Electrically conductive asphalt concrete: Towards a theory of practice

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Notani, Mohammad Ali
Major Professor
Halil . Ceylan
Committee Member
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Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

Ice and snow on paved surfaces have always been considered a source of concern for transportation agencies and users. On airfield pavements, slippery surfaces double concerns in terms of flight delays or cancellation. Currently, while mechanical approaches like snow plowing and using deicing chemicals are widely used to facilitate more favorable conditions for transportation agencies and users, neither mechanical approaches nor deicing materials can provide sufficiently acceptable ice and snow surfaces during harsh wintertime. Fortunately, techniques using resistive heating of pavement material can be used to free pavement surfaces from ice and snow using a heated pavement system fabricated with electrically-conductive asphalt concrete (ECAC) with embedded electrodes connected to an electrical power source.

This study set out to fabricate an ECAC mixture with high electrical conductivity able to melt ice and snow. Given this goal, asphalt mixture was dosed with conductive additive-carbon fiber (CF)- using a promising mix design to provide a homogeneous composite material. The electrical characteristics of such a mixture was investigated both through volume resistivity measurements and active infrared thermography (IRT). To provide scientific insight, the mechanisms of creating heating and the resulting patterns are discussed in terms of electrical theory applied to an HPS system fabricated from ECAC material. In addition to the determining functional performance of ECAC material, its mechanical performance was evaluated to ensure that such a specific mixture can deal with stress and strain applied through environmental and mechanical loading. The results of this study revealed that the fabricated ECAC material could successfully provide enough thermal energy to melt ice and snow at very low temperatures, and also showed that the fabricated mixture had better mechanical performance than a conventional asphalt mixture.

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Sun Dec 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019