Self-heating roads

American scientists are investigating the practicalities of embedding an electric heating element into roads to prevent ice formation

The idea was first tested in the UK about 10 years ago by storing water warmed in the summer under the road in insulated reservoirs, then releasing the water to de-ice the road. The Americans have now developed tiny Nano-fibres made from steel into the concrete which are then heated with electric (about 6 watts to raise the temperature 10 degrees in 2 hours). The advantage is that salt corrosion to the road surface and vehicles is minimised, the disadvantage is that it would be too costly to implement on every road, and would probably only be used on known cold areas and bridges.

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