WTI Research Laboratories

Cold Climates Operations & Systems Laboratory (CCOS)

The WTI Cold Climates Operations & Systems (CCOS) laboratory supports active research in the field of winter maintenance operations, including investigations of deicer performance, use of advanced technology in deicer testing, and development of new test methods. 

Subzero Research Laboratory

The Cold Climate Operations and Systems program has made use of this lab, in particular with the following projects. For more information, visit the Subzero Research Laboratory website.

For this project we evaluated the Lufft MARWIS and the Teconer RCM411 sensors. The study focused on each sensor’s ability to detect water film/ice depth (testing occurred at 28°F and -20°F), friction (testing occurred at 28°F), surface temperature (testing occurred at 28°F), and road condition/surface state (testing occurred at 28°F). For both sensors, the response time for data reporting was almost immediate (0 to 4 seconds), and the sensors detected greater water depth on the concrete samples than on the asphalt samples.
• View the WTI project page for more information.
• The full research report can be found here.
• This project utilized the cold lab space, variable temperature settings, and trafficking machine located in the cold lab.

For this project laboratory analysis of potassium succinate (KSu) was conducted to assess the feasibility of use as a roadway deicer. Laboratory analysis included modified SHRP ice-melting testing, a differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) thermogram, and friction measurements to quantify performance. The overall results indicate that the performance of KSu is similar to that of NaCl at improving friction on roadways during snow and ice conditions. The results of DSC suggest that KSu can be applied as a roadway deicer at -5°C (23°F) and above. However, KSu does not function as a deicer at colder temperatures where salt brine will work (the generally agreed upon lowest working temperature for salt brine is 15°F [-9.5°C]). The results of the laboratory testing show that KSu functions as a roadway deicer with slightly lower ice-melting rates than salt brine.
View the WTI project page for more information.
The research report can be found here.
   http://cem.uaf.edu/media/258373/Alt-Deicer_CESTiCC_Final-Report.pdfThe project utilized the cold lab space to conduct ice melting testing and performance testing (as friction) using the trafficking machine in the cold lab.

For this project we investigated the role complex chloride /mineral (CCM) and agro-based products may have in deicing and corrosion protection. To do this a literature review and national survey were conducted to identify potential products, how they are typically used, performance characteristics, and pros and cons. Ten products were selected for extensive laboratory testing which investigated the products ability to lower the freezing point of water and improve the ice melting capacity, weaken the ice bond to pavement, improve the product longevity on the road surface, prevent ice formation or refreeze prevention, and assess the influence of absorbance of sunlight on product performance. Results of the laboratory testing and literature review were used to develop a best practices manual.
• View the WTI project page for more information.
• The research report can be found here. http://clearroads.org/project/13-02/
• The project utilized multiple chambers within the SubZero cold lab complex to conduct ice melting testing, effects of UV on ice melting, variable temperature settings, and performance testing using the trafficking machine in the cold lab.