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Journal Article


Grant CL. Transp. Res. Rec. 1974; 506: 47-55.


(Copyright © 1974, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences USA, Publisher SAGE Publishing)






Limited field trials in New Hampshire provided motivation for some laboratory comparisons of solar, rock, and a 1:1 mixture of solar and rock salt for ice melting. The solar salt as received contained much larger particles than the rock salt. In this preliminary study, unsized samples were applied to trays of ice at 10 F in a cold chamber, and the ice melted and salt dissolved were measured as a function of time. During the first 3.5 hours, the cumulative ice melted did not vary significantly for the 3 test materials, but the solar salt melted more ice per unit weight of salt dissolved than the other 2 materials. Failure of solar salt to melt more ice than rock salt during the first hour was contrary to prior road trials. To test the possibility that this difference was due to the absence of particle size reduction by traffic in the laboratory tests, 2 size ranges of solar salt were compared for melting effectiveness. Small crystals melted twice as much ice as large crystals during the first 15 minutes, but the large crystals melted more ice per unit of salt dissolved. Fine solar salt mixed with coarse rock salt might give rapid melting and long-lasting effectiveness on highways.


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