This work aims at identifying and developing standard laboratory testing protocols that can be used to evaluate the performance of deicing chemicals, additives, and mixtures of these used on roadways and other transportation facilities. Several test methods were evaluated for the purpose of developing a promising test protocol, including a differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) thermogram test for liquid deicers, modified Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) ice melting test for solid and liquid deicers, modified SHRP ice penetration test for solid and liquid deicers, and a modified ice undercutting test developed by Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT) for solid and liquid deicers. These tests shed light on the complexity and challenges in evaluating various deicers, especially the poor reliability inherent in conventional test methods. The DSC-based method was demonstrated to be very reproducible for each deicer at a given dilution ratio and cooling/heating rate, and thus may serve as a “fingerprint” tool for quality assurance of deicers. The DSC data also showed strong correlation with the modified SHRP ice melting test data, which holds the promise of establishing the DSC-based method for evaluating the performance of liquid deicers (both in terms of characteristic temperature and ice melting capacity). The modified SHRP ice melting test used in this study incorporates a control substance for reference and various indicators to determine acceptability of the data, as discussed in the paper.
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