Salt Brine or Rock Salt

Monday, August 20, 2012

Have you ever wondered why there is salt on the roads in the winter time?  Have you ever wondered what other products could be used to melt the ice and not damage your vehicle at the same time?  It is always a safety concern in the winter to make sure that roadways and sidewalks are suitable for those using them.  

One of the methods used to fight the icy roadways and sidewalks is the use of salt brine.  Salt brine is a mix of water and salt. Salt brine reduces the dependency on salt alone, eliminating the need for so much salt.  Making salt brine only requires one tenth salt for the mixture.  Salt brine when sprayed on roads has shown results to prevent ice from forming, from preventing the bonding of water to ice, and thus takes less time to remove the ice if it has time to form.  Salt brine mixture is applied before the expected ice-storm as an anti-icing agent.  Instead of having to spend countless hours removing snow mechanically, this method both saves time and money.

Before the introduction of Brine Salting technology, Rock salt was used widely to de-ice the surface of roadways and sidewalks.  Rock salt prevents or lowers the freezing point of water to form into ice.   But during harsh climatic conditions, it was not as effective as expected.  Unfortunately, rock salt can be  easily washed away and tends accumulate in swearers and can damage drainage systems.    Also rock salting is harder to be applied evenly on the surface to provide a smooth prevention of icing.   It was also observed that washed away salt damages the eco system and creates health hazardous situation for animals in specific.   Rock salt does not work properly until it has time to be dissolved into ice, essentially melting it away.  

Rock salt contains calcium chloride and sodium chloride and is generally found underground.  This form of salt does not dissolve easily in water.   Rock salt can be found in abundance as it’s a naturally occurring substance, and has been used widely for de-icing during the winter season to clear off roadways and sidewalks.  However, it does leave salt on the pavement, and this salt is very harsh on vehicles, eroding and rusting parts.

So, which one is the best?  It has been shown that salt prepared in the liquid form will have an immediate impact rather than the rock salt as it will take more time to react and perform.   Salt brine does not leave the harsh after effects that rock salt does.

Therefore, the liquid form of salt brine is best recommended for anti-icing and provides a new de-icing agent to fight against snow and ice removal.  Salt brine has also been shown to be both preventive in ice forming and cost effective.