Scientists Develop Concrete that Melts Snow, Ice on Its Own (WATCH)By Russell Westerholm
A team of researchers has seen promising results from concrete that can produce just enough of an electrical current to melt snow and ice on its surface.
According to Discovery News, the researchers mixed carbon and steel shavings into the concrete for a current that warms the surface, but is safe to the touch. Their method is currently underdoing testing from the Federal Aviation Administration and could wind up being used for a major U.S. airport's tarmac.
Click here for a video of the special concrete at work.
"To my surprise, they don't want to use it for the runways," Chris Tuan, a civil engineer at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, said in a press release. "What they need is the tarmac around the gated areas cleared, because they have so many carts to unload - luggage service, food service, trash service, fuel service - that all need to get into those areas.
"They said that if we can heat that kind of tarmac, then there would be (far fewer) weather-related delays. We're very optimistic."
Not only can this method be applied to streets, highways, bridges, and more, but Tuan told The Huffington Post it reduces dependence on salt and other chemicals for battling snow and ice buildup.
"Bridges always freeze up first, because they're exposed to the elements on top and bottom," he said in the release. "It's not cost-effective to build entire roadways using conductive concrete, but you can use it at certain locations where you always get ice or have potholes."