Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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ICE Tape

The word ICE appears on sign or pavement when the temp is below freezing.
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I live in Michigan and sometimes during the winter it is hard to tell if the road is just wet or if it has a thin layer of ice on it. I would like to design a tape that would be temprature sensative so that the word ICE appears (in blue) when conditions were cold enough.
leck, Aug 31 2001

Temperature indicating strips, etc. http://www.thermalp...cts_reversible.html
[X2Entendre, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       I'm not sure if blue would be the best choice of color, but I like the idea. A nice, warm pastry for a cool application of thermachromic paint/dye/whatever.   

       Black Ice really sucks.
BigBrother, Aug 31 2001

       ...possibly applied as a paint which matches the colour of the road surface at everything above 4 degC but reads ice in big letters below that.   

       An alternative suggestion has been made in the UK by using electronic cat's eyes that chnage colour with temperature. These might even be visible under a thin covering of snow and can support other functions. I'll see if I can find a link.
st3f, Aug 31 2001

       I felt a snowflake … ?
reensure, Aug 31 2001

       Can't wait until I can get back to MI.
phoenix, Dec 07 2001

       I live in Indiana, and face the same problem every winter. I would love to know whether I was driving on black ice or just pavement. Perhaps they will merely come out with a paint from which the entire road changes color when there is ice, so one wouldn't have to look for the word ICE, merely the road.
jimithing, Dec 07 2001

       yeah, I often find it helps to look out for the road.
lewisgirl, Dec 07 2001

       waugsqueke: I see this as similar to the facility many cars now have to measure the outside temperature, except attached to the road rather than the car. I believe this is at least partly designed to indicate freezing conditions.   

       In urban Britain we have a large number of garages which display the time and temperature on big displays, easily visible to passing motorists. Perhaps similar displays could be installed near black-ice accident black-spots.
pottedstu, Dec 07 2001

       Well, maybe the indicator would just say "Freezing." Admittedly, I haven't given it a lot of thought but actual ice detection without some sort of mechanical thingy that tests the road surface would be tough. Maybe there is an optical approach but black ice certainly seems to fool our eyes. Maybe looking for icing conditions (<32°F, + precip/high humidity [fog]) and announcing high likelihoods for ice would be the closest practical thing.
bristolz, Dec 07 2001

       [jimithing] driving on the pavement is frowned on in UK
po, Dec 07 2001

       When driving through North Carolina there are signs in front of every bridge/overpass that read,"BRIDGE ICES BEFORE ROAD." They prove quite handy during the summer.
zaphod12, Dec 10 2001

       High-end models of several car lines like Cadillac,Buick,Ford, and likely Jaquar have had a dashboard OAT (Outside Air Temperature) display for more than 20 years. All airplanes have them also. Try an auto parts store or an aviation supply catalog. They're not too expensive, but you will have to drill a hole in the car to mount the probe.
ussredfish, Feb 19 2002

       Maybe rather than something actually on the surface of the road, a simple thermometer slightly under the surface of the pavement could be wired to a light on the side of the road on a sign. Once the road temperature became freezing or less, the light would turn on, thus signaling the driver. These would also go unhindered by snow.
Pseudonym #3, Mar 30 2002

       In Minnesota, we have a state wide array of road weather systems that include pavement, subsurface, air, and chemical presense sensors. The data is compiled, analyzed and made available via internet or cell phone access. The icing forecast models are pretty good for prediction. The marketing of this really cool free service is non-existant, so virtually no one knows about it except the DOT and snow plow operatores
amuron, Dec 31 2002

       Great idea, but sort of baked, in that I have several "tape" thermometers that are adhesive backed. [link] I don't know if any of these are/could be made to display the same color at or below a given temperature though.
X2Entendre, Dec 31 2002

       they should paint the roads a different colour (eg white) then you could see the black ice.
pjd, May 12 2003

       That ice would then be known as white ice. This tape would not be so hard to make. It would contain a clear liquid that became cloudy on freezing. Lots of things do that - like shampoo. Normally you would see right thru the ice tape. When the weather got cold it would turn white.
bungston, May 12 2003

       People would begin to rely on the tape, and if they wouldn't see it, they'd assume the road was safe. The false sense of security would probably take more lives than anything else.   

       Common sense, a good feel for the road, and basic knowledge of conditions outside are all you really need to know anyways. If you suspect in the least that there might be black ice, then your driving should reflect that.
rapid transit, May 22 2003

       It seems to me that the problem with black ice isn't the temperature of the road but the moisture. The area of the road without ice could be colder than under the layer of protective ice? (ie. wind chill) Then there is problem of where to put the tape. All road surfaces in MI? I feel sorry for the MI taxpayer. If you know where there is or is likely to be ice just drive slower and safer. (A cheaper alternative might be for the state to use our increasingly abundant satellite capacity to take surveys every 4 hrs of the roads during icy months, and notify the drivers where the ice is exactly. Or even better, have a couple of highway guys patrolling the state with satellite uplinks, spray painting big X-es on the icy patches themselves.)
schwantz34, May 22 2003

       There is a uk patent re thermochromatic paint to show freezing on road surfaces, don't konw if the idea was followed up though. Thermochromatic tape would provide a cheap alternative to paint or cat's eyes - could be stuck on/wrapped round existing signposts in bands at varying levels above the road. Wouldn't definitively say whether there was ice, but would show probability based on temperature at location of signpost.
alf, May 27 2003

       i have an outside temp detector in my lovely lovely 6 year old vauxhall astra and that's on the crappy base model seriously though add in a system that calls up the council gritter and i'd buy it
engineer1, Feb 12 2004


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