A new laboratory test, tool or method is needed to evaluate the performance and friction coefficient of de-icing chemicals in conditions that replicate the actual roadway. Laboratory tests have been developed to measure eutectic curves, environmental effects, corrosion and other chemical characteristics of deicing chemicals and blends, but none have been developed to effectively and consistently replicate the real world. Decision makers need better information about the influence of traffic (i.e., volume, speed and type), humidity, deicing chemical particle size, application rates and methods, wind speed, precipitation, long and short range radiation, effective time (chemical activation to end of useful life), pavement temperatures and other applicable variables on the performance and friction coefficient of de-icing chemicals.
A multi-phase research project is needed to develop a test method that identifies the effects of many factors and variables on performance and friction and can also be correlated to field performance. Phase I started with a comprehensive literature search to develop recommendations on how to proceed with laboratory testing methods and design.
The findings included relevant parameters for both lab and field testing as well as recommendations for future phases on testing methodologies, statistical analysis using available technology, and managing precipitation (snow/ice pack) and uniform tracking.