Faculty Advisor

Blandino, John J.


Pratt and Whitney currently uses analysis and an experimental rig to perform a hail ingestion engine certification required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In these tests, 1.25 inch cubes of ice are produced in an ice maker and crushed to simulate hail. It has been noted that in some tests, there is a larger than expected level of test-to-test variability in crushing time due to differences in the "quality" of the ice-cubes. To address this problem, this project sought to develop a working definition of "quality" and identify a measurable parameter (maximum impact strength) that correlates with this definition. A specific life-cycle for an ice cube in these tests is identified as a "recipe." To test the sensitivity of ice quality to different recipes, an impact tester was designed to measure the maximum impact strength of ice produced with a specific recipe. The scatter in the resulting data provides an indication of the quality of ice made with that recipe. Based on these tests, the recipe parameter that had the greatest effect on the quality of an ice-cube was found to be ice-cube size. This report describes the identification of maximum impact strength as the parameter that correlates with ice quality, and describes the test design, methodology, and results of tests to characterize different recipes. In addition, recommendations are made for recipes which could improve repeatability.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2007


Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering