Based on a long term interest in the nature of ice failure and the physical basis of ice loads and pressures, we have been developing new experimental techniques to model, measure and film ice crushing. A series of increasingly successful laboratory tests have led to the latest capability.
We can now do a test of ice crushing that lets us ‘see inside’ ice as it is crushed. This is very valuable in explaining what is actually going on, and helps us make sense of the seemingly complex data that always arises with ice crushing tests. This work is very basic in a scientific sense, but has tremendous practical significance. If we can truly understand ice forces, we can ensure that we neither over- nor under-design ice-capable structures with significant cost savings as a result. This line of research is now part of the AIF STePS2 project.