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OT: salvage of WW2 shipwrecks

gwelo62

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
ga,usa
There is the occasional article about WW2 shipwrecks being salvaged. The main reason is that the steel was made before the A-bombs contminated the steel. I assume the steel is mostly mild steel and would have to be melted again and therefore contaminated anyway. Am I missing something?
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
Same issue for lead for radiation shielding for experiments. Almost all lead is recycled after use since it is so valuable. It has been recycled for centuries.
Bill D
 

cyanidekid

Titanium
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Location
Brooklyn NYC
Same issue for lead for radiation shielding for experiments. Almost all lead is recycled after use since it is so valuable. It has been recycled for centuries.
Bill D

I thought it was a naturally occurring isotope that was the issue with lead, and not fallout and shielding contamination.(or just those), so that it's 400+ year old shipwrecked lead that is more valuable? (never herd any such thing about gold)
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
I recently got to tour a "Melt shop" running a 50 ton vacuum arc furnace, pouring into a 100 ton vacuum arc/induction furnace.
They melt alloy steel, and need Nickle.
They explained that battleships armor plating is kept separate during the scrapping process, (and they pay a premium for it)
They purchase it to meet some of the heat's Nickle requirements.
 

Gewehr 98

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Location
Cinci.O
Same issue for lead for radiation shielding for experiments. Almost all lead is recycled after use since it is so valuable. It has been recycled for centuries.
Bill D

Same with gold. I've been told when I buy a Maple Leaf or Krugerrand that it might contain ancient coin, jewelry, or some old princes crown.
 

Thunderjet

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 24, 2019
Thanks for sending me down that rabbit hole....scuttled ships, mutiny ...German revolution.....

That's a fascinating battle to research.

Twenty years ago Ballard started mapping all of the wrecks and then diving on them remotely.

Fifteen years later, folks went back only to find almost all the steel was GONE.

Crazy stuff.
 

Trueturning

Diamond
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
I recently got to tour a "Melt shop" running a 50 ton vacuum arc furnace, pouring into a 100 ton vacuum arc/induction furnace.
They melt alloy steel, and need Nickle.
They explained that battleships armor plating is kept separate during the scrapping process, (and they pay a premium for it)
They purchase it to meet some of the heat's Nickle requirements.

It was a big deal back in the day private industry produced armor plate a lot and at some point Congress felt the government should save money and took it on. It was a dismal failure as usual. Maybe too many hands in the pie perhaps?

Government being so incompetent or members corrupted seems unavoidable. It is avoidable though with the proper oversight. That seems impossible to implement.
 

Cyclotronguy

Stainless
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Location
Northern California
Yup, back in the day when we were making medical isotopes you'd go in 2x a year for a whole body count. The counter was inside a WWI era torpedo tube incased in a slug of portland cement loaded with magnetite and Boron. You'd lay there with the breech closed: shivvering for 45 min to an hour on an equally vintage wooden cot, staring up at a couple of large apature sodium iodide dectors.. As I recall the counter was put together originally by the Navel Research Lab in DC, crude but very effective
 

tdmidget

Diamond
Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Location
Tucson AZ
Yup, back in the day when we were making medical isotopes you'd go in 2x a year for a whole body count. The counter was inside a WWI era torpedo tube incased in a slug of portland cement loaded with magnetite and Boron. You'd lay there with the breech closed: shivvering for 45 min to an hour on an equally vintage wooden cot, staring up at a couple of large apature sodium iodide dectors.. As I recall the counter was put together originally by the Navel Research Lab in DC, crude but very effective


:icon_bs:How skinny would you have to be to fit on this "vintage wooden cot" in a tube 21 inches in diameter?
 

tdmidget

Diamond
Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Location
Tucson AZ
I think there is some confusion here. It is illegal, by international treaty to disturb a WWII wreck, though it has happened on a large scale, by what appears to be Chinese interests. Western use of salvaged Naval steel is from the German fleet at Scapa Flow, where no lives were lost.
 

Thunderjet

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 24, 2019
I think there is some confusion here. It is illegal, by international treaty to disturb a WWII wreck, though it has happened on a large scale, by what appears to be Chinese interests. Western use of salvaged Naval steel is from the German fleet at Scapa Flow, where no lives were lost.

This has never stopped the Chicoms from "disturbing" anything else though. From what I know of, the salvaging is from WW1 wrecks, both military and non military merchant marine vessels.

BTW,
I see you're from Tucson, are the "bookends" still a thing? I can't find anything regarding them anymore.

Did they take them down?

On edit:

Found them,
Wesley Bolin Plaza

Would love to go sometime.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
I think there is some confusion here. It is illegal, by international treaty to disturb a WWII wreck, though it has happened on a large scale, by what appears to be Chinese interests. Western use of salvaged Naval steel is from the German fleet at Scapa Flow, where no lives were lost.

"Western Use" is also from our own fleet being de-commissioned.
 

tdmidget

Diamond
Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Location
Tucson AZ
"Western Use" is also from our own fleet being de-commissioned.


I think the last pre 1945 vessel scrapped was the Bon Homme Richard, in the early 90s. However the submarine Clamagore at Patriots point has deteriorated to the point that it will be scrapped. Part of it is pre 1945.
 

Ries

Diamond
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Location
Edison Washington USA
It was a big deal back in the day private industry produced armor plate a lot and at some point Congress felt the government should save money and took it on. It was a dismal failure as usual. Maybe too many hands in the pie perhaps?

Government being so incompetent or members corrupted seems unavoidable. It is avoidable though with the proper oversight. That seems impossible to implement.

You have any kind of citation for this?
I have a pretty decent library on the history of steelmaking in the US, used to have relatives in Pittsburgh- and I have never heard of a "socialized" steel mill.
Most of the big battleship steel came from Bethlehem, or USS, both completely capitalist and privately owned.
there may have been times when the feds told the companies what to make, and there certainly were price controls set by the government during WW2, as well as rules telling the private companies what they could and couldnt make- but that applied to Ford and Boeing and General Electric equally with US Steel and Bethlehem.
 








 
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