Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question? We have answers!
Have a question? We have answers!
When fighting snow and ice, time is of the essence. Studies have shown that getting out early and attacking the storm before snow and ice bonds to the pavement is critical and can save up to 8 times the cost of trying to break snow and ice from the pavement after this bond has occurred. During the application of deicers, the first thirty minutes is known as the “action window” and is considered a critical time frame for products to begin working to prevent this bond of ice and snow to the pavement. This is also considered the typical time frame products have to work before most plow operators return a second time to their plow routes. Ice Slicer will work faster and hold the road longer than white salt. On average, independent test data has shown Ice Slicer melts a minimum of 30% more snow and Ice than white salt during the first 30 minutes of applications. This “action window” is critical in getting on top of the storm and maintaining control of the pavement.
In warm storms, any ordinary deicer will melt snow. But testing has shown that even in warm storms Ice Slicer melts faster and lasts longer than white salt. When the temperatures drop, Ice Slicer continues to melt snow and ice down to 0°F where white salt generally stops melting at about 20⁰F. On hard packed snow and ice the denser, harder Ice Slicer particles bore through ice to the underlying pavement where they create salt brine that dissolve the ice-pavement bond while affording the traveling public instant traction from the top down. The much lighter and softer white salt will sit on top of snow pack and will eventually dilute out. Ice to road dis-bonding relies on ice penetration, Ice Slicer’s unique composition is designed to penetrate and dis-bond better than white salt. While Ice Slicer is harder and denser than white salt, it’s not hard enough to break or damage windshields. Pound for pound Ice Slicer is naturally equipped to melt more, melt faster, and last longer on the road.
You may also want to consider application rates. On a per ton basis Ice Slicer may cost you 30% to 40% more than white salt. However, if you apply 40% to 60% less material, as users do, you will see a considerable savings. Also consider the additional savings from many of the other direct and indirect costs. What if your trucks could travel twice the distance, clearing twice as many lane miles? Would this allow you to improve your service levels with less manpower? What would happen to your costs if you replaced 40% fewer guard rails? How about reducing or eliminating the costs of clean up from not needing to use sand as a part of your application. With increasing costs, how important is it for your budget to have a product that goes twice as far?
Ice Slicer is a mined product and not a solar salt. It naturally contains over 60 trace minerals and micro-nutrients giving it a reddish color. It’s natural color will not leach or wash off. The red color gives Ice Slicer several advantages. Foremost among these is public perception; the driving public can “see” that deicer has been applied and plows are “on the job”. Similarly, drivers can more easily observe product application as they run their routes. Ice Slicer’s darker color also enhances performance. Studies show that its color allows the product to absorb up to 50% more heat from the sun allowing it to work better than white salt.
Liquid deicing brines are popular and effective materials for winter road maintenance. However liquids and solids are very different in practice. Liquids are effective “anti-icers” (i.e. applied BEFORE the storm to prevent ice-road bonding), but should not be used as “deicers” (i.e. applied during or after the storm to tackle snowpack), especially as temperatures start dropping. With chemical liquids such as brine, you are applying 23% chemical and 77% water. With solid applications you are applying 100% active material. The current practice of simultaneously applying liquid and solid deicers is also proving to be a very effective deicing method. In a nutshell, where “dilution” is an issue, such as in heavy precipitation solid application is the best approach.
Loss of product from the road surface during application is a problem for all solid deicers. This can be minimized by pre-wetting the product at the spinner and by cautious application techniques and can activate and accelerates the melt rate when placed in contact with the snowpack.
The sodium chloride found in Ice Slicer is a natural component of the environment. Actually 3% (on average) of the Oceans are NaCl – and since ¾ of the planet surface is covered by oceans teaming with life – sodium chloride is not harmful to the environment. In fact, both Sodium and Chloride are essential elements in nutrition. While concentrated applications of salt can be toxic to plant and aquatic life, the dilution that occurs from precipitation is so large that after the spring run-off it is often impossible to detect any elevated sodium or chloride levels. Add the benefit of reduced application rates and even less chloride is being put into the environment.
The natural trace minerals found in Ice Slicer are native in the salt deposit created eons ago when an ancient ocean evaporated. Most of these minerals are present in very low (part per million) concentrations and therefore have little effect on melting performance, however a few are present in larger (percent) levels and these natural minerals DO have a synergistic effect on the NaCl – leading to faster melt rates.
With natural trace minerals acting as buffers, Ice slicer is a minimum of 20% less corrosive than white salt and as much as 70% less corrosive based on some independent test data. The variation may be the result of poor corrosion testing methods as well as variation from the product. As a mined product, there are some natural variations in the corrosiveness of the product, but overall Ice Slicer is still much less corrosive on mild steel. With these reduced corrosion levels, Ice Slicer will help extend the life of equipment, bridge decks and infrastructure and protect these investments from advanced corrosion caused by much more corrosive chloride products. Additional inhibitors can be added to reduce corrosion even more. With these added corrosion inhibitors Ice Slice will meet PNS corrosion specifications.
When measuring the overall costs of any deicing material, it’s important to compare equal costs and look at the value gained from your costs. A very good way to measure expenses is on a cost per lane mile basis. This can easily be done whether you’re using granular, aggregates, or liquids. Interestingly, the product you put on the road is only about 8% of your total costs. Consider the direct costs of equipment, manpower, fuel, clean up, and the indirect costs of damage to infrastructure such as guard rails, delineator poles, the economic disruptions, liability, and you can see that your decision can have a broad impact. Paying a little bit more for the right product could save you significantly in the long run.