Optimal and sensible salting for deicing operations in transportation facilities is an indispensable need, since salting operations consume a significant amount of resources and pose significant challenges to infrastructure and the environment. To realize optimal salting, a thorough understanding of the snow melting performance of salt is required. This understanding can then be used to develop optimal salt application rates, providing potential reductions in material usage and cost. This paper presents the results of a three-year field study focused on developing optimal salt application rates that apply an understanding of the physical snow melting process on empirical evidence. During the field tests, snow melting performance data, along with maintenance and weather data, were collected in the winter seasons of 2011-2014. With the collected data, a mechanistic-empirical model was developed to determine the recommended application rates for parking lots and sidewalks. The model developed through this study is the first of its kind and is a valuable tool for effective snow and ice control in parking lots and sidewalks. This research also outlines a solid framework to develop optimum application rates for other kind of transportation facilities, such as the road sector.
Contributors: Hossain S M K, Fu L, Li D S, Donnelly T.