Road Salt Meets its Match With a New Type of Concrete

More Durable Concrete That Doesn’t React to Salt

It has been a known fact for engineers that road salt, used as a de-icing agent every winter to protect the roads from the dangerous build-up of ice, are also responsible for the slow degradation of the concrete to which these roads are made of. Each winter where temperature fluctuations facilitate the build-up of ice due to the cycle of snowing, melting and freezing, roads are constantly being layered with calcium chloride salt.

Request a Virtual Demo of our SmartRock Wireless Sensor

The issue lies in the fact that calcium chloride reacts with what is known as calcium hydrate – an ingredient found in concrete, and creates by product compound called calcium oxychloride. This chemical has the tendency to expand as it forms and so when this happens in the pore of concrete it can easily lead to degradation and cracking.

As a means of counteracting this reaction, Dr. Yaghoob Farnam of Drexel’s College of Engineering has been working on a new recipe for concrete that can hold its own against the chemical reaction. The goal is to find a concrete mix recipe that is just as strong and durable as those that typically pave the roads, but that also contains less calcium hydroxide. Farnam, who is also the director of the Advanced and Sustainable Infrastructure Materials research Group, recently created a method which uses leftovers from coal furnaces – fly ash, slag and silica fume – in a more durable concrete mix that doesn’t react to salt. His findings have recently been published in the journal of Cement and Concrete Composites.

Farnam’s study revealed that his concrete mix samples did not produce as much calcium chloride and that it did not show damage during the testing period compared to Portland cement samples which showed damage after just eight days. “This research proves that by using alternate cementitious materials to make concrete, they can avoid the destructive chemical reaction and continue to use calcium chloride,” Farnam states.

Source: http://drexel.edu/now/archive/2017/May/new-cement-recipe-stops-road-salt-degradation/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

concrete_blogs

5 Concrete Blogs You Should Check Out in 2023

As the concrete industry keeps growing, so does the number of sites that offer quality and educational content. The topics range from tips and techniques to sustainability in the industry. So, let’s check a compilation of the best five concrete blogs you should be on the lookout for this year.

SmartRock3

New Generation Technology Part 2: the LoRa SmartRock™ and its Applications

Every concrete professional aims to perform critical operations faster and with the highest possible quality. Remote monitoring systems such as the SmartHub™ – Long Range developed by Giatec are valuable tools for this need. Following the first part of the SmartHub series, this blog will delve into the applications of the SmartRock™ – Long Range. Request a Virtual Demo of our SmartRock Wireless Sensor Request a Demo Fully Embedded Wireless SystemsThe proliferation of wireless sensory technology has been incredibly helpful in harnessing vital information from structural…

cement vs concrete

Back to Basics: Cement vs Concrete

How many times have you heard people use the words cement and concrete interchangeably? Probably enough for you to wonder if there is a difference at all. While there are some ways in which the terms are related, the answer is simple: concrete and cement are fundamentally different. In this blog we will discuss all you need to know to answer the question: cement vs concrete, are they different?

Canadian Concrete Expo

Book a meeting with us
in Toronto at CCE,
February 16-17, 2023

Get Real-Time Data with SmartRock®

See how it works today

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience, analyze site traffic and assist in our marketing efforts. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy Page.