Millions of dollars are spent annually for removing ice and snow from paved surfaces using conventional techniques such as deployment of snow plowing equipment and use of deicing chemicals that are neither economical nor environmentally friendly. Alternative approaches such as producing superhydrophobic (super water-repellent) pavement surfaces and implementing electrically-conductive heated pavement systems, or even merging these two technologies to produce hybrid heated pavement systems, can alleviate many of the problems associated with conventional ice and snow removal techniques.
In this study, superhydrophobic concretes – including hot mix asphalt (HMA) and portland cement concrete (PCC) – and electrically-conductive asphalt matrices, including electrically conductive asphalt (ECAM) mastic and electrically-conductive cement paste (ECCP), were fabricated, and their characteristics evaluated. Water repellency of superhydrophobic HMA and superhydrophobic PCC was characterized through static water contact angle (WCA) measurements, and the frictional properties of these coated concrete were characterized using a microtribometer and a British pendulum tester. The electrical and thermal properties of ECAM and ECCP were characterized through volume resistivity measurements and active infrared thermography (IRT). These evaluations performed on superhydrophobic concretes and electrically-conductive matrices revealed that superhydrophobic HMA and superhydrophobic PCC are capable of repelling water, and possibly of repelling ice/snow. It was also found that ECAM and ECCP can generate enough heat for melting ice and snow at below freezing temperatures. Although it was found that ECCP can generate more heat than ECAM, this depends somewhat on the design requirements for selecting a matrix for binding aggregate systems together to result in a concrete (either HMA or PCC), implemented in a heated pavement system, that can efficiently melt ice and snow.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ali-arabzadeh/14/