Operational Capabilities of Low- and Non-ice-class Ships in Ice

Lay Summary 

In response to growing interest in the operational capabilities of low- and non-ice class ships in and near open pack ice, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), Vard Marine Inc. and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) have agreed to collaborate on research with Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and Research and Development Corporation Newfoundland & Labrador. This research will address the fundamental knowledge gaps needed to allow existing engineering hull assessment and ship operational guidance tools to be applied to low- and non-ice-class vessels (such as warships or commercial vessels offshore NL). Four simultaneous and complementary streams of research will be carried out: (1) full-scale ice-cone impact experiments on decommissioned HMCS IROQUOIS grillages, new copies of those grillages, and on new concept grillages; (2) material "fracture locus" characterisation of new and used CSA G40.21 260 WT steel (equivalent to the common A36 shipbuilding steel), (3) development and enhancement of ship-ice impact related finite element (FE) and event mechanics simulation tools; and (4) development and enhancement of advanced engineering tools for the assessment and operational guidance of low- and non-ice-class vessels in ice. The results of this research will: allow the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) to ascertain the operational capabilities of their warships in ice-infested waters, thus enabling them to better fulfill their mandate to conduct operations (including search and rescue) in northern waters, up to and including the Arctic Ocean; contribute to the operations and competitiveness of Vard nationally and internationally, enhancing their range of services and improving their likelihood of obtaining new international ship design contracts; improve ABS's ability to class Canadian and internationally flagged ships that operate in Canadian ice-infested waters (e.g. offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, the St. Lawrence seaway, and Hudson Bay), thereby de-risking ship operations in the North and providing greater probability of increased shipping; develop new technologies that may be commercialized; and enhance Canada's existing reputation as a world leader in Arctic Technology.

Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering
NSERC DND/CRD Collaborative Research and Development
RDC Ignite
Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC)
Vard Marine Inc.
American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
Newfoundland and Labrador
Engineering Research
Industry Sectors 
Federal Government Public Administration
Architectural, Engineering and Related Services
Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
Specialized Design Services
Start date 
3 Sep 2018
End date 
31 Aug 2022
Lead Organization 
Memorial University of Newfoundland, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
Partner Organization 
Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC)
Vard Marine Inc.
American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)