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Unique ice research in laboratory

Published: 12 March 2020

Researchers within the research groups building materials and geotechnical engineering are currently conducting a completely unique ice research where natural crushed ice from Luleå harbor has been collected for testing in a lab environment. They want to investigate which forces and movements are most effective when ships are to add to quays in our Arctic climate.

The overall aim of the project is to create model enabling safer and more efficient shipping in arctic conditions.

"Our first tests showed that the new approach to testing of natural ice can be a valuable alternative or addition to laboratory testing, and certainly way closer to the real life conditions", says Andrzej Cwirzen, professor of building materials at Luleå University of Technology.

When an icebreaker crushes the ice at a port, the crushed ice remains and some end up between incoming ships and the quay. It is this problem that one wants to investigate to see what forces and movements are needed to effectively get the ship to the quay.

"The test showed a new successful application for our large scale rig in The Mining and Civil Engineering Lab which we normally use for testing rocks and soils" says Jan Laue. Professor in soil mechanics at Luleå University of Technology.

The project is a part of a larger international project “Ice operations” within Kolaractic program and cooperation between Luleå University of Technology, Sintef-Narvik - Norway, Narfu - Russia, FMI - Finland and Sjöfatsverket.

Andrzej Cwirzen

Andrzej Cwirzen, Professor and Head of Subject

Phone: +46 (0)920 493387
Organisation: Building Materials, Structural and Fire Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Jan Laue

Jan Laue, Professor and Head of Subject, Head of Division

Phone: +46 (0)920 491288
Organisation: Soil Mechanics, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering