Material Quality Control

Quality Control

A good quality control program is essential to any reliable winter operations program. The potential for inconsistencies in delivered products will result in inconsistent performance. Without a good Quality Control program, performance results can differ even though applications and circumstances are the same.

Specific Gravity

Defined as the mass of a substance and given as a multiple of the mass of the volume of a standard substance (usually distilled water) under prescribed conditions of tempreture and pressure. The specific gravity of 32% calcium chloride is 1.322, or it weighs 1.322 times the weight of water (8.34 lbs. per gallon). For measuring the specific gravity of liquids, a hydrometer is commonly used. For more accurate measurements, the weight of a known liquid is determined under controlled temperature conditions. Generally the standard temperature is 68 degrees F. You can test at delivered temps. using a variable of +/- 1%. If the product test outside of this parameter, allow to warm to 68 degrees and recheck. If outside of the specific gravity as set by the manufacture, you do have the right to reject the load. Make sure you are getting what you pay for.

Specific Gravity Examples

Calcium Chloride

26% – 1.251

30% – 1.298

32% – 1.322

32% Calcium Chloride w/BOOST – 1.35

Salt Brine 23.3% – 1.176

When taking delivery of a brine or Agricultural By Product (ABP) make sure to look at the load ticket and do the math. Example: product being delivered is BOOST @ 1.35 specific gravity and a load is delivered for 4,000 gallons, weight slip TARE should be – 8.34 X 1.35 = 11.259 lbs. per gallon X 4,000 = 45,036 lbs.

Don’t be afraid to ask the driver to place product in a 5 gallon bucket for your hydrometer test. Any reputable vendor will be happy to have you test their product. We want you to have the best product for your operation. Test each load. Know what you’re paying for.

Contract Great Lakes Chloride for Specific Gravity Charts if needed. Or email me at





About Dave Budd

Vice President of Product Development and Marketing, Great Lakes Chloride, Inc. Serving Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky. Retired Michigan DOT, October 2010 after 32 years experience in Maintenance/Operations. Specializing in winter operations and liquid de-icers and anti-icers.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s