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Anti-Icing Pavement Coating Study at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

2520 View 2007-03-01 0 Comments AirportSafety

Anti-Icing Pavement Coating Study at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Airports generally use two common strategies for keeping snow and ice buildup on aircraft movement areas to a minimum. The practice of anti-icing is primarily preventive, where the formation or development of bonded snow and ice is minimized by timely applications of a chemical freezing-point depressant (FPD) in advance and sometimes during each winter precipitation event. Deicing on the other hand is a primarily reactive practice because the FPD is not applied until snow or ice has already accumulated and formed a bond to the pavement surface. There are advantages and disadvantages to both practices. Anti-icing has the potential of lower costs due to less chemical being used than in deicing; however, a more systematic approach is often needed.

This report documents a study that was conducted on a new pavement coating that offers unique anti-icing characteristics that have the potential to reduce the costs and environmental impact associated with airport pavement anti-icing. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the anti-icing coating in terms of its anti-icing performance compared to adjacent pavement surfaces that did not have the coating. In addition, the durability and friction characteristics of the coating were measured and observed over the course of the evaluation. The anti-icing coating was applied to a 200-foot section of pavement on taxiway Kilo at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The evaluation was conducted from November 2004 through July 2005


Authors: Nathan M. Carroll and Barry J. Dempsey