Deicer Scaling Resistance of Concrete Pavements, Bridge Decks, and Other Structures Containing Slag Cement: Phase 1: Site Selection and Analysis of Field Cores

Project Status


Start Date: 03/01/2005
End Date: 09/30/2008


Principal Investigator(s)


  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Connecticut Department of Transportation
  • Iowa Department of Transportation
  • Kansas Department of Transportation
  • New York State Department of Transportation
  • Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Slag Cement Association


About the Research

The initial phase of this project was conducted to determine whether adding slag cement to concrete mixtures increases the surface scaling caused by the routine application of deicer salt. A total of 28 field sites that included portland cement concrete pavements and bridge decks containing slag cement were evaluated. Laboratory testing was conducted on 6 in. diameter core samples extracted from 12 field sites and 3 subsites, including 6 pavement sites and 6 bridge decks. The laboratory testing program consisted of scaling tests, rapid chloride permeability tests, surface chloride profile tests, and petrographic examination. The results of this study suggest that construction-related issues played a bigger role in the observed scaling performance than did the amount of slag in the concrete mixture.

Concrete bridge deck close-up, showing scaling

Scaling on a bridge deck