How Ice Melters Work
Product crystals will dissolve in the ice/snow forming a brine. The salt brine solution has a freezing point lower than water. The smaller crystals dissolve quickly to begin the melting action. The larger crystals, through the action of gravity will penetrate the ice layer to the surface of walkway. The brine formed will travel between the surface and ice layer loosening the bond for easier ice removal.
DE-ICING — removes ice & snow and is applied after the event.
ANTI-ICING — prevents ice from forming and is applied before the event.
There are two types of ice melters — chloride based and non chloride based. The majority are chloride based - either one of the following types or a blend of two or more.
Chloride based include:
1. Sodium Chloride
2. Potassium Chloride
3. Calcium Chloride
4. Magnesium Chloride
Natural Colored Mineral Crystals versus Evaporated Crystals
MELTZ ALL, Nature's Thaw and ICE BITER are a natural rock mineral crystal. They are not an evaporated crystal. Evaporated salt results from concentration of a brine solution resulting in smaller salt crystals which are then compacted to form larger sized products. This type of processing changes the natural state of the crystals and as a result, many of the trace minerals are lost.
The NSC mineral crystals on the other hand, are brought to the surface in their natural rock form untouched allowing all of the natural trace minerals to remain intact.These trace minerals which include potassium, calcium, and magnesium give the crystals more melting power.
This unique combination of high soluble chloride and enhancing trace minerals encapsulated within each crystal is what gives the crystal its pinkish color making our products truly distinctive.
In selecting a suitable product for ice melting 3 factors will come into play:
1. Desirable Characteristics
Desirable Characteristics Are:
Low operating temperature
Quick acting/long lasting
Easy to apply/easy to see
The Freeze Thaw Cycle
Most common concern with ice melters are damage to concrete. The natural freeze thaw cycle in combination with poor concrete, old or new concrete, improperly air entrained concrete can result in damage...without even applying any ice melter.
During warmer periods ice melts and liquid runs into cracks or concrete pores. When freezing occurs, liquid expands in spaces and causes cracking or spalling (surface breakage).
To minimize risk of damage always:
1. Apply proper amounts
2. Avoid clumping of product applied
3. Scrape snow & ice to curb immediately following melting action
Special points of interest:
* All Ice Melters have potential risks
* Important to follow proper application procedures
* Always remove ice & snow once melting action loosens ice
* Scrape ice & snow to curb, away from vegetation
* Minimize risks by using proper application procedures