Deicer and snow clearance is the primary part of the road maintenance process in winter. It is the procedure that involves the removal of snow or ice from the roads using deicer salt. The application of chemicals like deicer salt not only de freezes the surfaces but also remains on them to delay the reformation of ice for a specific period.
Deicer salt is also known as road salt. It removes the frozen snow or slush from the roads by melting the ice. It is the most cost-effective and widely used product in the world to keep the roadways, highways, parking lots, and bridges clear by melting snow and ice on them in winter.
It is a variation of regular salt and its particles are large, not suitable for eating.
When water gets cold, it freezes into ice and it is harmful to drive on roads covered with snow. When water is getting freeze, its molecules are rearranged in solid form. Salt slows down this process of rearrangement and does not let the water freeze.
Simply! Salt is an impurity that reaches the water molecules and slows them down from finding each other to make a solid structure.
Road salt is a reliable recommendation for winter road clearance and a standard procedure for clearing pavements in many countries.
Anti-icing salt does not come from the sea. It is obtained from the salt deposits, formed millions of years ago by the evaporation of seawater.
The traditional road salt and the brine solution both are effective in thawing ice depending on the circumstances. However, the brine solution is mostly used for anti-icing as well as deicing purposes whereas the road salt is specifically beneficial to melt the ice or snow with the direct application on the surface.
How to make salt brine for de-icing?
The deicer salt must be in a solution form so that you can use it as a de- frosting product. Brine is a mixture of water and salt, sprayed usually before the snow to prevent ice from sticking. Truck-mounted tanks with nozzles spray brine on roads, parking lots, and walkways.
Brine solution or liquid deicer is an anti-icing agent. Using it before an anticipated snowfall to pre-wet the streets results in the prevention of sticking ice on the surfaces.
When you apply the solution of water and rock salt on the ice, it breaks the ice into smaller pieces. Those pieces of ice are easy to remove from the roads.
You can make a brine solution at home easily by using the things available in your house. It very cheap and convenient process that involves the following steps
Take hot water and salt, preferably pink Himalayan salt, in a ratio of 3:1 to prepare a concentrated solution.
A higher concentration of salt in the water will lower its overall freezing point. One gallon of water will require 2lbs of salt.
Make sure that water is hot enough so that salt can quickly dissolve in it.
Mix water and salt. Dissolve the salt in water by stirring it thoroughly. Before using the solution, remove snow as much as you can.
Now spray the solution on the pavement for some time to start the process of melting the ice. It is better that you plow the surface to make the process of anti-icing effective.
You can mix Additives like calcium chloride, potassium chloride, or urea mixed in the solution with rock salt to enhance the performance. Generally, most anti-icing products have a small number of other agents in them.
Remember that you should not apply the de-freezers near the areas of vegetation. It will harm the plants by absorbing in the soil.
When brine removes ice from the road, the surface becomes wet, so you should be cautious while driving on the wet road.
How does road salt work?
Pink rock salt is the most common anti-freezing agent. It is considered the best ice breaker due to its features. It has the power to lower the freezing point of water and therefore prevents a bond between ice and road surfaces.
It works by decreasing the freezing point of water. The addition of salt to water lowers the freezing point of the solution by the chemical process of freezing point depression. When the salt dissolves in water, it releases sodium and chlorine ions, these ions join to the water molecules. This process produces heat, which defrosts the ice.
The freezing point of water is 0°C, but when we add salt, it gets lower. For example, a brine solution with 10% salt will freeze at -6°C.
In other words, freezing needs water to be sure, when you add something into pure water, the freezing process disturbs.
Pretty simple! Salt acts as an impurity in pure water, interrupting the process of freezing.
The use of road salt is effective only in clearing the roads from the snow. It does not stop the formation of ice. This product lowers the freezing point of water, facilitates melting, and prevents water from freezing.
Road salt chemical formula
Road salt – or rock salt – is also known as halite. It is similar to table salt and contains NaCl as the main component. The difference lies only in the texture and color. salt is brownish-grey due to the presence of minerals. The table salt is white and in ground form, contains additives like Iodine and anti-clumping agents. Road salt is simply a mineral that contains sodium and chloride with the chemical formula (NaCl).
Rock salt keeps our roads open, safe, and moving during the winter and improves driving conditions by giving traction for vehicles on icy roads.