In recent times there has been much made about the fact that Titanic was constructed from inferior steel that was particularly brittle in cold waters.
Titanic’s steel was produced in acid-lined open-hearth furnaces, which allowed for impurities (such as sulphur and phosphorous) in the steel. These impurities led to low fracture resistance, especially in cold water conditions that reduced the ability of the steel to deform without fracturing.
However much factual information we have discovered about metallurgy in the last century it is unfair to bring this into the equation as a crucial part of her demise.
Titanic was built from the best known steel of the day and there were thousands of ships built in the same era from the exact same process who never had any faults with their steel.
Titanic’s sister ship Olympic had her steel made from the exact same process using the exact same equipment and she sailed for over another three decades before being scrapped.
Olympic even had two major collisions in her lifespan one with the battleship Hawke and another famous collision with German U-Boat U-103 in which she rammed it and sunk it. Neither of these collisions would prove particularly damaging to her hull.
So yes, Titanic would be made from better steel today, but when a 50,000 ton ship plows into an iceberg that dwarfs it at high speed the outcome is almost certainly going to be similar. The steel ‘myth’ is purely another small part of a very large sequence of unfortunate events.