Effect of Deicing Agents and Environmental Conditions on Performance of Asphalt Pavements in Cold Regions

Winter maintenance plays a vital role in keeping the highway system safe and functional during the winter season. Deicing, among different practices, is central to every winter maintenance effort. Deicing is defined as application of chemicals in order to facilitate breaking up the ice and snow pack and melting glare/black ice. While sodium chloride is widely used as a deicing agent, other chemicals, namely calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, and acetates are also being used for the ice removal, depending on their effectiveness in different temperature ranges. Deicing chemicals lower the freezing point and therefore, keep the precipitated water in the pavement in liquid form at freezing temperature. This, in turn, subjects the pavement to freeze-thaw cycles even during the frigid temperatures. This mechanism is reported to accelerate moisture-induced damage and pothole formation, deteriorate asphalt pavements' durability and may negatively affect its structural integrity. Although there are growing concerns over the negative effects of deicers on asphalt mixes, limited research has been conducted to address these concerns. Based on aforementioned need, this study is being proposed to investigate the effects of commonly-used deicing agents on durability and performance of asphalt mixes exposed to those chemicals and freeze-thaw cycles. The outcomes of this study will help the transportation agencies and highway authorities to gain a clearer understanding of any possible negative effects of using deicers on pavement performance. This will help with decision-making process in selecting the type of deicing agents to minimize damage to asphalt pavement structure.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $97897
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108
  • Project Managers:

    Tolliver, Denver

  • Performing Organizations:

    Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    South Dakota State University
    Brookings, SD  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ghabchi, Rouzbeh

  • Start Date: 20200219
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-625

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01733133
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747108
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Mar 6 2020 5:21PM