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Best Practices for the Prevention of Corrosion of Department of Transportation Equipment: A User's Manual

Started: December, 2013 Ended: May, 2015 Project ID #4W4759 Status: Completed

Results & Findings

Through this project, the research team developed a user-friendly manual that documents best practices for managing the risk of equipment corrosion, especially in the presence of chemical deicers. The audience for this manual includes operators, mechanics and garage-level supervisors. The manual defines the basic corrosion conditions, with a focus on the need for managing corrosion risks, common modes of corrosion failure, and corrosion-prone parts (priorities) on DOT equipment. This manual addresses design considerations and material selection for corrosion risk management. This manual also lists some commercial products that have been used by DOTs, and presents some successful experiences of DOTs, the US Navy and private companies. It also presents preventive maintenance strategies and tactics.


This project will develop best practice guidelines and produce an easy-to-use guide that summarizes in layman’s terms the best practices to prevent corrosion to maintenance equipment.


Corrosion to maintenance equipment resulting from the use of chloride deicers is a tremendous problem for transportation agencies across North America. While there are many products, and much anecdotal guidance for the prevention of corrosion, there is not a consolidated guide that combines all of the available knowledge on corrosion prevention for use by snow and ice control practitioners. Such a manual would be applicable to the entire winter maintenance community and could aid agencies in the prevention of corrosion and the extension of equipment life cycles.   In the final report for the project on Best Practices and Guidelines for Protecting DOT Equipment from the Corrosive Effect of Chemical Deicers, researchers identified the need for additional study to bridge some existing knowledge gaps relevant to this subject. These include research on the long-term effectiveness of best practices or products for corrosion protection; minimizing the risk of premature failure of the post-assembly coatings; the synergistic use of washing and inhibitors; and the study of metallic components. Finally, research is needed to develop best practice guidelines (e.g., a user’s corrosion management guide) on the best practices against deicer corrosion.   This project is sponsored by Clear Roads, an ongoing pooled fund research project aimed at rigorous testing of winter maintenance materials, equipment and methods for use by highway maintenance crews. Clear Roads will fund and oversee the contract for this project in coordination with MnDOT.


Files & Documents

Sponsors & Partners

  • Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) Sponsor
  • Clear Roads Winter Highway Operation Pooled Fund Sponsor

Related Information

Part of: Winter Maintenance and Effects, Cold Climate Operations & Systems

Project Tagged In: corrosion, transportation equipment

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