I'm designing a device that uses impact to remove ice from sidewalks. I have a question about how to best design the impact mechanism.

I can design it to deliver several light impacts or fewer harder impacts. The energy will be the same in both cases.

Which is the best way to go?

  • $\begingroup$ Ice breaks easier if you remove its support... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 5:06

2 Answers 2


Multiple smaller, light impacts are better.

The heavy concentrated impact can damage and crack the already fragile pavement which has likely lost most of its resilience due to the freezing temperatures.

Also, a multiple teeth kind of a roller dragged behind or ahead of a snow shovel truck will break the ice layer into more uniform, smaller shards, turn them into a sort of sand or gravel, easier to mop or lift by a machine.


Several small ones. Think of the Tesla truck broken window.


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