Alireza Sassani turned a switch and sent 60 volts of electricity into a small block of concrete. A few minutes later the Iowa State University doctoral student took some measurements and found the block’s surface temperature had risen from 64 degrees Fahrenheit to 189 degrees.
Next, Therin Young stepped up to the demonstration table and carefully squeezed drops of green-colored water on top of another set of small concrete blocks. The drops beaded on the concrete and, with the help of a little tilting by the master’s student, rolled right off the edge.
And then Halil Ceylan opened a walk-in freezer and showed off a pile of snow from one of Iowa’s winter storms. Behind the snow was a 2½-foot by 3½-foot concrete slab that was wet, but drying. Some 45 minutes earlier, that slab was buried in the snow.
All three technologies – electrically conductive concrete, nanostructured superhydrophobic coatings and hydronic heated pavements – are designed to quickly, economically and sustainably clear snow and ice from airport runways.
“These new technologies could prevent flight delays and keep airports accessible,” said Ceylan, an Iowa State associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering and director of the Program for Sustainable Pavement Engineering and Research at Iowa State’s Institute for Transportation.
“This provides a safe working platform for airport personnel and passengers,” he said. “And it’s environmentally friendly – airports don’t have to use tons of de-icing salts. This also translates into reduced emissions and costs because airports don’t have to treat the wastewater associated with de-icing of airport pavements, which is otherwise mandatory.”
The pavement research is part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Center of Excellence Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability, or PEGASAS. The partnership was established in 2012 and is led by researchers at Purdue University. Other core members of the partnership are Iowa State, The Ohio State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Florida Institute of Technology and Texas A&M University.
The FAA’s centers of excellence establish cost-sharing research partnerships with the federal government, universities and industry. PEGASAS researchers are studying a variety of general aviation issues including airport technology, flight safety and adverse weather operations.
The program is providing about $750,000 for Iowa State’s studies of snow- and ice-free runway pavements. The university is matching those funds.
Ceylan has assembled a team of 19 faculty, staff and students to develop the pavement technologies and analyze their costs and benefits. He said Iowa State, as home of the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center, is the perfect place to research and develop new ways to keep runways clear of snow and ice.
And so back in the Town Engineering Building’s pavements lab:
● Researchers have been adding various mixes of electrically conductive carbon fibers and powders into pavement materials. Put an electrical charge through the resulting pavements and they’re quickly hot enough to melt snow and ice.
The researchers are looking for just the right mix of pavement conductivity, workability, durability, economics and safety.
● Researchers have been spraying various nanomaterials (including PTFE, DuPont’s Teflon®) onto pavement test samples. The idea is to produce pavements that repel water. That would prevent snow and ice from sticking and make it easier for plows to clean up after a storm.
“This would be like a lotus leaf,” Ceylan said. “The water doesn’t stick to the surface.”
● Researchers have been pouring concrete around copper pipes to create test slabs for hydronic systems. The systems circulate heated liquid through the pipes, warming the pavement and melting any snow and ice from the surface.
Ceylan said one of the biggest challenges with the heated pavement technology is developing the advanced construction techniques to build large, reliable and economical systems.
So far, Ceylan said studies of all three technologies are moving ahead, showing promise and looking feasible. But larger-scale, outdoor tests are still needed. He’s hoping to install outdoor test panels – perhaps on campus – within the next year or so.
And while several major airports have expressed interest in testing the snow- and ice-clearing technologies, Ceylan said the real target is small, general aviation airports.
“General aviation airports don’t have the personnel and the equipment that the big airports have,” he said. “And so sometimes in the winter they just shut down. General aviation airports aren’t just concerned about cutting snow-removal costs, it’s a matter of keeping the airports open.”
Halil Ceylan, Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, 515-294-8051, firstname.lastname@example.org
Halil Ceylan | newswise
Concrete from wood
05.07.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF
Modular storage tank for tight spaces
16.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy