With industry gearing up to sail more frequently in ice-infested waters, so rises the demand for Class Societies to have a deeper technical understanding of different ice-interaction scenarios. This paper focusses on propeller-ice interaction and is predominantly based on the author’s Master thesis at Delft University of Technology [9]. It discusses the different physical processes that govern propeller-ice interaction from an engineering perspective and highlights the areas in which further research is desired. Using conservative 2D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) computations it is shown that the hydrodynamic forces acting on a propeller blade, during a propeller-ice interaction event, are at least an order smaller than the mechanical ice breaking forces. Given the comparability of propeller-ice interaction with bird strikes in jet engines, from a numerical perspective, it is argued to use explicit Finite Element Method (FEM) codes to solve the mechanical interaction loads. This paper proposes a basis for a new material model, potentially capable of describing the orthotropic rate-dependent properties of sea ice. It represents an engineering approach, aimed at delivering reliable answers within commercially acceptable time limits and expenditure.

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