Standard Test Procedures for Ice Melting Capacity of De-Icers

Transportation departments commonly use chemicals on roadways before, during, and after storms to improve road conditions. These chemicals help prevent icing, prevent snowpack from bonding to the pavement, break up compacted snowpack, ease snow removal, and more. While sodium chloride is most commonly used by transportation agencies in solid and liquid (brine) form, many additives, alternatives, and performance-enhancing products and blends are available. Traditional laboratory tests of these materials sacrifice some or all realism by providing controlled, consistent testing conditions. Sophisticated laboratory tests may quantify material performance in terms of friction, persistence or residual performance, snow coverage, reduction in the snow-pavement bond, or some other, more realistic performance measure.  However, the complexity, expense, and questionable repeatability of such methods are significant.  To address this issue, this project will devise a standardized laboratory test that will allow agencies to realistically and robustly assess and compare the performance of de-icers. That information will allow budget-pressed transportation departments to make data-driven procurement decisions. 

Principal Investigator: Xianming Shi, Civil and Environmental Engineering, WSU

Minnesota Department of Transportation
Clear Roads Pooled Fund

Scheduled completion: September 2023