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Project Details

Title:Effect of Deicing Agents and Environmental Conditions on Performance of Asphalt Pavements in Cold Regions
Principal Investigators:Rouzbeh Ghabchi
University:South Dakota State University
Grant #:69A3551747108 (FAST Act)
Project #:MPC-625
RiP #:01733133
RH Display ID:154563
Keywords:asphalt pavements, deicing chemicals, durability, environmental impacts, freeze thaw durability, frigid regions, pavement performance, winter maintenance


Winter maintenance plays a vital role in keeping the highway system safe and functional during the winter season. Deicing, among different practices, is central to every winter maintenance effort. Deicing is defined as application of chemicals in order to facilitate breaking up the ice and snow pack and melting glare/black ice. While sodium chloride is widely used as a deicing agent, other chemicals, namely calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, and acetates are also being used for the ice removal, depending on their effectiveness in different temperature ranges. Deicing chemicals lower the freezing point and therefore, keep the precipitated water in the pavement in liquid form at freezing temperature. This, in turn, subjects the pavement to freeze-thaw cycles even during the frigid temperatures. This mechanism is reported to accelerate moisture-induced damage and pothole formation, deteriorate asphalt pavements' durability and may negatively affect its structural integrity. Although there are growing concerns over the negative effects of deicers on asphalt mixes, limited research has been conducted to address these concerns. Based on aforementioned need, this study is being proposed to investigate the effects of commonly-used deicing agents on durability and performance of asphalt mixes exposed to those chemicals and freeze-thaw cycles. The outcomes of this study will help the transportation agencies and highway authorities to gain a clearer understanding of any possible negative effects of using deicers on pavement performance. This will help with decision-making process in selecting the type of deicing agents to minimize damage to asphalt pavement structure.

Project Word Files

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050