Author(s): Paul D. Barrette; David Hnatiw; John Marquardt; Yvan Brunet
Abstract: Winter road networks generally comprise segments that run over land and over floating ice (rivers and lakes). The latter commonly are weak links in these operations, especially in a warming climate, because they rely on cold temperatures to achieve a thickness that is safe enough for the intended traffic. A testing program was designed to investigate the performance of steel cables and a polypropylene geogrid as reinforcement materials. This paper reports on the first stage of the test program, which was to design and implement a procedure to generate that information. One ice sheet was grown from freshwater in the NRC ice tank facility in Ottawa, and was partitioned into a series of eight plates 100 mm in average thickness. Forces and displacements were recorded while a downward vertical load was exerted on the plate at a constant displacement rate. Cracking activity was monitored via an acoustic sensor system. All plates underwent radial cracking. A good correlation existed between the response of the vertical load and cracking activity. Prospective follow-up on this preliminary testing is discussed.