Winter weather can be hazardous — just ask anyone who’s had a moment of panic when their car skids on ice, or felt their feet go out from under them on a snowy sidewalk. Hitting a patch of ice is scary on its own, but it can also be dangerous, resulting in car accident and treacherous sidewalks. Fortunately, a civil engineering professor at the University of Nebraska has developed an innovative new type of concrete that can melt ice and snow off its own surface. Whether your project uses de-icing concrete or standard, you’ll still want to look for durability and versatility when it comes to concrete forms for sale.
De-Icing Concrete — It’s Electric
This new type of concrete is designed so that electricity can travel through it easily —something that normal concrete can’t do. The secret ingredient is a steel and carbon mix that allows it to conduct electricity. It works much like the rear window defroster on a car. When the concrete slabs are connected to a power source, the electrical resistance produces heat that melts the ice and snow sitting on the slab’s surface.
A Work in Progress
De-icing concrete is currently double the cost of regular concrete, so it’s currently utilized only in areas that need it most. In 2002, a bridge near Lincoln, Nebraska was outfitted with 52 slabs of de-icing concrete to keep snow and ice off the 150-foot stretch of bridge. Dr. Chris Tuan, who developed the technology, also uses it on his back patio to keep it free of ice and snow.
Looking forward, businesses and cities could enhance road, parking lot, and sidewalk safety with de-icing concrete. This technology would also help offset the risk of weather-related delays, because people could get to the areas they need to without the risk of hitting ice.
While every area that experiences icy weather conditions might benefit from this technology, there are some applications that are more practical than others. Problem areas like bridges, exit ramps, and intersections are where a lot of accidents take place, and would benefit from conductive concrete.
Airports can prevent weather delays with de-icing concrete, which would keep service vehicles in motion on a heated tarmac.
Parking lots and sidewalks would be safer with conductive concrete, which would prevent slips and falls as people go about their day.
While the cost of de-icing concrete currently limits it to areas that need it most, its advantages will certainly make it a top player in the concrete industry over time.
Forms for The Future
Even as concrete technology evolves, Steel-Ply concrete forms meet and exceed standards for strength, durability, and ease of use. Forming America has both rental and purchase options for quality concrete forms that will enhance job site safety and ensure that your construction projects run smoothly.