Event Title

Pavement Light Absorbance: Melting Snow to Make Roads Safer

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

18-4-2016 10:00 AM

End Date

18-4-2016 11:30 AM

Student's Major

Mechanical and Civil Engineering

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Stephen Druschel

Mentor's Department

Mechanical and Civil Engineering

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

Icy and snowy road conditions in Minnesota are causative factors of motor vehicle accidents. Chlorides effectively melt snow and ice but are expensive and detrimental to the environment. Roadways that absorb light require lesser amounts of chlorides or other chemicals to effectively melt snow and ice. The purpose of this study was to determine if roadway conditions of age, surface material, and snow and ice pack affected light absorption. We used a light meter (HOBO devise) to measure light intensity above the roadway and light intensity reflected from the roadway to estimate light absorption for newer and older roads, for cement and asphalt surfaces, and for various snow and ice conditions. Measures were obtained between December 2014 and April 2015 on roadways in Southwest Minnesota. Light reflection for concrete was 28.3% for newer roads and 9.8% for older roads. Light reflection for asphalt was 39.5% for newer roads, 7.8% for medium aged roads, and 5.2% for old roads. Light reflection for snow and ice was 7.8% (swept, dry); 11. 5% (clean, mostly melted); 14.5% (semi-dirty, run over); 25.7% (dirty snow, run over); 37.7% (wet road, with no snow); and 63.5% (clean, partially melted). Our result indicated that older roads absorbed more sunlight than newer roads. Dirty snow conditions absorbed more sunlight than clean snow. These findings suggest that roadways can be built to optimize snow melt through the use of natural light and that snow and ice conditions affect may slow or accelerate melting.

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Apr 18th, 10:00 AM Apr 18th, 11:30 AM

Pavement Light Absorbance: Melting Snow to Make Roads Safer

CSU Ballroom

Icy and snowy road conditions in Minnesota are causative factors of motor vehicle accidents. Chlorides effectively melt snow and ice but are expensive and detrimental to the environment. Roadways that absorb light require lesser amounts of chlorides or other chemicals to effectively melt snow and ice. The purpose of this study was to determine if roadway conditions of age, surface material, and snow and ice pack affected light absorption. We used a light meter (HOBO devise) to measure light intensity above the roadway and light intensity reflected from the roadway to estimate light absorption for newer and older roads, for cement and asphalt surfaces, and for various snow and ice conditions. Measures were obtained between December 2014 and April 2015 on roadways in Southwest Minnesota. Light reflection for concrete was 28.3% for newer roads and 9.8% for older roads. Light reflection for asphalt was 39.5% for newer roads, 7.8% for medium aged roads, and 5.2% for old roads. Light reflection for snow and ice was 7.8% (swept, dry); 11. 5% (clean, mostly melted); 14.5% (semi-dirty, run over); 25.7% (dirty snow, run over); 37.7% (wet road, with no snow); and 63.5% (clean, partially melted). Our result indicated that older roads absorbed more sunlight than newer roads. Dirty snow conditions absorbed more sunlight than clean snow. These findings suggest that roadways can be built to optimize snow melt through the use of natural light and that snow and ice conditions affect may slow or accelerate melting.

Recommended Citation

Sandberg, Megan. "Pavement Light Absorbance: Melting Snow to Make Roads Safer." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 18, 2016.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2016/poster-session-A/46