Side-by-side field comparison of snow and ice control chemicals for anti-icing applications

Kenneth A. Rainwater, William D. Lawson, James G. Surles, Felipe J. Estrada, W. Andrew Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This paper presents findings from a side-by-side field comparison of the effectiveness of sodium chloride-based road salt brine (RSB) and magnesium chloride-based Meltdown Apex™ liquid (MDA) as anti-icing chemicals for snow and ice control associated with winter roadway maintenance. The study was sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to support operational decision-making for chemical treatment selections based on the perspective of pavement conditions observed by “the maintenance worker in the truck.” The field test site was a portion of rural service road near Canyon, Texas, located at latitude 35° N. The site was divided into eight 305 m sections that were treated with RSB at 141 l/lane km, MDA at 47 l/lane km, or left untreated for control. Two storm events at the test site during Winter 2014–2015 met pre-established research criteria for snow accumulation and other variables. Test sections were subjected to cycles of plowing, slushing, and additional anti-icing liquid treatment. Digital video data and still image (photo) data were collected throughout the storm events to allow estimation of visible pavement, and vehicle-based decelerometer tests were used to measure pavement friction. Overall results from multiple performance measures indicated comparable effectiveness of RSB and MDA at the applied rates. It was also noted that application of MDA on dry pavement prior to the storm events significantly reduced the pavement friction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103230
JournalCold Regions Science and Technology
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Anti-icing
  • Field performance
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Road salt brine
  • TxDOT
  • Winter road maintenance


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