Understanding and Mitigating Effects of Chloride Deicer Exposure on Concrete

AUTC project number: 510003

PI(s):

Xianming Shi

Funding:
  • Alaska University Transportation Center
  • Oregon DOT
  • Start Date: Aug 1, 2011
  • End Date: Dec 31, 2012

Project Summary

The United States spends approximately $2.3 billion annually to keep highways free of snow and ice, and the associated corrosion and environmental impacts add at least $5 billion to that cost. A study of the effects of chloride deicer exposure on concrete, headed by UAF AUTC Director Billy Connor and Dr. Xianming Shi, PhD, P.E., director of the WTI Corrosion & Sustainable Infrastructure Lab at Montana State University-Bozeman, will help in laboratory testing of deicer effects on concrete with actual field exposure. This work's results will allow DOTs to predict levels of infrastructure damage to minimize the costs of concrete damage repair caused by deicer exposure. Researchers will work with both ADOT&PF and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to investigate how each entity uses chloride deicers, the effects of that use, and the best ways to mitigate those effects in Oregon and Alaska. This will be accomplished through agency surveys, laboratory research and field investigations. Helping improve highway safety, the research will advance the relevant knowledge base related to deicer/concrete interactions, improving long-range infrastructure repair and replacements planning and the development of possible mitigation strategies. By offering guidance on how to best mitigate negative impacts of chloride deicers on concrete, this research will help enhance the durability of sustainability of concrete infrastructure and in so doing, also boost the level of infrastructure service. Potentially improving TAM effectiveness, this guidance can translate into substantial cost savings and environmental benefits while enhancing the reliability of the transportation infrastructure in cold climate states.