what is the use of salt on icy roads

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Use of salt on icy roads

The rock salt applied to icy roads in the winter is the same substance that comes out of your salt shaker. The only difference is the size. Rock salt is the material that has crystalized in larger pieces, whereas table salt has been ground up and pulverized to a more or less uniform size distribution.

The actual reason that the application of salt causes ice to melt is that a solution of water and dissolved salt has a lower freezing point than pure water. When added to ice, salt first dissolves in the film of liquid water that is always present on the surface, thereby lowering its freezing point below the ice?s temperature. Ice in contact with salty water therefore melts, creating more liquid water, which dissolves more salt, thereby causing more ice to melt, and so on. The higher the concentration of dissolved salt, the lower its overall freezing point. There is a limit, however, to the amount of salt that can be dissolved in water. Water containing a maximum amount of dissolved salt has a freezing point of about zero degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, the application of salt will not melt the ice on a sidewalk if the temperature is below zero degrees F.


  1. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-do-we-put-salt-on-icy

komal pankaj patil

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