Title

Evaluation of Ice-Melting Capacities of Deicing Chemicals

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2012

Publication Title

Journal of Testing and Evaluation

Volume

40

Issue

6

Abstract

Common deicing chemicals include sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate, potassium acetate, potassium formate, and corn or beet-based deicer solution. Liquid deicers are commonly used for pre-wetting road salt, sand or other solid deicers, or mixed with salt brine as liquid deicer. Although manufacturers provide performance data under specific conditions, a standardized test is very much needed. Samples of sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium acetate, and beet juice-based chemical deicers were selected for performance evaluation. The SHRP Ice-Melting Capacity Test has been used in many research projects, but the results do not always correlate well with field data. A simple and economical test has been developed to evaluate the ice-melting capacities of deicing chemicals using a martini shaker, which shows some potential to become a standardized test for ice-melting capacity evaluation. Field data was collected by the Nebraska Dept. of Roads using automatic vehicle location (AVL) and the maintenance decision support system (MDSS) installed on some plow trucks. The AVL takes roadway pictures from the cab and records vehicle location. The MDSS collects weather data from area weather stations. Although initial shaker test results correlate well with known deicer performance and limited field data provided by MDSS, further development work is necessary before the shaker test can be considered for official use.