Author Topic: QE2 and her lack of expansion joints compared to other similar liners.  (Read 17994 times)

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Offline Rod

Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #15 on: Dec 15, 2011, 12:29 AM »
Isabelle,
Esentially, an expansion joint, is a design feature, found on a lot of things that allows the disimilar expansion of building materials.
Because QE2 was essentially hull up to Q deck, steel and above that aluminium or aluminum for the US readers.
Aluminum expands approximately twice the rate of steel, so where they are attached becomes a problem. At the riveted joint the rivet holes were enlarged to help this problem.
Another problem with havin aluminum superstructure is the "flexing" Steel is much more rigid than Al. The superstructure moves considerably more than the hull. think upside down pendulum... that puts a greater stress on the superstructure. AL is a lot weaker than steen, so at any point where there is great stress you get cracks, leading to water ingress etc. Bigest crack I saw was around 3 feet. These could not be repaired by ships personal but temporarily covered. Quite often thes occured around portholes and openings in the ships side. Another thread on this site  shows pics of the garbage door areas with plates welded close by.
An expansion joint is a gap in the wall that is closed by thick rubber, obviously made waterproof.
As for changes in temp.....think of all the copper pipes carrying water. They had expansion joints in them. On three deck for instance if a copper pipe was cut and allowed to go cold there would be a 1 foot gap at the cut!

Offline Twynkle

Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #16 on: Dec 15, 2011, 06:36 PM »
This is really interesting, thank you both; they are great questions -- and for your answers, too!

Rod - As QE2's been in warm lay-up - what effects (if any) would you expect the local temperatures have had on the copper pipes, and on the patches on the aluminium?
The other question is about the rubber that's used - doesn't it degrade, or perish, even - over time?
If so - would this be due to extreme temps, as well as the atmosphere at sea, or inertia perhaps?
Thanks again
Rosie.
« Last Edit: Dec 15, 2011, 06:38 PM by Twynkle »

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #17 on: Dec 15, 2011, 07:24 PM »
From AR | QE2, my favourite QE2 book of all time!

AR|QE2, June 1969, Page 417

The superstructure of a large ship always poses problems: it adds nothing the the stability and usually contributes very little to the hull strength.  Sited high above the neutral line of the hull girder, it is liable to enormous strain as the hull flexes with the passage of the waves beneath it  The steel superstructures of the earlier Queens was not continuous with the hull.  Vertical joints in the upper-works allow them to behave like separate boxes fixed to the strength deck,  This, although it used to be common practice was never entirely satisfactory.  The bottom of a working joint forms a dangerous focus for local stresses, while the superstructure becomes simply a further load for the Hull, which also has to withstand unaided the entire longitudinal bending stresses.  The hull therefore has to be stronger and heavier, especially high up at the strength deck, which on the old QE was formed of two continuous layers of steel plate up to 0.6in. thick, with a total weight in the region of 2,000 tons.
Apart from the steel casing around the uptakes, the QE2 superstructure is built entirely in aluminium alloy, and it is structurally continuous with the steel hull below it, the join being signalled externally by the double line of 1-in. rivets girdling the 750-ft. length of the quarter deck below the sills of the lower line of large windows.

The plate thickness in the upper part of the steel hull are slightly reduced to allow a moderate amount of stress to "get through" and be resisted by the superstructure.  The thickness of the alloy plates in the shell, beams, decks and structural partitions of the superstructure itself are also carefully controlled, and the material is quite highly stresses.  The comparatively large movements under stress, inevitable so high up in the ship, are permitted by the greater elasticity of the alloy.  In addition to the working stresses transmitted from the hull, there are wind l loadings from North Atlantic gusts up to 70mph together with loads from the boats on their davits high up on the boat deck.
 
Finally the structural shell is perforated by numerous large external windows. As a result the superstructure, apart from the change of material, is given the same rigid construction as the hull.  Even the largest public rooms retain the standard grid of pillars and webs.  The exception is the theatre, for which all pillars had to be eliminated.  At this point concealed transverse beams are used above the auditorium, combined with an elegant use of longitudinally spanning structural partitions over the after part of the space to support the balcony and the deck above it.  The junction of the transverse webs with the outer shell at the sides is specially stiffened by solid plating for 3 to 4 feet fore and aft of each web, to improve resistance to vertical shear stresses from the hull.  This plating divides the large windows into irregular groups on the side elevation.

« Last Edit: Dec 15, 2011, 07:30 PM by Rob Lightbody »
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Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #18 on: Dec 15, 2011, 07:48 PM »
From the Alcan Aluminium advert in Shipping World & Shipbuilder January 1969

The largest all-welded aluminium superstructure ever built in Britain ; the first ever to be designed as a longitudinally framed, integral - stressed extension of the hull itself ; the first ever superstructure to save so much weight that another deck could be added without sacrificing stability.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline pete cain

Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #19 on: Dec 15, 2011, 09:04 PM »
excellent research Rob,it's mindblowing stuff, earlier I posted on Rotterdams expansion joint failure, on the' Rotterdam on video' topic, there's a lot of reading there about expansion joints......

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,3634.msg40677.html#msg40677
« Last Edit: Dec 15, 2011, 11:05 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #20 on: Dec 15, 2011, 11:09 PM »
excellent research Rob,it's mindblowing stuff, earlier I posted on Rotterdams expansion joint failure, on the' Rotterdam on video' topic, there's a lot of reading there about expansion joints......

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,3634.msg40677.html#msg40677

Fascinating stuff, Rob and Pete and Rod -- and thanks a million for bringing all this information here! It is such a pleasure to read about the workings of the ship as a piece of architecture and engineering.

Rob, what is AR / QE2?

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #21 on: Dec 15, 2011, 11:21 PM »
Oh sorry. It's the Architecture Review publication. A wonderful item.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Rod

Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #22 on: Dec 16, 2011, 12:19 AM »
Rosie,
To answer your questions:
I have no idea what the ships conditions are in Dubai are. Whether they have water circulating around the ship, have various sections shut off. I just do not know. If for instances they have all onboard personell living in one section and have water shut off to all others, then when water is turned back on there will be a magnitude of floods. All hot pipes were copper, sadly, bleach, for water purification, and copper do not go together well. Every time we went to Hong Kong for 3-4 days on the world cruise we would replace around 600 feet of main pipe. Smaller diameters could be replaced at sea by ships staff. I will say that by now the copper piping on QE2 must be in a terrible state. It is 42 years old!

Patches on the aluminium. Outside temps should not make a difference as long as they all change at the same time and the patches have the same co-efficient of expansion ast the original material.

The rubber...yess all of the above.

Offline pete cain

Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #23 on: Dec 16, 2011, 06:03 PM »
 Pride of the North Atlantic,  David F Hutchings, p203 '

 ''  Lloyd's ship surveyors were also keenly  interested in the superstructure as it was to be regarded as part of the ship's strength
    structure.  Accordingly, expansion joints ( the narrow, protected transverse 'gaps' in the uppermost deck of a ship that allowed
   the superstructure to 'work' in heavy weather  when the main hull bends) were ommitted....................

     ..............The various weight saving exercises proved to be a worthwhile - and potentially profitable - operation but it also
   affected the centre of gravity which, as a consequence, had to be lowered.  The usual method of remedying this problem
   would have been to add, in Q4's case, 750 tons of otherwise useless ballast to the bottom of the ship. But the designers     
   ingeniously did away with the use of this dead weight and instead turned it to advantage.
        Their solution was to increase certain steel plate thicknesses in areas where greater than usual wear (or corrosion) could be
   reasonably expected to occour, such as in the lower most structure................and in the fore part of hull , strengthening it
  against ice. Increasing the weight of steelwork within the double bottom cells also added to the ship's strength''.

   Quite an amount of this information is repeated in ,

   QE2   Britains Greatest Liner,   Bruce Peter,Philip Dawson,  Ian Johnston,   
   with the addition on P 63,

   ''The alloy superstructure was stressed so as to take up the relatively large bending and twisting forces passed up from the
   hull's movement................  The inherantly greater elasticity of the alloy was better able to take up the greater movement
   and larger structural stresses so high up in a sizeable ship than could be absorbed by a comparable steel structure....................

.................Without the structural stiffening elements of a conventional strength deck and the lapped plating of a traditionally
   riveted hull, special attention had to be given to the added rigidity that could be gaind from internal web frames, extending
   several metres in from the ship's sides......................................

  As a result, the liner had an exceptionally robust hull bottom, a factor which helped to ensure a long operational career''.

  So the question is,  after reading the above extracts, is it reasonable to assume that she was (still is)  without doubt  a
  'Robust' lady in the hull department, but is so robust  the upper decks although stressed , were without said expansion joint
  and as we've all seen, was subject to fatigue ?. Can somebody please tell me what stressed means in this context?
  does the alloy become de-stressed over the years , thus contributing to the fatigue?

 A postscript,  a little one liner I found on the above  book , also on P63  ''Oriana'', ''which was otherwise a prototype for much of Q4's lightweight structural innovativeness'', Q4 nearly built in Barrow...................

     

Offline Bob C.

Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #24 on: Dec 16, 2011, 08:32 PM »
Can somebody please tell me what stressed means in this context?
  does the alloy become de-stressed over the years , thus contributing to the fatigue?

 

"Stressed" in this case means "designed for". Replace the term and it should make better sense.  And, no, you cannot destress.  the only way to do this is in the scrap yard when a ship is taken down.

WARNING: TECHNICAL SPEAK TO FOLLOW

A way to look at the stresses experienced in a ship is to take a rectangular rubber pencil eraser and bend it length-wise.  Bending it up you'll see compression on the top and stretching on the bottom and vice versa for bending it down.  The further away from the middle of the eraser (where there is no stress, theoretically), the greater the stresses when bending.  The ship bends like this in waves and also twists but I won't get into torsional stresses. 

Bottom line: one of the main reasons QE2's superstructure cracks and has all of those stregthening fillets and patches is because of the constant compression, tension (stretching) and torsion (twisting) stresses created by the ship's motion on the sea being applied far from the vertical and horizontal longitudinal centerline of the ship.   

Although aluminum is more ductile ("stretchier") than steel, it does not stand up to the constant cycling of stresses as long as steel does and therefore fails (cracks, etc.) before the steel.

Offline pete cain

Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #25 on: Dec 16, 2011, 08:50 PM »
Thanks for that Bob, I mainly 'get it', do you think, with all the progress made in the last 40yrs, that the alloy available today would stand up to the treatment any better, I wonder was the alloy available at the time marine specific, or just stock aluminium?

Offline Willum

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Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #26 on: Apr 20, 2014, 06:25 PM »
When the ship came out there were no expansion joints or cracks. However, when the Penthouses were fitted this altered the stress forces and a crack opened up in bad N.Atlantic weather that went all the way from Port to Starboard at a point just where the Queens Grill bar was located and rain would find its way through and wet the carpet by the bar. The crack in the aluminium floor went through the fan room by R/O's cabin S4 and in bad weather you could look through it and see it opening and closing and hear it creak as the aluminium ground together. In drydock the crack would be welded up but inevitably next N.Atlantic it would open up again an I once heard it go with a bang as I was in Cabin S4. Eventually in drydock the crack was 'formalised' and a rubber loop was fitted and bolted across the gap.
Willum

Offline Hank Hargrove

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Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #27 on: Apr 21, 2014, 03:15 PM »
SS Rotterdam is one of the rare ships, I am told, where the expansion joints in her hull are clearly marked and easy to see :

https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=55206992@N00&q=rotterdam%20expansion

Here is one of these pictures, showing the expansion joint as the black line looking a bit like a thermometer in shape :


Expansion joints by prondis_in_kenya, on Flickr

I wonder whether QE2 had expansion joints, and if so, where were they located?

That is unusual. It's a nice touch.
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Offline June Ingram

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Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #28 on: Apr 22, 2014, 05:49 PM »
Thank you very much, Willum, for further explanation.
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Offline Adam Hodson

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Re: Expansion joints
« Reply #29 on: Apr 23, 2014, 08:42 PM »
Thanks to all for this information. You always learn something new about our QE2.
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"QE2 and Concorde, a partnership that lasted almost 30 years... two stunning pieces of engineering, never to be forgotten!"

 

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