Deicing application of snow and ice control chemicals: Comparison of field performance and operational cost

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Abstract

This paper presents findings from a side-by-side operational comparison of granular road salt (RS) and MeltDown 20 (MD) deicing chemicals for snow and ice control from the perspective of "the maintenance worker in the truck."The field test site, near Canyon, Texas, was divided into sixteen 305 m (1,000 ft) sections that were either untreated controls or received treatment with RS or MD at nominal Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) application rates of 85 kg/lane km (300 lb/lane mile) and 42 kg/lane km (150 lb/lane mile), respectively. Three storms met pre-established criteria for snow accumulation, and field test sections were subject to cycles of plowing, deicing treatment, and slushing. Video and still-image data facilitated estimation of visible pavement, and vehicle-based decelerometer tests measured pavement friction. Overall results showed that granular RS outperformed MD in 5/20 data events (25%) and RS outperformed untreated control in 9/20 data events (45%). In contrast, MD never outperformed RS and outperformed control in only 5/20 data events (25%). Further, TxDOT maintenance management data indicate the operational cost to apply MD (corrosion-inhibited) is 3.5× higher than RS (noninhibited), raising questions about cost-effectiveness given the road, climate, and temperature conditions characteristic of the north Texas latitude.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0000242
JournalJournal of Cold Regions Engineering
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

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