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Researchers Hope to Warm Concrete to Help Prevent Icy Airport Runways

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Iowa State University researchers are hoping their work will help prevent the dreaded delayed or cancelled flights at airports across the country. A team of 19 researchers is developing three methods to prevent snow and ice from collecting on the paved surfaces on airport runways and taxi ways. The three technologies vary from a spray coating to internally-warmed concrete. The first method uses electrically conductive concrete, where volts of electricity are sent through the concrete to warm it from the inside. A second similar method also creates internal warmth, but instead builds the concrete around copper pipes, which then send heated liquid through them to create heat. The third method uses a superhydrophobic coat, which can be directly sprayed onto the concrete. When snow and ice hit the pavement, it can easily roll off the surface instead of collecting on top.

Source: A March 7 article by the Ames (IA) Tribune.

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