Calcium Chloride Liquid: An Overview
Calcium Chloride Liquid: Definition. Calcium chloride liquid is a chemical compound used widely by the industrial and construction industries in a myriad of ways. It is used to de-ice roads, in manufacturing concrete, to control dust and in accidental spills that could harm the environment.
Calcium chloride rapidly absorbs water from atmospheric conditions. It is liquid brine in its innate state. Calcium chloride liquid is colorless, odorless and non-flammable and is often converted into a dry material for various uses. This is achieved by removing the water from it.
This conversion can be in the form of pellets or flakes, for example. Because calcium chloride liquid in pellet form is easier to dispense, it is a favorite of small and large commercial enterprises. Storekeepers may use the pellets to spread over their sidewalk before the latest ice storm hits. Or, homeowners may use the flake form to melt snow in their driveway after a big storm.
Calcium Chloride Liquid Saves Local, State & Federal Government on Public Roadway Upkeep & Maintenance
Some statistics cite that a third of all traffic accidents are highway related, with almost 20 percent of them being linked to weather conditions. Considering this, local municipalities everywhere spend a great deal of their budget in maintaining their roadways. One of the main problems for those in cold climates is snow and ice.
To save money on the upkeep of public roadways, public transportation departments almost everywhere are always on the look out for deicers that won't lead to road corrosion, like salt. How does calcium chloride liquid help to achieve this? Calcium chloride liquid, when converted from its dry form, gives off heat. This makes it a great de-icer. It can melt ice in temperatures of -25 Fahrenheit and is less harmful to the road than salt.
Using salt as a de-icer has two drawbacks: (i) it can tear up the road, eg, cause potholes over time; and (ii) it ceases to be effective at temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
How does salt harm cement, and why is calcium chloride liquid a better alternative? Concrete is damaged by the actual weather conditions, eg, the snow and ice freezing and then thawing. This causes water to soak into the upper layer of concrete. This leads to breaking, cracking and fraying. Salt adds to this process by increasing the number of freeze-thaw cycles a concrete surface goes through.
Another problem with salt is that it emits the largest amount of chloride ions when dissolved. This is an environmental hazard, as chloride can public and recreational water systems like lake streams and rivers.
Calcium chloride liquid does much less damage to concrete. It melts snow and ice at a faster pace than salt, and it also doesn't have the sediment problems to contend with. This makes for easy cleanup of vehicles after being on the roadways.
These reasons and more, this is why municipalities worldwide appreciate using calcium chloride liquid in the de-icing of public roadways.