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EnviroTech Journal

Welcome to the EnviroTech Services blog! Check out all the latest industry tips and tricks coming straight to you from
the experts at EnviroTech Services. Our posts will discuss ESI projects, product updates, usage tips, new technologies, industry developments, and company news. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!

Friction in Winter Maintenance: A new way to quantify Deicer performance and ensure highway safety

Ensuring the safety of motorists and passability of roadways in the winter months is critical in many regions of the country. Some of the most useful parts of the toolkit many municipalities use to ensure roadway safety are deicing chemicals such as granular rock salt, salt brine, magnesium chloride, or calcium chloride. These chemicals function by effectively lowering the freezing point of water. Deicers can be used before a storm to prevent snow and ice from bonding as solidly to pavement and improve the effectiveness of plowing. Typically, this is called “anti-icing” and brine's are predominantly used in this capacity.

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EnviroTech’s Lab Prepares to Measure the Influence of Deicers on Friction

As we detailed in our November Blog, EnviroTech and Redmond are working with WTI (Western Transportation Institute) to develop a test that measures the influence a deicer has on surface friction. The existing standard test, SHRP 205 doesn’t provide performance-based results that speak to the true goal of deicing – which is to return a driving surface to a safe friction level as quickly as possible for a sustained period, and at maximum efficiency. Again, this new friction test, and its resulting data, was developed as a test method using a friction analyzer, a cold plate, and simulated track to measure the true effectiveness of deicers - replicating as closely as possible real-life conditions. 

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Friction, Important Attribute of Tires, Roads and Deicers

Friction is very important to people – without it, for example, we could not walk or even crawl, so why did it take so long for the study of the relationship that exist between deicers and snowy/icy roads.  Scientists at EnviroTech Services have been studying this relationship and with the help of modern road sensors have developed a test that shows the effect on friction for deicers.  A little history on friction and tires, roads and now deicers follows.

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Total Cost of Ownership: Benefits of Dust Control Verse Gravel Replacement

Over the next three months, we will be looking at series called the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for Applying Dust Control. The first TCO we’ll look at is costs and benefits of Treating vs. Leaving untreated unpaved roads, next we’ll investigate some of the hidden costs of using water as Dust Suppressant and finally, we’ll finish up the series with equipment maintenance benefits/savings.

Unpaved roads can be an unpleasant nuisance, affecting the quality of life for everyone who travels on gravel roads and those who live or work nearby. It is also a warning sign of costly road damage that can increase maintenance requirements and strain road commission budgets. Just as important, road dust can threaten the driving safety and public health, damage vehicles, and other property, and harm our natural environment. Considering that there are approximately two million miles of unpaved roads in the U.S. and more than 600,000 km in Canada, efforts to control road dust are a concern in both the United States and Canada. The issues with unpaved roads and dust control exist globally also.


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Cases for Enhancing Salt Brine with AMP® for better Snow & Ice Control

AMP® is one of EnviroTech’s latest product releases and it brings technical innovation and outstanding product quality to the salt brine additive market. Salt Brine is a great tool for snowfighters, as it can be used for pre-treating, deicing and anti-icing. But salt brine alone has some very detectable performance limitations: 1) salt brine is prone to drying out and being blown from the surface by the wind, 2) the melting point of salt brine is often not low enough to be effective in many storms, and 3) salt brine is among the worst options in terms of the corrosion it will cause. 

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Owl Canyon Corridor – Using Compact and Cap on a High Traffic Roadway

The Owl Canyon Corridor in Northern Larimer County is an eleven-mile section of Larimer County Road 70 and 72 that serves as an important connection between US Highway 287 and Interstate 25. The westernmost three miles of the corridor is non-paved consisting of a treated gravel surface.


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AMP Receives PNS Approval

EnviroTech is proud to announce that our new salt brine enhancing product AMP, has received approval from the Pacific Northwest Snowfighters Association (PNS). PNS members are a collection of transportation agencies throughout the states of Washtington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, as well as British Columbia. The guidelines established by PNS assist users in product selection by requiring that corrosion inhibited approved products:

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Hamburg Wheel Test - HOW the Rubber Meets the Road (Literally)

“Custom Solutions”. “Cutting Edge Technology”. “Consultative Sales Approach”. Ah, the buzzwords of sales and marketing. They adorn conversations with sales people the way neon lights bring ambiance to a pool hall. But what do they mean and do they deliver more than just a shiny light to stare at while having a cold brew?

Similar to how EnviroTech has worked diligently to bring sound science to our dust control and deicing industries (as well as others), we are taking concrete steps to turn the buzzwords of sales and marketing into tangible results. The latest version of this takes the form of a piece of equipment known as a Hamburg Wheel Tracking Test (HWT), which gives ESI a wholly unique testing capability for our dust control and road maintenance customers.

The HWT was developed in Germany and gives ESI the ability to run side by side tests that compare the nuanced balance between product selection, application rate, native soil, expected traffic patterns, and anticipated weather. So, instead of running field tests (which are more expensive and time consuming) to get the optimal mixture of product type and application, ESI can work with you to get the right combination before any field applications occur. Here’s how it worked in a recent test:

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AMP Application Rate Advantage

The concept of product development is pretty simple. How do we either improve on an existing product or create something superior that is a replacement product? Less simple, however, is the process of testing, documenting, and verifying the improvements sought. This can be particularly tricky for consumers who can find themselves comparing performance claims between products they may not fully understand. Add to that the consideration for managing costs associated with switching to a new product as well as ensuring apple to apple cost comparisons, and the introduction of new products can feel more burdensome than exciting.

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Deicing Standard Operating Procedure: Start Way Before The Storm

A well-prepared road department means the techs checked the deicing equipment top-to-bottom, replaced worn spreaders, blades, and replenished engine fluids. All ready to go, right? Wrong.

A good record-keeping system from the last couple of years can tell you a lot about the amount of product used, and the effectiveness of past applications and communication practices. Cost is also a big project to take on early to work with your suppliers like EnviroTech to gauge the cost of product and explore new products that may serve your needs better while being more cost-effective.

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