Optimal Usage of De-Icing Chemicals when Scraping Ice, November 2003

(2003) Optimal Usage of De-Icing Chemicals when Scraping Ice, November 2003. Transportation, Department of


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One of the challenges that faces the winter maintainer is how much chemical to apply to the road under given conditions. Insufficient chemical can lead to the road surface becoming slick, and the road thus becoming unsafe. In all likelihood, additional applications will have to be made, requiring additional effort and use of resources. However, too much chemical can also be bad. While an excess of chemical will ensure (in most circumstances) that a safe road condition is achieved, it may also result in a substantial waste of chemical (with associated costs for this waste) and in ancillary damage to the road itself and to the surrounding environment. Ideally, one should apply what might be termed the “goldilocks” amount of chemical to the road: Not too much, and not too little, but just right. Of course the reality of winter maintenance makes achieving the “goldilocks” application rate somewhat of a fairy tale. In the midst of a severe storm, when conditions are poor and getting worse, the last thing on a plow operator’s mind is a minute adjustment in the amount of chemical being applied to the road. However, there may be considerable benefit and substantial savings to be achieved if chemical applications can be optimized to some degree, so that wastage is minimized without compromising safety. The goal of this study was to begin to develop such information through a series of laboratory studies in which the force needed to scrape ice from concrete blocks was measured, under a variety of chemical application conditions.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: De-Icing, De-Icing Chemical, Ice, Highways, Transpoartation
Subjects: Transportation > Research
Transportation > Roads and highways
Transportation > Design and Construction
ID Code: 11512
Deposited By: Margaret Barr
Deposited On: 28 Sep 2011 13:15
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2011 13:15
URI: https://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/11512