TechBrief: Chemical Deicers and Concrete Pavement: Impacts and Mitigation
Primary Topic: Materials-Concrete
Description: This Tech Brief focuses on a recently recognized form of deterioration on concrete pavements referred to as chemical deicer distress. It is gaining attention due to the increased frequency and severity of its appearance, which is related to the increased use of aqueous solutions of calcium chloride (CaCl2) and magnesium chloride (MgCl2) for pavement deicing (Sutter et al. 2008; Weiss and Farnam 2015). The resulting pavement distress often first appears as a 'shadowing' at the pavement joints, which progresses into disintegration of the concrete as shown in figure 1 (Taylor, Sutter, and Weiss 2012). This Tech Brief summarizes the use of chemical anti-icers and deicers, reviews how hydraulic cement paste (HCP) is traditionally protected from freeze-thaw damage, describes physical and chemical distress mechanisms in the presence of aqueous CaCl2 or MgCl2 brine solutions, and discusses strategies that can be employed to mitigate this distress.
FHWA Publication Number: FHWA-HIF-17-008
Publication Year: 2018
Document Links: PDF (file size: 2 mb)