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Calcium Chloride for Snow and Ice Control

Author : Date : 7/29/2011 6:03:12 PM

Calcium Chloride for Snow and Ice Control

Wetted Salt With Liquid Calcium Chloride
At 25F (-4C), rock salt takes a full 19 minutes to embed in ice and hard-packed snow. Wetted with a 32% calcium chloride solution, rock salt immediately digs in and holds a close pattern on winter roads even when temperatures drop down to 0F (-18C). Wetted salt reduces the need for frequently repeated applications, decreasing material use by as much as 40%.


Storing 30% to 32% calcium chloride solution in bulk tanks provides the right product for the fast, efficient spraying on rock salt as needed. Except for the equipment and adaptation methods described below, wetted salt application techniques vary only slightly from those for conventional rock salt.

  • Spraying in the spreader truck ("Overhead")
    Load rock salt into the spreader truck and drive it beneath a spray bar containing calcium chloride solution. You can then easily spray the amount of calcium chloride needed onto the salt.
  • Spraying during application ("Onboard")
    Spreader trucks equipped with calcium chloride tank/feeding systems allow fast and effective application of wetted salt. During application, the salt is wetted with the calcium chloride solution and spread simultaneously.


Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride)
  • has substantially diminished effectiveness below 25F (-4C). The amount of ice melted per pound of rock salt drops 61% from 30F to 25F.
  • melts less ice in a given time period.
  • has slower melting action.
  • bounces and scatters off road (typically 30%).
  • has environmentally- negative impact.

Sand and/or Abrasives
  • does not melt ice and snow, just provides some traction.
  • bounces and scatters off road.
  • requires clean-up.

Rock Salt and Sand/Abrasives Combined
  • offer less melting performance over rock salt alone.


  • Wetted abrasives: spray calcium chloride solution on abrasives to help them embed quickly in ice and snow, save applications, material, manpower and equipment costs.
  • Freeze-resisting stockpiles: spray 32% calcium chloride solution on coal, sand, abrasives, limestone, wood chips, ores and minerals as they are built into stockpiles to keep them free-flowing in winter. Or spray entire stockpiles after they are built for the same long-lasting protection.
  • Thawing frozen stockpiles: restore frozen-solid stockpiles to their original condition by adding calcium chloride solution to the frozen masses.
  • Similarly add liquid calcium chloride to rail cars to thaw out frozen material or coat empty rail cars to prevent freezing.



When winter storms hit, correct application of pre-mixed or pre-wetted materials can make a difference in keeping roads in an easily plowable condition. They save valuable time in treating roads by preventing precipitation from bonding with the road surface. Application tips from road superintendents who use calcium chloride include:
  • Get out early and use adequate amounts of road materials throughout the storm.
  • Don't let ice build up under snow.
  • Keep snow slushy and plow it off.
  • Treat hills and intersections first.

Information About Calcium Chloride
Calcium chloride outdistances traditional deicing materials to achieve safer, bare pavement - faster than salt or abrasives alone. Calcium chloride melts up to eight times as much ice as does salt alone - within the first 30 minutes at 20F (-7C) following application. Pre-mixed with salt and abrasives, calcium chloride becomes a cost-effective edge for winter road safety.
  • Exothermic: calcium chloride releases heat to activate salt's melting ability.
  • Hygroscopic: calcium chloride attracts moisture required for rock salt's melting action.
  • Fast acting calcium chloride begins to dissolve immediately upon application to break the bond between pavement and ice.
  • Powerful calcium chloride brine remains active for prolonged periods of time to prevent ice from bonding to the highway.
  • Low eutectic point calcium chloride melts to much lower temperatures than salt.
  • Highway Safety: studies show that, in 85% of applications, calcium chloride/ salt mixtures achieve bare pavement faster than salt alone at temperatures near 30F (-1C), to ease traffic and reduce accidents.
  • Savings: calcium chloride increases salt's effectiveness, therefore reducing the number of applications necessary during storms - saving manpower, equipment and material costs. Plus, it freeze-proofs abrasives to help them embed in ice and snow, so you lose less material to spreader bounce and traffic scattering,