About the research
Temperature and moisture fluctuations associated with winter environments can damage PCC materials. When deicing chemicals are added, the damage to PCC materials can increase significantly. Although models describing the mechanisms of deicer damage have been proposed for some time, the relative influence of each mechanism and their interactions is still not completely understood. This project investigated the effects of exposing concrete to deicing chemicals in winter environments, particularly the impact of such exposure on the material strength, scaling, and mass loss.
The research results indicate that calcium chloride causes the most damage to portland cement materials, particularly in freeze/thaw conditions among all chemicals tested. Although there is no definitive evidence for chemical interactions between calcium chloride salts and PCC material, scaling and salt precipitation observed in calcium chloride samples suggests that crystal growth and hydraulic or osmotic pressures are primarily responsible for initial damage to PCC.