Ben Holewinski Week 10 Blog 8
Snow and ice covered roads can be on of the most hazardous conditions possible for any driver. There are plenty of examples of crashes, injuries, and even deaths caused by icy and snow covered roads. However, a new concrete has been conceived to prevent these types of incidents. Conductive concrete, as simple as it may sound, could solve these slippery problems with an ingenious solution.
Conductive concrete, created at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, adds steel shavings and carbon to concrete, which when introduced to electricity produces heat. This heat is enough to melt snow and ice, without harming anything else stepping or placed on it. This alternative to concrete is not a cost effective option, but would not be intended for use in very many cases. This heated concrete would be intended for use in the most dangerous environments, such as airport runways and bridges, which both produce a lot of ice and snow during winter environments.
Testing with this material has been started on bridges and several airport runways and the results have been positive as the heated concrete is cheaper than chemical alternatives, and it prevents potholes caused by ice and salt used to prevent ice in most cases today. Although the installation and use of this concrete could be expensive, the use of solar or wind power could slim down costs, creating a cost effective option for melting dangerous roads. If introduced to roads nationwide, this concrete could prevent accidents and save hundreds of lives in the long run.