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Beam Testing of Reinforced Ice in the Context of Winter Road

Author(s): Paul D. Barrette; Bradley Butt

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A laboratory study was conducted to provide additional information on ice reinforcement and its field implementation to strengthen segments of floating ice (referred to as ice bridges, ice crossings or ice roads) that are commonly weak links in a winter road operation. In addition to preventing breakthroughs, this option would increase the predictability of the ice’s bearing capacity. Four-point beam bending tests were conducted on freshwater ice with and without reinforcement, for comparison purposes. A steel mesh, a polypropylene geogrid and threaded steel rods were used as reinforcement material. In all tests, the load and the loading rate increased with time up to a peak load. For the non-reinforced ice, there was a sudden drop in load at which point the tests ended. For the reinforced ice, a drop in load also followed the peak load, but the load climbed again up to another peak in a repetitive fashion. The ice reinforced with the threaded rods had the highest resistance (exceeding the load cell capacity). Thin section observations showed that the crystal structure was forming around the material. However, cleavage surfaces along the ice/material interface after beam failure indicate that the interface could be a strength reduction factor.


Year: 2020

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