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WADOT Best Practices for Protecting DOT Equipment from the Corrosive Effect of Chemical Deicers

Project #: 4W3565
Start Date: 05/10/2011
End Date: 12/31/2012
Status: Completed

As described in the final report, this study has identified, evaluated and synthesized the best practices that can be implemented to minimize the corrosive effects of chloride deicers on DOT winter application equipment and vehicles. The practices identified include: design improvements, maintenance practices, anti-corrosion coatings, corrosion inhibitors, salt removers, etc. A comprehensive literature search was conducted to gather existing research documents that are relevant to the corrosion of metals by chloride salts, with a focus on corrosion under neutral pH conditions and under ambient temperature and pressure. A nationwide survey was conducted of stakeholder groups, in order to capture the current knowledge in: estimating the deicer corrosion costs to vehicles and equipment, defining the chloride deicer corrosion problem and identifying best practices or products for managing the problem.


The corrosion of motor vehicles due to road salts is estimated to cost $2.8 billion to $5.6 billion per year. Deicer corrosion also induces risk and uncertainty to the performance of application equipment, in addition to reducing its service life; and there is an urgent need for comprehensive evaluation of best practices and products to manage such risks. This research will enable agencies to make informed or better choices on selecting corrosion prevention or corrosion control techniques and products. Best practices of corrosion management will lead to prolonged service life and enhanced operating efficiency/reliability of application equipment. By improving the equipment asset management, agencies can reduce equipment repairs and replacements and reap cost savings. As such, the saved DOT budget can be used for other costs associated with snow and ice program delivery (and thus achieve a higher level of service), which helps address strategic objectives related to the safety, preservation, mobility, and stewardship of the transportation system.


The objective of this project is to identify, evaluate and synthesize best practices that can be implemented to minimize the effects of deicer corrosion on DOT winter vehicles and equipment, such as design improvements, maintenance practices, and the use of coatings and corrosion inhibitors.