Development of a model for the ice scraping process.
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Development of a model for the ice scraping process.

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  • English

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      Final report.
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    • Abstract:
      A laboratory study has been conducted with two aims in mind. The first goal was

      to develop a description of how a cutting edge scrapes ice from the road surface. The

      second goal was to investigate the extent, if any, to which serrated blades were better than

      un-serrated or "classical" blades at ice removal.

      The tests were conducted in the Ice Research Laboratory at the Iowa Institute of

      Hydraulic Research of the University of Iowa. A specialized testing machine, with a

      hydraulic ram capable of attaining scraping velocities of up to 30 m.p.h. was used in the


      In order to determine the ice scraping process, the effects of scraping velocity, ice

      thickness, and blade geometry on the ice scraping forces were determined. Higher ice

      thickness lead to greater ice chipping (as opposed to pulverization at lower thicknesses)

      and thus lower loads. S~milabr ehavior was observed at higher velocities. The study of

      blade geometry included the effect of rake angle, clearance angle, and flat width. The

      latter were found to be particularly important in developing a clear picture of the scraping

      process. As clearance angle decreases and flat width increases, the scraping loads show a

      marked increase, due to the need to re-compress pulverized ice fragments.

      The effect of serrations was to decrease the scraping forces. However, for the

      coarsest serrated blades (with the widest teeth and gaps) the quantity of ice removed was

      significantly less than for a classical blade. Finer serrations appear to be able to match the

      ice removal of classical blades at lower scraping loads. Thus, one of the

      recommendations of this study is to examine the use of serrated blades in the field.

      Preliminary work (by Nixon and Potter, 1996) suggests such work will be fruitful.

      A second and perhaps more challenging result of the study is that chipping of ice

      is more preferable to pulverization of the ice. How such chipping can be forced to occur

      is at present an open question.

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