Winter Roads De-Ice Themselves

Feb. 11, 2016
Researchers report a new road material that could de-ice itself.

What if those old standbys that relieve white-knuckled winter driving – salt, sand, gravel and other chemical mixtures – were a thing of the past?  Researchers are on their way to creating a new road material that can de-ice itself, according to an article from Eureka Alert citing the American Chemical Society’s journal Industrial Engineering Chemistry Research.

De-icers used currently by local governments battling slick roadways are quickly washed or forced off, making re-application necessary. Researchers looking for a way to ice-proof the road itself have developed a composite of salt potassium formate, the polymer styrene-butadiene-styrene and bitumen, a major component of asphalt, which released de-icing salt for two months in lab studies. According to the article, researcher believe the salt-polymer composite could last even longer on real roads when evenly embedded throughout the asphalt and be released, potentially for years, as cars and trucks wear away the pavement.

Read the entire article here.

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