Experiments with model ice are usually carried out for preliminary assessment of ice qualities of designed offshore structures. Despite the fact that properties of model ice across artificial floe are constant, sometimes various experimental results can be explained not only by measurement errors.

The paper describes various positions of breaking points in a number of model experiments with an ice beam flexural failure. To explain the observed effect, the article suggests the hypothesis on heterogeneity of elastic modulus of an ice floe. The article considers a problem of possible influence of the area of heterogeneity on the position of an ice beam breaking point. Thus, the models of a cantilever beam and a plane lying on an elastic foundation with inconstant Young’s modulus are suggested. These models in form of their approximations by finite differences are applied for making numerical simulations in order to investigate the problem.

With the numerically obtained solutions of a cantilever beam and a plane on an elastic foundation with employed inhomogeneity of elastic modulus, the study observed noticeable change in the position of the breaking point when such inhomogeneity occurred close to the contact area.

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