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Self-Heating Electrically Conductive Concrete Demonstration Project

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

17-610, TR-724

START DATE

04/15/17

END DATE

10/31/21

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE, PROSPER
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Halil Ceylan

Director, PROSPER

Co-Principal Investigator
Sunghwan Kim

Associate Director, PROSPER

Co-Principal Investigator
Peter Taylor

Director, CP Tech Center

Co-Principal Investigator
Mani Mina

Iowa State University

About the research

Many transportation agencies allocate significant time and resources each year to remove ice and snow from their paved surfaces to achieve a safe, accessible, and operational transportation network. An electrically conductive concrete (ECON) heated pavement system (HPS) has been shown to be a promising alternative to conventional snow removal operations using snowplows and deicing chemicals, which is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and environmentally unfriendly.

An ECON HPS utilizes the inherent electrical resistance of concrete to maintain the pavement surface at above-freezing temperatures and thus prevent snow and ice accumulation on the surface. Such a sustainable concrete pavement system improves its infrastructure resiliency by allowing it to be safe, open, and accessible during even harsh winter storms.

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the full-scale implementation of 10 ECON HPS slabs at the Iowa Department of Transportation headquarters’ south parking lot in Ames, Iowa. This study consisted of system design and control, field implementation, and sensor instrumentation procedures for the construction of the ECON HPS, which took place during October 2018. A programmable logic controller (PLC) was designed, programmed, and utilized to remotely control, operate, and monitor the system, and the heating performance of the remotely operated ECON slabs was evaluated during the 2018 to 2021 winter seasons using the instrumented sensors under the snow and ice. The performance evaluation showed promising results in achieving snow- and ice-free pavement surfaces through several winter weather events.

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