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A black and white photo of the Titanic, taken from the side, sailing on the ocean.

Design

DESIGN FLAWS

A picture of the top deck of the Titanic during its construction.

During her construction, the Titanic had some changes in design. One of these was to change the number of lifeboats aboard from 48 to only 16. This decision was made by managing director Bruce Ismay to avoid the highest decks looking cluttered. Unfortunately, this decision led to there not being enough boats to evacuate all of the passengers once she began to sink. An additional change made to the Titanic’s design was to the makeup of the ship’s hull. Low-quality iron was used in the rivets, which made the walls weaker and is thought to have led to the side breaking open so easily after the collision.

Another design choice from the ship was iron being used in place of steel on the curved sections of the hull. At the time, this was a common practice. This practice was cheaper for the company, but weakened the ship due to steel being a stronger metal. Because of this choice, another theory about the Titanic’s sinking is that the iron caused the hull’s plates to be brittle enough to be broken by the ice, but that they would not have been if steel had been used throughout the entire ship.