Ice navigation has been practiced on regular basis some 120 years and testing of ships in a model laboratory close to 60 years. In Finland the first laboratory was commenced only 45 years ago. Open water facilities have it much less complicated as they only need the water. In ice modeling the cornerstone is how to model ice, which in fact is just hard water. A lot of different materials have been used for ice modeling. Normally when you get some of the properties right, some go wrong. The ice modeling materials used during the short history goes from naturally grown saline ice through different chemicals mixed with water, wax and plastics towards ice that is actually built or constructed or the natural growth has been disturbed by using different methods to control the density. This paper discusses the development of model testing, its different features and how the development has taken place in Finland.

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