Heated pavements working at Des Moines Airport

Published: Jan. 5, 2018 at 11:16 PM CST
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Heated concrete may be on its way to Des Moines International Airport, all thanks to Iowa State researchers.

The project would allow airports to melt snow and ice without using any snow plows or de-icing chemicals. It works by using conductive materials put inside of concrete, and then installing stainless steel electrodes. When that is all connected to a power source, it generates heat.

It all can be controlled by a smartphone. The ideal temperature to melt the snow and ice will be about 45 degrees. These slabs will not be layered down a full runway, but will instead get installed at gates.

"The most ideal place is going to be the gates aprons because those are the most congested areas. You have fuel trucks, food trucks, luggage and trolleys and then those are the higher traffic areas," said Halil Ceylan, ISU professor. "That's where most of the slip and fall incidents also take place during winter weather events."

Two slabs were installed at the airport in March 2017. The next step is bringing more to the airport.