Innovation That Matters

Salt embedded asphalt could prevent frozen roads


A team from Turkey's Koc University have developed a salt-embedded material that could keep roads from freezing over.

Every winter, state authorities spend hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of salt de-icing and clearing roads that have been blocked by snowy weather. Offering a potential solution, a team from Turkey’s Koc University have developed a salt-embedded road that could keep roads from freezing in the first place.

The material is a combination of bitumen — a major component of asphalt, salt potassium formate and polymer styrene-butadiene-styrene. Lab tests show the material significantly delaying ice formation by releasing de-icing salt for a period of two months. If used on real roads, however, the material would be even more effective, since cars and trucks driving over the road would wear away the surface, revealing a new layer of salt-polymer composite beneath. This could lead to years worth of ice-proof roads.

Could this material be adapted onto pavements or public spaces that are particularly susceptible to freezing weather?



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