Anti-Icing and De-Icing Superhydrophobic Concrete to Improve the Safety on Critical Elements of Roadway Pavements and Bridges

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
March 2013 Advanced Concrete Could Last More Than a Century Without Maintenance
Concrete Mix Adds Flexibility, Durability
Advanced Concrete Means Little Maintenance For A Century
High-Tech Concrete Will Ensure Stronger and Longer Lasting Roads and Bridges
Research Brief
Final Report

Primary Investigator

Konstantin Sobolev
Associate Professor Department of Civil Engineering & Mechanics
College of Engineering & Applied Science
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
3200 N. Cramer St.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Phone: (414) 229-3198


Efficient movement of freight is a vital aspect of America’s economy. Weather-related delays to trucking companies cost of 2.2 to 3.5 billion dollars annually. Weather related crashes tend to occur in adverse weather, or on slick roads or pavements. Each year, there are approximately 500 fatalities in the U.S. due to icy road conditions. The worst conditions (black ice) are primarily due to freezing rain and sleet. Existing systems for ice control by heating are relatively expensive and require a power source and the application of de-icing chemicals that lower the freezing point of water require a time lag for deployment. In this proposal, a “smart” Anti-Icing and De-Icing Superhydrophobic Concrete, is proposed to prevent the formation of ice on roadway pavements and bridges. This method involves the engineering of the hierarchical concrete fractured/wearing surface and the application of super-hydrophobic fibers with a siloxane admixture. CFIRE projects 04-09/05-10 provided strong scientific background on a new generation of superhydrophobic fiber-reinforced concrete, with enhanced durability and very large ductility, providing a sustainable material with a service life up to 120 years, which is required for critical parts of concrete infrastructure, especially the components of highway bridges. An experimental program is proposed to develop and establish the feasibility of such a system.


The objectives of this research program are; 1) to introduce and develop an effective Anti-Icing and De-Icing Superhydrophobic Concrete; and 2) to assess the general feasibility of such a system through laboratory testing.


  1. Review of Literature
  2. Experimental Program
  3. Report

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2013
  • Budget: $326,693 ($180,246 in matching funds)
  • Student Involvement: Two graduate students and five undergraduates
  • Modal Orientation: Highway and Air
  • Project ID: CFIRE 07-03
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