Anybody that has been in a snowstorm knows that things can get a bit slippery and dangerous. Every winter there are delays both on the roads and airports due to frosty conditions. Chris Twan, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has made it easier to get home during snow season. He has created concrete that actually melts snow and ice upon contact.
The concrete is a mixture of carbon and steel shavings, about 20% to be exact, that causes the concrete to naturally produce heat. Now the beauty behind it is while it conducts heat to melt ice and snow, it remains perfectly fine to touch. Tuan is a professor of civil engineering and his research has been aimed towards using the concrete at airports. The surprise is that airports are leaning more towards using the technology around the tarmac rather than the runways. The reasoning is that much of the snow delays at airports stem from the crew not being able to safely and efficiently unload luggage, trash carts and food service carts.
Tuan’s potent concrete has been put into action already on a bridge. It will be monitored and studied until this year where they will assess results and go from there. Although the material is not cost effective enough to lay over every highway, it is exciting to know that the technology is here and ready to use. Soon we can all sleep a little easier knowing that we may have to put one less set of snow chains on for the winter and burn the snow shovel.