This paper presents the results and insights gained from numerical simulations of the response of FRP laminate plates to ice loads. These models were motivated and supported by previous related research in the form of full-scale field trials, ice-tank model tests, and FRP laminates laboratory experimentation.
The numerical models were benchmarked against a laboratory experiment involving an actual lifeboat FRP laminate plate. Subsequently ice loads, garnered from full-scale field trials of an instrumented lifeboat in ice, were applied to the numerical laminate models using pressures, or rigid body contact.
The simulation results showed that indenter "shape" is an important parameter for laminate fracture, and that laminate layup design is critical to its resistance to fracture. A well designed laminate is far better than a thicker, poorly designed laminate.