The Case for Calcium Chloride

Compared to other common deicers, calcium chloride provides the optimum combination of deicing properties for sidewalk winter maintenance.

Superior Low Temperature Performance

When the goal is keeping sidewalks safe under all conditions, it pays to know the lowest effective temperature for various ice melters and choose one that is effective at the coldest temperatures you are likely to experience. Calcium chloride stands apart from other options, maintaining ice melting power down to -25°F (-32°C). In contrast, other deicers like rock salt, potassium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate begin losing effectiveness between 25°F (-4°C) and 0<°F (-18°C). See the chart below for comparisons.

Lowest Effective Temperature for Common Ice Melting Chemicals

Melting Range Comparison Graph

Generates heat as it dissolves – While most other deicers depend on their surroundings for heat, calcium chloride actually generates heat as it dissolves to form ice melting brine. A pound of calcium chloride can raise the temperature of a gallon of water by over 30°F (17°C). This heat release is especially important during cold weather when other deicers lose effectiveness.

Heat Release Properties Graph

A melt volume comparison of PELADOW™ Calcium Chloride Pellets with other products at 5°F (-15°C) illustrates the greater effectiveness of calcium chloride when melting ice at low temperatures. PELADOW™ melts ice up to three times faster than competing materials. Read more.

Melt Volume Capability Graph

Superior Melting Speed

One of the primary goals of property owners and contractors is to eliminate pedestrian exposure to icy surfaces. That means responding to ice on walkways, steps and parking lots immediately with the fastest acting ice melter available. Calcium chloride melts ice faster than other deicers.

Forms ice-melting brine faster – the faster an ice melter can dissolve and form a brine solution, the faster it will melt ice. On contact with ice, calcium chloride forms brine rapidly, which lowers the freezing point of water and melts snow and ice quickly. Calcium chloride forms brine faster than other ice melters because its hygroscopic properties actually cause it to attract moisture from its surroundings.

Caption: Calcium chloride attracts moisture from its surroundings to quickly form ice-melting brine.

Ice Melting

Shaped to penetrate faster – While flat or crystal-shaped ice melters spread out over the surface of ice as they dissolve, effectively diluting their impact on the ice, PELADOW™ Calcium Chloride Pellets have a compact, round shape that concentrates melting action on a targeted area of ice surface. By focusing contact, the material bores through ice up to three times faster than other ice melters, enabling the calcium chloride to more quickly penetrate and break ice’s bond with underlying pavement. This is a critical advantage at any time and especially when temperatures drop in the aftermath of big winter storms that can deposit large accumulations of ice and packed snow that must be mechanically removed.

Melt Volume Capability Graph

When the melt volume capability of commercial ice melter products was compared in the first 20 minutes after application at 20°F (-7°C), PELADOW™ Calcium Chloride Pellets provided two times more ice melting capability than rock salt, three times more than magnesium chloride, three times more than urea, and seven times more than potassium chloride.

Speed of Penetration Graph