The effect of accretion temperature on microstructure and bending strength of atmospheric ice

Chanel Fallon, Elie Truyen, Daniel Eakins, Hugo Pervier, Marie Pervier, Maureen Aceves Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate determination of the mechanical response of atmospheric ice is key to understanding the risks associated with ice impact on aircraft during flight. Two types of atmospheric ice which are of particular interest to the aerospace industry are studied. Rime and Glaze ice are each manufactured in an icing wind tunnel facility under controlled conditions. Rime ice is accreted at a temperature of −20°C, and Glaze ice is accreted at −5°C. Quasi-static three-point bend tests are performed on both types of ice to understand the effect of accretion temperature, and therefore microstructure, on strength. The results indicate that the ice accretion temperature, and thus microstructure, has a significant influence on the bending strength. On average, the bending strength of Rime ice is 9.0±0.18MPa compared to 4.4±0.093MPa for Glaze. The comparatively lower accretion temperature of Rime results in smaller grain sizes and higher bending strength. In contrast, the effective modulus appears insensitive to ice microstructure, with an average value of 3.5±0.12GPa for Rime compared to 3.6±0.098GPa for Glaze. Furthermore, the results indicate that both the bending strength and effective modulus are insensitive to the ice storage time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107461
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Today Communications
Early online date31 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

The authors are grateful to Peter West at Cranfield University for the ice manufacture. We are also grateful to Rolls-Royce plc, Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK (113155) for their financial support.

Data availability
Data will be made available on request.


  • Atmospheric
  • Bending
  • Flexure
  • Glaze
  • Ice
  • Rime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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