Impact of the Embedded Carbon Fiber Heating Panel on the Structural/Mechanical Performance of Roadway Pavement

An ongoing collaborative research project is helping find more cost-effective and sustainable de-icing solutions to benefit a wide variety of transportation infrastructure users. Partnering with the Alaska University Transportation Center (AUTC) and the University of Houston, researcher Zhaohui Yang of the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA) plans to test a carbon fiber tape (CFT) based de-icing technology in hopes of offering an environmentally-friendly, anti-corrosive, cost-effective de-icing technology that can improve transportation safety. This new de-icing technology is potentially applicable to bridge decks, road sections susceptible to icing, airport runways, street crossings and frequently used sidewalks in urban areas in Alaska and other cold regions. Cold regions like Alaska suffer serious transportation system safety problems in the winter months. South central Alaska--Anchorage in particular--is susceptible to a large number of icing events due to frequent freeze/thaw cycles in the winter season. This creates ice on sidewalks, pavement and bridge decks that poses a significant safety risk to pedestrians, travelers/commuters, and commercial drivers alike. Black ice, a thin shiny layer of ice with a slick surface, is of particular concern because of its near invisibility to drivers, pilots and pedestrians. Researchers conducted a series of de-icing and anti-icing experiments. Preliminary results showed a considerable cost reduction for de-icing and anti-icing compared to other electrical resistance heating type technologies. Researchers found that the new technology demonstrates excellent de-icing capability and shows great potential for application in the transportation industry. Continuing the research, Yang and his team aim to address three important areas of question that arose during the pilot testing: (1) The impact of heating panel embedment to structural integrity of pavement/bridge decks; (2) The impact of coupled thermal cycling (from de-icing operation) and freeze/thaw cycling (due to ambient temperature fluctuations) to the mechanical properties of pavement; and (3) The impact of electromagnetic field generated by the de-icing operation on the corrosion of steel reinforcement in the pavement/bridge deck. Combined lab and field work will address these issues. Field experiments, such as structure member testing, will assess the impact of the heating panel embedment to structural integrity of Portland cement concrete pavement. Laboratory testing of samples obtained from the outdoor pilot experiment facility will help evaluate the impact of coupled heating/cooling and freeze/thaw cycles upon concrete pavement. Findings from the test sidewalk laboratory test will be incorporated into a sidewalk to be constructed on the UAA campus to evaluate the field performance of this new technology.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Houston, Texas

    Houston, TX  United States 

    Alaska University Transportation Center

    University of Alaska, Fairbanks
    P.O. Box 755900
    Fairbanks, AK  United States  99775-5900
  • Principal Investigators:

    Yang, Zhaohui (Joey)

  • Start Date: 20110701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20121231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33868

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01522815
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Alaska University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-001, 510022
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Apr 24 2014 1:00AM