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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Polar Ice -- Colder Ice IS Stronger Ice -- Real Data Helps

It was fairly hard to find real data on Ice Strengths, especially as they relate to temperature.

I saw some pretty wild claims on some sites that "warm ice was 300 times weaker than cold ice"

As a material scientist, I thought this was worthy of some research.  It is also important to realistic view what is going on in our world, and to slap back outlandish claims whenever they occur.

In order to understand the energy held in Ice, more than just "ice extent" needs to be known.    You need

1) area, and depth (volume) and
2) temperature.   And the temperature will not be uniform through an ice mass.

I found this, with the very relevant chart of test points at 4 temps,  -3C, -10C, -20C, and -27C. 

There are 2 important types of tests, Compressive, and Tensile.   Compressive is pushing on it.    Tensile is trying to pull it apart.  

Ice is way weaker in Tensile.   Also the saltier it is, the weaker it is (brineiness)

Bottom Line?
Ice is twice as strong at -27C than it is at -3C

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