All about salt – the helpful ice control tool that has a major drawback
Salt has been used for deicing roads, pavements and carparks since the 1960s.
Its introduction had an immediate and dramatic impact on road safety, with an 88% reduction in collisions and an 85% reduction in injuries. But natural salt does have a major drawback – it’s very corrosive to metal.
The two most common salts used in the UK for deicing are sodium chloride and calcium chloride, but all salts have similar impacts on metal. There are three different ways in which salt influences the corrosion rates of metal:
- Salt is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water from the air. This makes it clump together if it is exposed to humid air and makes it possible for corrosion to occur at lower relative humidity levels and for long periods of time.
- Salt increases water’s ability to conduct an electrical current, this also speeds up the corrosion process.
- Chloride ions in salt can break down the protective oxide layer that is formed on the surface of some metals. For example, aluminium’s otherwise protective oxide layer is damaged by the chloride ions in salt exposure.
DMMP stocks Earthway and Spyker pedestrian spreaders, all of which are packed with extra features to both limit and control the spread of salt so that it doesn’t end up on flowerbeds or lawns. There are also design features to ensure working parts are protected from corrosion. We do recommend that our customers explore Ice Melt, a biodegradable non-corrosive deicer that will ensure your ice control isn’t negatively impacting the equipment or the environment around you.
Sadly, even the very best things can’t last forever, which is why DMMP is still here for our customers long after we first sell them a spreader. Our extensive store of spare parts means you can replace worn parts and carry on using your spreader for many more years to come.
Take a look at the spare parts store here.