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A review of current literature on the effects of deicing salt and trace minerals, such as sulfate, on aggregate deterioration was conducted. Such deterioration in both Portland cement concrete, and bituminous pavements was reviewed. For Portland cement concrete, it was determined that current research on the effects of moisture and deicing salt on aggregates concrete matrix durability, with little discussion on the effects on aggregates. The effects of trace minerals in deicing salt are also rarely discussed. Pore size distribution, insoluble residue, absorption, and susceptibility to alkali-silica reaction all appear to affect aggregate durability in the presence of moisture of freeze-thaw. Based on available research, it is concluded that salt in solution exacerbates the damaging effects of moisture and freeze-thaw on aggregates. Several researchers currently are evaluating other features of aggregate deterioration by deicing salts. Moisture damage effects on aggregates in bituminous pavements have been widely studied. Damage potential is strongly related to the susceptibility of stripping of the bituminous covering from the aggregate surface. Research has been conducted on the use of various additives to reduce stripping, some of which consist of proprietary commercial formulations. There is also extensive research on testing procedures, which predict stripping potential of aggregates. However, the added effect of deicing salt has received relatively little attention. Some researchers have speculated that deicing salts may increase the brittleness of asphalt pavements thereby increasing susceptibility to moisture. Determining specific effects of deicing salts on aggregate may prove difficult because of the numerous properties that affect the stripping potential of aggregates for bituminous pavements. Mixture type, placement techniques and traffic, as well as aggregate properties, appear to be related to a bituminous pavement’s susceptibility to moisture damage.


deicing salt, aggregate deterioration, moisture damage, SPR-2120

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Performing Organization

Joint Highway Research Project

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

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