Harding's Litosilo was a patented deck-sheathing (sub-flooring) for marine use, common back in the early 1900's.
It was used in several areas onboard the RMS Titanic and Olympic. The Litosilo on those ships was orange-red, an official color for the material, although a client could order it in any color they desired.
A scene in the 1997 Film Titanic depicts a group of 3rd class passengers ripping up a bench from the Litosilo to destroy a gate.
Properties[edit | edit source]
Litosolo is a material similar to cement, it is waterproof, rat-proof (as rats were known for entering ships and chewing up flooring and other materials that can be flaked or broken) and "infection-proof" probably meaning it's easy to clean.
It is also extremely resilient to foot traffic and could possibly last years.
Installation/Laying[edit | edit source]
After the steel deck-plates are riveted into place, steel clips are installed on all deck-plates to prevent the Litosilo from changing shape, then a cheaper raw litosilo (in a grey color) is layed down with special tools, after that, the main red litosilo is layed, Linoleum is then layed, if it is a 1st or 2nd class area, in most 3rd class and crew areas, the floors are just Litosilo.
Wreck[edit | edit source]
When the ship broke and imploded, it flaked off and chunks of it flew everywhere and some can still be found in the wreck-site on the sea bed still attached to lino tiles, with the grey layer beneath.
The rescue ship Carpathia reported seeing chunks of something floating in the water only hours after Titanic went down, however, this was more likely to granulated cork insulation (yellow) used in the uptake casings which flaked off in a very similar way but unlike Litosilo, it was buoyant and floated.
Downfall[edit | edit source]
By 1915/16 or so, ships using the material started developing holes in the deck-plates, this is because when the Harding's Litosilo soaked up water, it leaked magnesia into the steel deck-plates, corroding them and creating holes, HMHS Britannic used a different material called "Vitachi".