Increase of Snow Compaction Density by Repeated Artificial Snow Consolidation Formation
A method to consolidate huge amounts of snow into large ice pieces has been investigated based on science viewpoints for supporting the maintenance of road infrastructure in winter . This study investigated repeated artificial snow consolidation formation for increasing snow compaction density. Producing compacted snow having density exceeding ρ = 0.8 g·cm-3 is known to require axial formation pressure pz = 3.0 MPa. A snow consolidation method by lower axial formation pressure has long been demanded because axial formation pressure of pz = 3.0 MPa is extremely high. At such pressures, snow consolidation pressure vessels break easily. This study examines means of achieving higher density snow compaction by repeated artificial snow consolidation formation process with lower axial formation pressure pz. Especially, axial formation pressure pz, back pressure on lateral wall pb and those stress relaxations, and mean normal stress of the material σm, von Mises stress σY and deviatoric stress σii′ were evaluated for elucidating snow consolidation mechanisms. Results show that the snow was consolidated by forced downward compression formation, the material internal pressure was increased, and the material deviatoric stress σx′, σy′ and back pressure pb on the pressure vessel lateral wall were increased rapidly. Results indicate measures to improve and increase snow compaction density by repeated snow consolidation formation with lower axial formation pressure pz. The snow was consolidated by repeated artificial snow consolidation with the number of snow compaction processes N=5 time and pz = 1.0 MPa.
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