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How to match de-icers to the right application

de-icer in use on a rural train route in the snow

De-icers are not all made the same

So how do you make sure that the product you are buying will work?

In this article we’ll break down the different de-icer and anti-icing solutions available to you by the following applications:

  • Road De-icers
  • Train and Rail De-icers
  • De-icers for institutions and public buildings
  • Aviation De-icers

But to be clear.

This is not an exhaustive manual.

If you have a specific requirement you should speak to a chemical de-icing expert who can guide towards the best solution.

Contact us here anytime and we’ll be happy to help.

De-icers for Road

Most De-icing Salts are corrosive for vehicles.

But it’s still absolutely necessary to have powerful chemical de-icers to keep surfaces clear and ready for use at all times.

Just don’t be fooled by cheap, quick fixes.

Source better, more advanced, cleaning systems to ensure that your anti-icing system isn’t causing more harm than the weather outside.

Recommended Products:

  • Konsin Eco
  • Clearway SF
  • Clearway 3

De-icers for Rail

Rust and erosion love icy railways in the winter.

But the wrong anti-icing products can cause all kinds of problems for you.

Train doors running gear can become blocked.

Anti-icing salts can blow away in the wind.

Floors and surfaces can become stained.

Concreate and steel can corrode.

With all that to worry about, it is vital that you choose a de-icer with built-in corrosion inhibitors, to prevent any long-term damage to rolling stock and stations.

Recommended Products:

  • Eurowash
  • Clearway 6s
  • Snogo

De-icers for Institutions and Public Buildings

Avoid standard grade yellow salts as these can be both staining and corrosive.

Instead look for safer, less harmful alternatives that have good general-use qualities.

While some of these products may at first seem more expensive than standard grit and salts, they are often far more efficient with lower re-application rates.

So in the long run you could save both time AND money.

Many of the cheaper alternatives listed above have the potential to cause long-term damage to buildings and the surrounding environment.

Water courses, vegetation and wildlife can all suffer if you apply the wrong product, so be very careful if you are looking to protect any of these.

Recommended Products:

  • White de-icing salt
  • Snogo

De-icers for Aviation

Here’s the problem:

Too many aviation grade de-icing and anti-icing products are toxic, so it is essential you look for ones that are not.

It has been found that run-off from airport de-icers is the cause of much contamination of nearby streams and environments.

Airports use thousands of litres of anti-freeze and de-icer on a single aircraft, much of which isn’t recaptured.

It can build up in substantial quantities in the soil or in streams. And this build-up of chemicals is highly toxic to animals and plant life.

Ethylene glycol has been the standard for anti-freezes and de-icer for years because of its low cost. It is a liquid with a freezing point of -13 C, and it can lower the freezing point of water to about -50 C, depending on dilution.

But Ethylene glycol is highly poisonous.

Propylene glycol, on the other hand, is essentially non-toxic. It is similar in appearance but actually outperforms ethylene glycol in several ways. For example, it can lower the freezing point of water to about -60 C.

Recommended Products:

  • Iceblast SF
  • Konsin Eco
  • Clearway 6s
  • Clearway 3

Environmental De-icers

The days of ignoring the environment are over.

Businesses and organisations now face much tougher sanctions for behaving irresponsibly, whilst customer campaigns and social media can make poor environmental choices a fatal mistake for brands.

Keeping roads and networks safe must no longer come at the expense of our natural habitat.

Today there are a huge number of safer, greener alternatives that actually outperform their toxic counterparts.

Use of smarter chemical technology means that there is no longer much of an excuse for resorting to some of the dangerous substances listed above.

Look for sodium-based products with low BOD properties. These are highly safe and effective at removing and preventing he return of ice, even whilst being completely non-harmful to aquatic life.

Over to You

So now you have a complete guide to specifying de-icers by different applications.

Are you still looking for further advice on working with safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly de-icers and winterisation products?

We are available during UK office hours and we’re always able to advise you on the best product for your needs and budget.

Call us on: +44 (0)20 8805 2150