Smart Solution: Chinease researchers has developed an asphalt additive that prevents road icing


Researchers at Hebei University of Science and Technology have created an innovative solution to prevent snow and ice buildup on roads. The scientists have developed an additive that can be mixed into asphalt during production. Anti-icing asphalt pavement reduce the need for salt spreading and snowplowing.

Formula for Anti-Icing Asphalt Pavement

The researchers have discovered that adding acetate-based salt to the asphalt mix creates an “anti-icing asphalt pavement” that can play an “active and smart” role in melting snow continuously. The acetate-based salt is less harmful than traditional chloride salts, which can corrode vehicles and harm vegetation and waterways. The new formula is also more effective at lower temperatures, making it a safer and more efficient solution for road safety in colder regions.

The new process involves mixing plastic microcapsules containing organic acetate salt with blast-furnace slag into the asphalt. The pellets’ polymer coating weakens over time due to the road’s wear and tear, releasing the salt into the asphalt. A test section of the road on the highway between Beijing and Xiong’an revealed that the treated pavement lowered the freezing point of water to -21°C, keeping the road free of snow and ice.

Effective Solution for Snow Removal

The researchers have estimated that a 500mm-thick pavement would remain active for approximately seven to eight years before losing its anti-icing properties. The new process would be a practical solution for continuous snow melting and would reduce the need for auxiliary snow removal operations.

The scientists noted that the SMAA (salt microcapsule asphalt) process could help reduce the impact of harsh weather conditions on the environment, as well as on vehicles and infrastructure. The use of the new process would also reduce the need for traditional snow removal methods, which can be damaging and costly.

In conclusion, the new SMAA process has the potential to revolutionize road safety and snow removal methods. Anti-icing asphalt pavement is an effective solution for colder regions and a sustainable alternative to traditional salt and snowplowing methods. The research team’s findings could inspire similar projects worldwide, providing safer and more efficient solutions for maintaining road safety during winter conditions.