Over five million tons of road salts are applied in Canada every winter to keep users of roads, parking lots and sidewalks safe. While effective for snow and ice control, salts at high concentrations are detrimental to the environment and corrosive to vehicles and infrastructure. New alternative products are increasingly available in the market as an alternative to regular salt; however, limited information on the performance of these alternatives is available for transportation agencies and maintenance industry to make informed decisions. In this study, a set of organic and semi-organic based products were selected and their performances were evaluated through a series of field tests. Approximately 600 tests were conducted in a real world environment for over 35 test days. The performances of the alternatives were compared using friction improvement as a measure. A multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to identify the factors influencing the performances of the alternatives. The analysis has indicated that anti-icing treatments resulted in 10%-40% improvement in the friction level. However, the alternative products did not significantly outperform each other. The study also concluded that an application rate as low as 3L/1000sqft should be applied for parking lots or low volume roads, which is 25% less than the current application rates that are used in general for parking lot maintenance.
Contributors: Hosseini F, Hossain S M K, Fu L, Paolo S G, Seters T V.