The winter season can bring danger with increasing snowfall making icy roads. The best solution to preventing dangerous icy roads is the use of brine.
Brine is a liquid substance made of calcium, salt, chloride, and magnesium chloride. Brine has multiple uses and is applied on many different surfaces to control ice and snow.
Brine can be applied using two different methods, pre-wetting or anti-icing.
Pre-wetting is when brine is sprayed into rock salt and works best when applied to granular materials. This can work a lot better on roads than dry materials because pre-wet materials will begin to dissolve ice and snow a lot more quickly.
The anti-icing method stops the build-up of snow and ice on roads. The brine is applied before a storm and is expected to work the moment snow begins to fall, which allows the brine to stop snow and ice from attaching to the pavement.
Despite which method is used to apply brine, it is also very important to store it correctly.
The best storage tank material for brine is cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE).
XLPE is preferred over the option of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP). The reason XLPE is a better storage option for brine over FRP is that XLPE tanks will take less damage over time, and last longer than FRP.
An additional reason is that XLPE tanks cost anywhere from 20% to 30 % less than FRP tanks. There’s also a quicker turnaround time, XLPE tanks last 4-5 weeks longer compared to 8-10 weeks for FRP tanks. The last reason why XLPE is superior is because they come with a much longer warranty of five years over a single year for FRP tanks.
While XLPE is the best choice for storing brine there are some challenges when it comes to storing brine and the production of brine.
There must be a tank in perfect working order with its design and parts needed to stop problems that come from the demands of the storage production. Brine can pose issues when it comes to storage, bulk salt deliveries, and materials.
An important part of brine storage is having regular access to the tank for cleaning. Salt can very easily get dirty so there must be an entrance easy to get into on tanks so it can be cleaned as often as needed.
Another crucial part of the storage and production is maintaining the correct water levels in tanks, checking the water and salt regularly. An automated water inlet valve can help maintain tanks as well as an electronic sensor to make sure the water stays at the correct level necessary.
Another particular challenge is the transfer of bulk salt to the tanks. The transfer of salt to tanks is one of the first steps in brine production and has a chance of creating salt dust. Salt dust is a material created that poses a threat to vital production equipment and other materials. Measures need to be taken to lessen the chance of exposure to salt dust that can pose a risk of corrosion and rust on important materials and equipment. The use of a containment dust bag is how the dust is best contained. Another necessary measure is venting the area and allowing the tank to breathe which can also be preventative.
The last important issue when it comes to brine storage is freeze protection. To prevent tanks and equipment from freezing the use of a heat-loss prevention system is needed. This will include the use of insulation and heating pads. This system is used as a controller of the temperature for much colder climates.…