Video: How Do Icebreakers Break Ice?

icebreakers break ice

Ever wondered how the icebreakers manage to break heavy and thick ice and how they are different from other vessels?

An icebreaker is a special-purpose ship or boat designed to move and navigate through ice-covered waters, and provide safe waterways for other boats and ships.



It’s important to understand that there are a few different types of ships when it comes to ice breaking.

  • Firstly, we have regular ships, which are not good at all for ice breaking as their hulls will just be pierced by the ice.
  • Secondly, there are ice-strengthened ships which are able to move through ice fields but they can’t actually cut the ice themselves.
  • Finally, there are ice breakers which are actually designed to break a path through the ice so that an ice-strengthened ship can pass through.

Let us understand in very simple words, how icebreakers actually works. Very simply put, it is because of their hull design. An actual ice breaker is designed slightly differently from other ships, her bow is long curved shape.



She is designed to ride up and over the ice and use her weight to bear down on ice and break it. The smoother portion of an icebreaker ship allows it to glide more easily over the thick ice coat, reducing the opposing forces greatly. As the ship glides over the ice, its weight comes down on the ice sheet, crushing it.

Also Watch- Video: Why Do Ships Have A Bulbous Bow

Here is a detailed video to understand this interesting subject:

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