Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Snow and ice damage to U.S. airport pavements, particularly in colder regions, poses an ongoing challenge, resulting in significant annual economic losses. Traditional snow removal methods are often perceived as cost-prohibitive, driving the quest for cost-effective alternatives to mitigate the adverse impacts on pavement sustainability. In response, this research investigates an innovative construction approach utilizing an electrically conductive composite (ECC) comprised of waterborne polyurethane (WPU) and graphite (Gp). The ECC is applied to a portland cement concrete (PCC) substrate using the parallel stripe technique, safeguarded by an additional layer of conventional concrete to withstand the friction caused by tires. This study rigorously assesses the resistive heating performance of two types of specimens: "exposed" and "sandwiched" under varying conditions. Some critical factors that affect the results include Gp concentrations in ECC preparation, ECC thickness, spacing between ECC stripes, applied voltages, and testing at both room temperature and the challenging -17°C freezing temperature. The ECC with a Gp content of 22.5\% Vol. emerges as the most promising ECC for the sustainable construction of heated pavement systems (HPS). The "exposed" specimen demonstrates an impressive 19.94°C/hr increase in surface temperature, while the "sandwiched" specimen shows a substantial 15.46°C/hr increase, representing a promising outcome. The results challenge the conventional HPS practice of modifying pavement materials with embedded heating elements and underscore the potential of a more sustainable construction method. This study provides innovative insights and highlights the feasibility of economically viable, enduring solutions to address winter weather challenges on airport runways. By emphasizing that this construction method can minimize the potential annual costs associated with snow removal from the pavement, this research paves the way for developing more sustainable strategies.



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