Deicing Concrete Pavements and Roads with Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) as Heating Elements

Materials (Basel). 2020 May 30;13(11):2504. doi: 10.3390/ma13112504.


Existing deicing technologies involving chloride and heating wires have limitations such as reduced durability of roads and surrounding structures, and high labor requirements and maintenance costs. Hence, in this study, we performed indoor experiments, numerical analyses, and field tests to examine the efficiency of deicing using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to overcome these limitations. For indoor experiments, a CNT was inserted into the center of a concrete sample and then heated to 60 °C while maintaining the ambient and internal temperatures of the sample at -10 °C using a refrigeration chamber. Numerical analysis considering thermal conductivity was performed based on the indoor experimental results. Using the calculation results, field tests were conducted, and the thermal conduction performance of the heating element was examined. Results showed that the surface temperature between the heating elements exceeded 0 °C. Moreover, we found that the effective heating distance of the heating elements should be 20-30 cm for effective thermal overlap through the indoor experiments. Additionally, the numerical analysis results indicated that the effective heating distance increased to 100 cm when the heating element temperature and experiment time were increased. Field test results showed that 62 cm-deep snow melted between the heating elements (100 cm), thus, verifying the possibility of deicing.

Keywords: carbon nanotubes; concrete beam; deicing technology; heating element.