Vehicle: Car: Tire
De-icing tires   (+2)  [vote for, against]
Who needs salt trucks?

Inspired by [JB36]'s 'Salt Asphalt'

The problem with the 'Salt Asphalt' idea is that there's no easy way to replenish the de-icing material contained in the asphalt. Now we don't need to.

How about tires with a de-icing substance built in? You're on the road anyway. Your tires are wearing away anyway. Why not add a small amount of a non-toxic de-icing substance to the tire that simply rubs off and settles onto the road? ([bristolz] noted in the 'Salt Asphalt' idea that "I've read somewhere that deicing can be successful with a propylene-glycol and xantham mix; both are food grade substances.")

Note that, depending on how powerful the de-icing substance is, we could incorporate it into snow tires only or make it a standard feature on all tires.

(Also note that I use the term 'de-icing substance' primarily to refer to a substance which will keep water from freezing on the road surface. So while 'antifreeze' might have been more technically correct, it also carries its own connotations - which I wanted to avoid)
-- phoenix, May 10 2002

Salt Asphalt http://www.halfbake...idea/Salt_20Asphalt
[phoenix, May 10 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

What happens to rubber worn off tires?
[phoenix, May 11 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

phoenix: I see you're doing the rounds of 'ideas from annotations to ideas' today.
-- [ sctld ], May 10 2002

Did someone post this idea as an annotation? If so, I wasn't aware of it and will gladly turn it over to or credit the originator. Sometimes I mull ideas for which there is (or seems to be) no easy answer or solution, then post one if I come up with one. That's what's happened today.
-- phoenix, May 10 2002

I was just noting that you're bringing together many annotations to supercede an existent idea. I've also noticed that about your other recent idea the pothole one thing. I'm not saying thattheres anything wrong with it, i'm just sying, is all...
-- [ sctld ], May 10 2002

Would the substance in the tires make contact with the road surface long enough to have any melting effect?
-- waugsqueke, May 10 2002

I doubt it - surely the only thing that will melt it quick enough is if you somehow heated the tires I suppose?
-- mcscotland, May 10 2002

Contact by one set of tires probably would not have any effect at all. But, repeated contact by many sets of de-icing on a high traffic thoroughfare or highway...might mave the desired melting effect.

In other words, the more the merrier. But it's still going to be tough sledding for the first car on the road after a fresh freeze or snowfall.
-- jurist, May 11 2002

I think jurist is right: (not being an expert in the field) it seems to me that the amount of tire wear is negligible with respect to how much de-icing agent needs to be deployed to effectively de-ice the road. I imagine the idea is to mix the de-icing agent in with the tire rubber, but since it takes tens of thousands of miles for tires to wear out, I can't imagine how enough de-icing agent could be incorporated into the tire for it to work, unless you hire fleets of vehicles to drive around de-ining the roads, like we do now...
-- snarfyguy, May 11 2002

{Discalimer: I'm having trouble coming up with what I would call reliable statistics on tire wear and precisely what happens to the rubber worn off tires. Additionally, I'm not trying to defend the idea (it's not really mine), but I don't want to dismiss it so easily, either}

From the second link above: "...every two weeks, Americans wear almost 50 million pounds of rubber off their tires..." "...the majority of the rubber--which comes off in very small particles--ends up on or by the side of the road."

If one tenth of one percent of the disposable rubber were de-icing substance we'd get 25,000 pounds every week, most of which (apparently) ending up on or by the road. Of course it doesn't snow year-round here, but that doesn't mean we can't lay the de-icer in preparation for when it does.
-- phoenix, May 11 2002

The stuff would wear off year round, and when it snows it wouldn't stick, because it would already be there, you wouldn't put the tires on right after it snows. Der
-- Veritas, Feb 10 2003

random, halfbakery