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Materials Corrosion Laboratory: Evaluating Common Corrosion Inhibited Deicers

Started: December, 2003 Ended: July, 2005 Project ID #425362 Status: Completed

Results & Findings

During the winter season in the northern states, large amounts of solid and liquid chemicals, known as deicers, are applied on the roadways to ensure continued mobility, safety, and productivity. While maintaining safe winter driving conditions, the deicers are arguably a great concern as the source of corrosion of vehicles and pavements.  In addition, the use of deicers also causes corrosion of reinforcing bars (rebars) in concrete and lead to structural failures before the design life of transportation infrastructure is attained.


To establish the research capabilities at the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) with regard to transportation-related corrosion issues, such as the corrosive effect of deicers to vehicles, pavements, and rebars in concrete structures. The same research facilities/equipment can also be used to evaluate various corrosion protection/rehabilitation techniques, such as corrosion inhibitors, protective coatings, surface treatment, and cathodic protection.


To minimize the adverse impacts that highway maintenance activities pose on vehicles and transportation infrastructure, it is a popular practice to add corrosion inhibitors into the deicers. The Pacific Northwest Snowfighters (PNS), an Association of British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, has implemented testing protocols and guidelines for new product qualification for deicers. A central feature of these requirements is the presence of corrosion inhibitor in all deicers, and the qualification of all deicers by a NACE/PNS corrosion test before such chemicals can be approved for sale in PNS states. The Materials Corrosion Laboratory was funded in late 2003 by WTI through the U.S. DOT University Transportation Center (UTC) research grant. This one-year “early-winner” project aims to establish the corrosion research capabilities at WTI and to establish protocols for evaluating the corrosion rate of materials and performance of corrosion inhibitors.


Files & Documents

Sponsors & Partners

  • Research and Innovation Technology Administration (RITA) Sponsor
  • Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) Sponsor

Part of: Winter Maintenance and Effects, Cold Climate Operations & Systems, UTC, WTI-1, Materials Laboratory

Project Tagged In: corrosion inhibitor, Evaluation, Chemical Analysis, protocol, electrochemical analysis, deicer

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