Researchers at Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey, set out to find a means for making salty winter roads able to rid themselves of the bane of winter: ice.
Driving on an icy road pretty scary, especially if the conditions are “just right” for you to lose control of your car and end up in another car, a ditch or a Mickey D’s drive-in.
Trying to keep avoid an accident while sliding across a slippery surface is definitely not what you want when operating a motorized vehicle on public roads.
Fortunately, those not-so-uncommon incidents may become a thing of the past thanks to a couple of people that are striving to make serious changes to the way we keep roads safe even during freezing temperatures.
The way authorities tend to handle icing is by spreading salt on top of the road, which can obviously be quickly dispersed by traffic or rainwater, therefore canceling its effect. However, this new system involves having deicing agents throughout the layers of asphalt, which then release over a period of time.
The scientists are using salt potassium formate, an environmentally friendly deicing material, embedded into bitumen. They have also added butadiene-styrene, which is a water-repelling polymer that should help stop water from settling on the road and thus reduce the chances of ice buildups.
On top of that, this could also improve the state of our roads all year round, since one of the biggest reasons they get cracks and potholes is because of water freezing over and then expanding.
The underside of our cars will still be taking quite a pounding because of the corrosive salt. But hey, that’s happening even today and it’s nothing compared to significantly improving safety.
Story references: carthrottle