This paper presents the results of an extensive field study of the comparative deicing performance of conventional dry road salt and prewetted road salt for the snow and ice control of transportation facilities. Approximately 500 tests in side-by-side sections were conducted in a real-world environment, covering a wide range of weather conditions in 31 snow events. This paper compares the snow melting performance of prewetted salt to that of regular road salt in terms of bare pavement regain time. The pair-wise study conducted confirmed that, despite the lower amount of sodium chloride (i.e., using approximately 20% less salt) in the prewetted salt, the two types of treatments performed similarly in terms of bare pavement regain time. A multiple linear regression analysis was performed to identify the factors that are associated with the relative performance of prewetted salt as compared to dry salt. The modeling results indicate that the performance advantage of the prewetting strategy decreases as the amount of snow present or the moisture content of the snow increases. This research has provided quantitative evidence on the relative effectiveness of prewetting under specific pavement surface and weather conditions.
Contributors: Hossain S M K, Fu L, Donnely T, Lamb Z, Muresan, M