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What sources have you already tried?
Iowas by sumrall?
U.S. Battleships by terz..... Something? (Don't have my books in front of me right now : )
Is there an Anatomy of Iowa book?
Any ship design books?
How does the design differ from the south Dakotas?
Not having done any in depth analysis of ship construction, it's challenging to offer advice.
I am looking for some source that would explain the “why” of the structure of the hull on the Iowa class. I've got the "how" down from the blueprints but why was the Iowa class hull constructed the way it was? I have not found a source that explains the thinking behind this design.
The Iowa hull structure is positively antediluvian and highly inefficient. So there must have been some mindset in the late 1930’ that produced this.
Let me give a simple example. There is a vertical keel plate with a horizontal flat keel plate underneath. These two are attached by welding a horizontal plate to the vertical keel then riveting the flat keel to the welded plate. That is not as strong as welding horizontal and vertical keels directly. The engineers of the 30’s would have known creating two points of failure is less strong.
I have seen the claim of a lack of welders. Yet welding is extensive in the hull structure. The superstructure was designed to be welded.
I have seen the claim that the designers were concerned that the designers were concerned that a welded hull would be too rigid. That meshes with the design of the superstructure. However, rigidity does not adequately explain the hull structure.
The bow is entirely welded.
The hull shell consists of plates laid out in strakes (courses). The plates in the lower courses are welded together at the ends. In the upper courses the plates are riveted end-to-end.
Adjoining strakes are linked together with rivets, but there is a variety of joint types: e.g. overlaps, rabbets, scarfs, butts. Furthermore, the joints between adjoining strakes change over their length. There are places where the upper strake overlaps the lower strake then the joint switches so the lower strake overlaps the upper strake (noticeably visible on the ships). Then there are some really odd joints where strakes come together (e.g., two overlapping strakes merge to form a single strake).
It would be hard to imagine a ship hull structure being designed this way 10 years later. Machining 150 feet of scarf joint into 1-1/2 armor plate is expensive, time consuming and not nearly as strong as simply welding the joint.
Such an animal may not exist but I was wondering if anyone knew of sources that explained the mindset of the Iowa designers in this respect during the 1930’s.
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