Who Is Really Kidding Who?

It’s always good to have a competitor point out the best qualities of our product. As you may have seen in Ktech Coating’s flyer, Calcium Chloride is the best liquid deicer on the market, on this we both agree. 
I do need to point out though “Who Is Really Kidding Who” ?
Ktech Coatings claim that they have not one but two exothermic chlorides in their “Beet Heat Severe” sorry, it’s just not true. Facts are, Pacific Northwest Snow Fighters, (PNS) who approved this as a Corrosion Inhibited Liquid Sodium Chloride with CaCl2, show that it is a blend of Sodium Chloride Content of 15.3% and Calcium Chloride at 5.4%.
Who’s Kidding? Ktech Coatings is – The only Exothermic product in the Beet Heat is Calcium Chloride, although a great deicer, in this concentration, not effective enough to make the product more effective then natural salt brine.
Also note that PNS has concluded from testing, Beet Juice added to salt brine in concentrations over 20% reduce the effective concentration of the Sodium Chloride. In effect making it less effective as a deicer. During my time at MDOT we witnessed the reduced effectiveness of salt brine and Beet Juice. At 3 degrees, when prewetting loads on the spreaders, the 7 to 10 ton loads froze and need to be chipped out of the salt hoppers. Not effective at all.
Who’s Kidding? Ktech Coatings is – When comparing corrosion rates, Calcium Chloride with Boost has a 92% better corrosion effectiveness then “Beet Heat Severe”, the melting capacity of 32% Calcium Chloride and better pricing. 
Who’s Kidding? Let’s review – More effective, Better Corrosion Protection, Better Pricing. Ktech Is……. 
When looking for the best deicer, make sure your vendor can provide you with the independent proof. PNS, the better business bureau of liquid deicers, is a great resource for this type of information. Make sure you are provided with a phase diagram, this will let you know how the product performs at different temperatures and dilution percentage. If they don’t have this type of documentation. Question the science? There is a difference between fact and fiction. Sales people should be able to send you the documentation. If they can’t, just turn and walk away. 


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.
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4 Responses to Who Is Really Kidding Who?

  1. Mark Lester says:

    Good post………I learned a long time ago, just because a vendor says something doesn’t make it so!

    • Dave Budd says:

      I couldn’t agree more. In a case like liquid deicers, there is science to back up any of these statements. If they can’t send them to you or supply them at all, be very careful. Like you said, just because they say it, doesn’t make it so.

      Thanks for the great comment.

  2. Dave,
    You bring up a very good point here. I seek objective truth for my customers.

    Over the years I have come to the belief that one should always be questioning; that is the fundamental driving force behind progress. Those of us old enough to remember Joe Friday from Dragnet remember the famous line “Just the facts Ma’am”. Yeap…true as can be.

    I would like to see freeze curves for salt brine (sodium chloride and mineral brines) with various percentages of organic additives. I have been unable to find anything that indicates organic additives do much in the way of reducing freeze points of brine in any significant way. They may indeed reduce corrosivity and help keep chemicals on the pavement longer but everything else at this point appears anecdotal. There may be some physical attributes of organics that inhibit ice crystal formation but again, I want to see the facts.

    When I ask 10 people what they think of a specific product I get 5 whom think it is working and 5 whom say it doesn’t. I never would never call anyone a liar, but the question remains, which side has it right?

    • Dave Budd says:

      Thanks for your comment Mark. Your point is well taken. As far as freeze curves for salt brine (sodium chloride and mineral brines) with various percentages of organic additives, your right – you can’t find anything published. However, PNS, Pacific Northwest Snowfighters, had published on their Qualified Product List, Experimental Category, for Beet Juice additives, that an addition of vendor recommended amounts of up to 20% added to salt brine, the organic would dilute the active ingredient of the brine to 15%. It was easy to follow the phase diagram for salt brine, at that percentage, to an effective range of 20+ degrees. Again, personal experience while @ Michigan DOT proved that salt brine mixed with a Beet Juice organic additive, froze in the salt hoppers @ 3 degree’s. I hear a lot of rhetoric about the melting capacity of Organic additives by them self. I have witnessed first hand that this is just not the case. You are absolutely right when you say that they can help with corrosion, residual on the pavement and reduce the “white dusting” of salt. They can help with Bounce and Scatter, but the claims of reductions in freeze point of brine by addition of an organic stand alone product, without the addition of Calcium Chloride or Mag Chloride, just doesn’t add to the brine’s performance. The organic itself may not freeze in a tank to sub zero temps, but take it out in the field and put it to the test where the rubber meets the road, literally!

      If they do the testing and and provide the freeze curve data, it would be greatly appreciated and answer a lot of questions. We did!

      Thanks again for your comment Mark,

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