May 22, 2006

Stay Afloat 

Just found a most strange search phrase in my referrals: "steel is much denser than water.in view of this fact, how do steel ships float ?"

Now, this isn't as laughable as it may seem. And I like to provide scientific information to my readers, so here we go.

Ships float because they're for the most part empty; basically a shell around a large cavity. This makes the overall density of the ship lower than that of water.

Let's make an example.
A steel cube weighing 100 tons will have a volume of approximatively 15 cubic meters, and will definitely sink in water. However, if we take 100 tons of steel plates and with that we build a ship with an internal volume of 250 cubic meters (that would be a 10 x 5 x 5 meters cuboid, not a big ship), we obtain an overall density of 0.4 ton/cubic meter: much less than water. We could even load another 100 ton of cargo in that ship.

And let's not forget that nowadays many boats and small ships have fiberlgass-resin composite hulls, which are even less dense than steel.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?