joni in Uncategorized

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