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Development of Standardized Test Procedures for Evaluating Deicing Compounds

Started: November, 2007 Ended: August, 2009 Project ID #4W1906 Status: Completed

Results & Findings

The research results will benefit states by identifying/developing standard tests that address deicer evaluation criteria in addition to existing PNS tests. This research is also expected to provide significant information on which to base the selection and potentially pricing of deicers and inhibitors. This will lead to best practices by transportation agencies that apply the right type and amount of materials in the right place at the right time for snow and ice control. This research is expected to significantly advance the knowledge base for winter maintenance best practices, and thus help maintenance agencies address the challenge in meeting multiple priorities in safety, mobility, environmental stewardship, and infrastructure preservation in a fiscally responsible manner. By allowing more informed decisions for snow and ice control strategies and tactics, it is expected to help improve the level of service, reduce the winter maintenance costs, and reduce the corrosion and environmental impacts due to snow and ice control operations. Given the improved understanding of deicer performance and corrosion impacts and the established rapid tests for these properties, this research is expected to help the deicer manufacturers come up with better practices in product design, quality control/quality assurance, storage and transport and become more competitive in the market in meeting the user needs.

Objective

The objective of the proposed research is to develop and/or identify a series of standard laboratory testing procedures and ranges that can be used to evaluate the performance of deicing chemicals, additives and mixtures used on roadways and other transportation facilities.

Abstract

Transportation agencies are under increasing pressure to maintain high levels of safety and mobility even during the winter months, while working with limited financial and staffing resources and recognizing the corrosion and environmental challenges related to chemical and material usage. New deicing chemicals, additives or mixtures are continually introduced into the market by manufacturers for use in snow and ice operations. Currently users do not have access to a robust set of performance testing procedures that would enable them to make informed decisions on which products to purchase. It is necessary to develop a set of standard laboratory tests that can be required of all deicer manufacturers to provide more performance information about their products. Such tests will also help users understand how a product may work in their operations and help better match a deicing substance with their specific roadway environment (road weather conditions; financial, political, and environmental constraints; etc.) and level of service requirements.  The Pacific Northwest Snowfighters (PNS, http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/partners/pns/) Association has become a recognized pioneer in establishing and standardizing chemical products for snow and ice control, consisting of professionals from transportation agencies in the States of Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Colorado and British Columbia. The PNS conducts extensive testing on various deicing chemicals, with a focus on corrosion of bare steel and environmental impacts.  Clear Roads (http://www.clearroads.org) is a pooled fund research project aimed at rigorous testing of winter maintenance materials, equipment and methods for use by highway maintenance crews, with 14 member states. Clear Roads responds to a need for research based on practical experience, sponsoring projects that aim to deliver immediately useful data and recommendations on the effectiveness, ease of use, optimum application rates, durability, and more, of many advanced winter operations technologies.  Currently, there is an urgent need to identify/develop tests that address deicer evaluation criteria in addition to existing PNS tests, which is the objective of this research. This project will be a research contract sponsored by the Clear Roads pooled fund research program, in coordination with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The objective of the proposed research is to develop and/or identify a series of standard laboratory testing procedures and ranges that can be used to evaluate the performance of deicing chemicals, additives and mixtures used on roadways and other transportation facilities. Specifically, this research aims to establish reliable measures to quantify the performance of anti-icing and deicing products, based on the performance needs of the Clear Roads member states. The standard tests will cover a range of criteria such as freezing points at different solution concentrations, cost, corrosion, melting capacity, environmental impact and ease of use.    

Contacts

Files & Documents

Sponsors & Partners

  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Sponsor
  • Clear Roads Winter Highway Operation Pooled Fund Partner

Related Information

Part of: Winter Maintenance and Effects

Project Tagged In: test protocol, snow and ice control, deicing compounds

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