This New Phase-Change Concrete Can Melt Snow And Ice Without Salt Or Shovels

Pioneered by Drexel’s College of Engineering professionals, a novel self-healing concrete represents a possible transformational shift towards infrastructure resilience. It provides a peek into a day when roads and sidewalks remain frost-free.

An associate professor in the College of Engineering named Amir Farnam, Ph.D., clarifies the reasoning for their research by saying, “Reducing the need for plowing and salting and preventing freezing and Thawing is a good way to keep the surface from deteriorating.” Their research focuses on adding unique compounds to concrete to maintain warmer surface temperatures in the winter and lessen the negative impacts of the cold.

The low-temperature liquid paraffin, a phase-change substance known for releasing heat, is the source of all innovation. Concrete is infused with this substance utilizing cutting-edge techniques. The researchers hope that this combination will offer long-term benefits.

The novel method was rigorously tested by subjecting phase-change material-treated slabs to environmental conditions. Doctorate student Robin Deb highlights the importance of their research, pointing out the possibility of phase-change materials stabilizing concrete temperatures and reducing freeze-thaw cycles.

Researchers might also realize areas for improvement. However, the experiments’ success thus far gives hope that self-healing concrete will be a viable long-term substitute for areas with frigid climates.

The researchers would most likely pursue their research in the future, emphasizing long-term durability and efficacy to create an infrastructure that can not only last the harsh winters but also contribute to a more sustainable future by utilizing the potential of phase-change materials.

The study was published in the Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering.

Source: Drexel University

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