The interdependence exists between ship response and ice load during the ship-ice interaction process. According to the ice properties and the velocity between a ship and ice can make influences on ice load, taking a Russian icebreaker as model, a series of numerical simulations were performed to research the ice load variation tendency rules in 3 axial directions and the total force direction. On the basis of regarding ice elements as elastic materials, the theory of a semi-infinite elastic plate resting on an elastic foundation was used to simulate ice sheet.

By means of finite element model, stress and strain contours of typical moment and ice load history curve in four directions were obtained. Furthermore, the effect of important parameters such as elasticity modulus of ice, ice thickness and ship speed on the impact force were also analyzed.

The results indicate that ice sheet will crack in the form of a circle centered on the collision point which accord with actual circumstance, and there are some certain variation relationships between each calculation parameters and ice load values. At the same time, the study can also provide technological support for ice load research.

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