Reference numberAP/55/6/1
TitleUnpublished manuscript, 'On the durability and preservation of iron ships and on riveted joints' by William Fairbairn
DescriptionThe disaster which happened to the 'Megaera’ is first discussed, as showing the need of constant inspection of iron structures. That vessel was built by Fairbairn in 1849, and, in his opinion, would have been perfectly sound at the present time if her interior had been freely open to inspection, and if such inspection had been regularly carried out. With regard to riveted joints, Fairbairn first discusses the relative merits of machine- and hand-riveting, and points out that in machine-riveting there is much greater security that the rivets properly fill the rivet holes. The rate at which riveting can be done is given as 16 rivets per minute with a lever riveting-machine, 10 rivets per minute with a steam-riveting machine, and 0.66 rivets per minute when the riveting is done by hand. Fairbairn presents the results of 12 experiments on different-sized plates and rivets, machine- and hand-riveted, detailing the ultimate shearing stress, ultimate pressure on bearing surface and the mode of fracture. Annotations in ink throughout. Includes 18 diagrams and photographs of iron rivets throughout the paper.

Subject: Engineering / Shipbuilding

Received 5 March 1873. Read 24 April 1873.

Whilst the Royal Society declined to publish this paper in full, an abstract of the paper was published in volume 21 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society as 'On the durability and preservation of iron ships, and on riveted joints'.
Physical descriptionInk on paper
Access statusOpen
Related materialDOI: 10.1098/rspl.1872.0054
Fellows associated with this archive
NA6039Fairbairn; Sir; William (1789 - 1874)1789 - 1874
Add to My Items

    Collection highlights

    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

    The Royal Society

    The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of
    the world's most eminent scientists and is the
    oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
    Registered charity number 207043

    Website design ©CalmView


    + 44 207 451 2500
    (Lines open Mon-Fri, 9:00-17:00. Excludes bank holidays)

    6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

    Email Us →


    Subscribe to our newsletters to be updated with the
    latest news on innovation, events, articles and reports.

    Subscribe →

    © CalmView