Graduation Project Engineering, manufacturing and construction with ice composites

Engineering, construct and material research for a 40-meter ice tower at 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing

This project concerns a research in the engineering, manufacturing and construction of structures made with ice composites. 

Structural applications of ice are possible by using a mixture of water with several additives, resulting in a material known as “pykrete”. The properties of pykrete offer opportunities for developing structures with relatively slender elements. In this project, a tower-like grid-shell structure will be developed for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and or the Harbin Winter festival both located in China. The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is performing research on material properties and structural designs of pykrete structures. A preliminary design has been made and test procedures are being developed to better understand the behaviour of ice composites in a structure. In the last half year multiple samples with a mixture of Nano cellulose and different sand fractures have been tested. The results of this preliminary research has been done by Ate Jellema and Savan Narain. The first conclusion were that nano cellulose increases the modules and larger sand fraction the stiffness. To increase the behaviour of this material more research is needed to optimize the synergy between the different fractures and materials within the mixture. With the results of this material research we would like design and engineer a new world record for the highest ice tower.


In December 2019 a 14-meter ice tower was realized by a combination of the following techniques: freezing of ice composites in a fire hose, extraction of ice composites and spraying of ice composites. This price-winning 14-meter grid-tower of ice in Harbin China will be used and improved for the 40-meter tower in the winter of 2021/22. 

If you want more information please contact Arno Pronk or see this publication.


The contact for this job posting is Arno Pronk.