Hot Sand for Improved Traction on Icy Roads

by Matthew K. Reckard, Alaska Dep of Transportation &, Public Facilities, Research Section, Fairbanks, AK, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


Experiments were performed to determine if heating sand prior to spreading it on icy roads would improve the skid resistance of the road more than cold sanding. Tests were made on a full-scale circular test track inside a large refrigerated laboratory. The results indicated that sand preheated to 180 degree F (82 degree C) resulted in greatly improved friction values. The hot sand would partially penetrate a cold ice surface by melting and then refreeze in place, leaving a gritty surface. An analysis was then made to estimate if hot sanding could be a cost-effective traffic safety improvement program. The results of this analysis were favorable.

Subject Headings: Sandy soils | Ice | Highways and roads | Traffic safety | Full-scale tests | Traffic analysis | Friction | Weather conditions

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