Anti-Icer / Deicer Specifications


Junior Member
I have viewed the forum posts on this site for quite a while and only recently decided to participate. I am concerned with how specifications are written for liquid deicers.

Agencies concerned with writing a specification should keep in mind that the specification you write must take into account the unique environmental and geographical concerns in your area. Consider the topography, weather extremes, environmental concerns, level of desired service and available equipment and manpower and write a specification to address these items. What works great in Colorado or Idaho may not be the best product for New York or Vermont. Given the current budget crisis in many agencies, it is important to make sure that you are not buying more "power" than you need. And don't confine your choices to a single type of product, a good toolbox contains useful tools and changes in weather may deamnd changes in approach. Leave yourself that option.

Recent history has shown that if you have unique concerns and design a specification to address that, the manufacturers will quickly dial in a liquid that meets your spec at a competitive price. There is an abundance of guidance available through the internet, symposiums and from manufacturers that can guide you through the process.

Be wary of writing a sole source spec unless that product is required to meet a very unique concern in your service area. Not only does it reduce the chance for competitive pricing, it is fiscal irresponsibility to the taxpaying public.

I work for a manufacturer researching and designing snow and ice control products. I will not, however, use this public forum to sell my products, that would be irresponsible of me. All of the products in the marketplace work to a degree. Some work longer...some faster...make sure that the product you choose works for you and your customer, the travelling public.


Senior Member
Central Indiana
Snowballs must have sat in one of dale's siminars...:D;)
Just kidding

Welcome to plowsite :waving:

As a end user of only liquid product for anti/de-icing, I am glad to add someone else on plowsite, who may be able to expand my knowledge of tools available.


Junior Member
Portsmouth, NH
Our state looks for an ASTM for salt. Is there any organic liquid out there that passes ASTM? I have a Nuclear power plant I sell to. It requires that I provide an ASTM Spec or Chemical & Physical Analysis of the product . Provide a lock down of the product from the terminal of origin to the customer. This is so the product does not get tampered with. Also covers me.

Jay Kosack

Junior Member
Fishkill, NY
Mr. Nulawndog:

There is no liquid deicer with an ASTM spec. ASTM has taken it under review.

Many of the liquids follow the PNS standard. There are some liquid deicers that meet SAE/ASM 1435 spec that also have ISO 9001 registered companies manufacturing them. Your State would most likely accept this in lieu of an ASTM spec product.

Jay Kosack


Junior Member
Boston, Mass.
Usually, specs are developed by a variety of means, but almost always exclusively driven by someone who needs them asking the supplier to provide them. That's where the exclusivity comes in and problems begin.

The chemistry is changing quickly and while liquids are getting a lot of attention, the future is emerging to be performance blended dry products that are fortified with liquids.

Too many people think that liquids can be used universally for deicing; they can not. If you start throwing 100 gallons per lane mile of liquid in New England, you might as well be spraying liquid Joy soap on the road. For anti-icing, around 30 gallons per lane mile works on most liquids, but the high humidity of the East Coast storms and climate are inhospitable to liquids for deicing, unlike the arrid mountain states where liquids are used for both anti-icing and deicing.

We have had much better success in treating OGFC pavement with fortified dry products than with prewetting or antiicing. But conventional pavements seem to respond to liquids normally.

There are many idiosyncracies about winter chemicals, and while it's not rocket science, it's not what the salesman tells you either.

Specifications for public and private deicers should be developed in such a way as to provide an opportunity for all the products to be considered on an equal basis. The way to do that is to work closely with knowledgable people who can open specs and not close them while avoiding the pitfalls of "too many cooks in the kitchen".

If you want only one product, then specifiy one product. But if you want to try to consider all products, specifications need to be adjusted accordingly.:D