The forces that arctic sea ice can exert on offshore structures are strongly influenced by ice fracture. Fracture of multi-year sea ice has been studied in the laboratory under triaxial compression using a new triaxial mechanical testing cell for ice. A description of this apparatus is given, which enables the confined brittle behavior of ice to be investigated at temperatures down to −90°C and at strain rates up to 10−2/s under closed-loop constant displacement rate control. Preliminary results for the fracture of multi-year sea ice under confined conditions at −10°C are presented.

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