Reinforcement percentage effects on bending strength of soil-ice mixtures

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Cold Regions Engineering


Construction in remote Arctic locations is made more difficult and expensive by the need to bring to site bulky building materials. This need can be reduced by the use of ice-soil mixtures. The strength of this reinforced ice is a function of the percentage of reinforcing soil mixed with the ice. To determine this function, beams of sand-reinforced ice were made, with volume percentage reinforcement of sand between 1.4 and 66.9%. The beams were loaded in bending, at a crosshead displacement rate of 50 mm/min and a temperature of -5C. All samples failed in a brittle manner. The bending strength increased with increasing reinforcement. This behavior is explained by a simple model, extending the work of Nixon and Weber (1991), which assumes that failure arises from the propagation of flaws within the ice matrix. The model, which is semiempirical, describes the observed bending strength behavior very well. Further work is required to refine the model and account quantitatively for the effect of unfrozen water on the beam strength.


Sustainability, Arctic engineering, Beams and girders, Bending strength, Building materials, Defects, Ice, Mathematical models, Mixtures, Reinforcement, Soils

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of Cold Regions Engineering, 9:3 (1995) pp.152-163.

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