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EnviroTech Journal

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

Posted by Jerry Konst on 1.10.2019

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. 


Friction on the road, not melting capacity, is the measure necessary to understand the effectiveness of deicers. It is difficult and rare to find lab data that reflects real-life conditions and results.  What has advanced is the ability to measure a product’s performance outside of the lab.  So EnviroTech’s laboratory has installed a smaller version of Montana State’s University laboratory set up that was discussed in our blog in November. Meanwhile, enhancements to the lab set-up at Montana State are underway to modify the trafficking system which used one wheel. The use of only one wheel made it impossible to collect data continuously while the test was running.  In order to improve the test results the system we are in the process of adding an additional tire and effectively doubling the size of the system so we can collect data continuously while the test is running.  We hope to have this up and operational by March.  See a Picture of the Prototype Below.


EnviroTech’s Laboratory version of the Experimental Design is located in a Freezer to allow for constant temperatures below freezing to be maintained. 


Like in Montana States Lab, new technology sensors are used to measure the Friction seen on the surface.  This method measures how quickly and for how long deicers take to return a driving surface to a friction coefficient of 0.6, the coefficient of friction equivalent to a safe “wet” road.


This test couples what snowfighters see in the field with usable data from the lab. The goal is to give snowfighting professionals lab data that helps them choose products best suited to the actual conditions they are seeing.  The testing method shows which products actually work! 




Want to Learn More?

If you would like to talk to a representative about optimizing your deicing or anti-icing program, feel free to contact EnviroTech at 1-800-369-3878. 

For more information about EnviroTech Services’ please visit our website at www.envirotechservices.com or call 800-881-5848.

Topics: Deicing & Anti-Icing, Environmental, Trucking Operations, Road Maintenance