Corrosion and Sustainable Infrastructure Laboratory (CSIL)

The WTI Corrosion and Sustainable Infrastructure Lab (CSIL) began as a corrosion based research laboratory to assess the natural process that poses a high risk for our transportation infrastructure – especially the premature failure of bridges. In the last decade, this lab facility has evolved into a multidisciplinary space where a variety of research projects can be investigated.

In CSIL, researchers study the effects of corrosion from deicing products, but much more than that is the assessment of deicing products themselves, such as how they function, ideal blends, and methods to assess deicer performance. Much of the research focuses on improved integrity of materials, environmentally responsible maintenance, and use of advanced technologies.

This collaborative lab facility creates a space where all WTI research staff (https://westerntransportationinstitute.org/programs/) can work to solve problems on all roads in the US and beyond. Our researchers bring to the lab a problem-driven, multi-disciplinary team approach to research and a range of interdisciplinary skills. Our CSIL team’s expertise includes mechanical and civil engineering, materials science and engineering, environmental science, toxicology and numerical modeling.

Laboratory facilities include:

A wet-bench chemistry lab equipped with:

  • Ventilation hoods
  • Distilled Water Filtration System
  • Range of shop equipment and tools

An instrumentation room equipped with:

  • A corrosion testing machine featuring capabilities for NACE/PNSA gravimetric tests
  • Analytical Balances
  • An environmental chamber with precise temperature control and custom-made system for testing of accelerated deicer ingress

Researchers also have access to other advanced research facilities at or near the Montana State University campus, including the Imaging and Chemical Analysis Laboratory, the Sub-zero Science and Engineering Laboratory, the Center for Biofilm Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering labs, Civil Engineering labs, composites manufacturing and testing machines, and the Land Resource and Environmental Sciences labs.

Current areas of research include:

  • Alternative or non-chloride based deicing products
  • Methods to quantify deicer performance in the lab
  • Agriculturally derived additives to deicers
  • Non-invasive or mobile mounted sensors
  • Deicer impacts on the near road environment

Project Examples:

Field Usage of Alternative Deicers for Snow and Ice Control
Investigation of Alternative Deicers for Snow and Ice Control
Quantifying Soil Concentration on Pavement, Phase 2
Determination of Soil Organic Carbon and Soil Chloride Concentrations
Highway Anti-Icing Products and Applications
Estimating the Application Rate for Liquid Chloride Products Based on Residual Salt Concentration on the Pavement

Current Partners:

Clear Roads Pooled Fund (https://clearroads.org/)
Aurora Pooled Fund (https://aurora-program.org/)
Pacific Northwest Snowfighters Association (http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/partners/pns/)
Civil Engineering Department, MSU (http://www.coe.montana.edu/)
Imaging & Chemical Analysis Laboratory, MSU (http://www.physics.montana.edu/ICAL/ical.html)
Transportation Research Board, National Academies (http://gulliver.trb.org/)
Envirotech (https://envirotechservices.com/)

Contact:

Laura Fay