HIREC Case Studies / A Countermeasure against Snow Accretion on Bridge Frames

HIREC: Super Hydrophobic Coating for Antenna, Radome and Other Public Infrastructure

Bridges in Winter Seasons

In snow areas, several inches of snow can accumulate on bridge structures forming a bank, or an iced bank in lower temperatures. These snow banks or iced banks may cause traffic accidents when they fall onto the bridge roadway. HIREC paint applied to bridge frames is an effective countermeasure against the formation of such snow banks.

Snow Banks and Icicles on Bridges Frames in Snow Seasons

In winter, snow fallen onto bridges sometimes forms banks or icicles on bridge frames. Wet-snow easily forms thick snow banks on the bridge frames, and may become icy-hard banks during the night. These banks or icicles may cause car damage or traffic accidents when they fall on to the bride roadway. Against this problem, some countermeasures have been applied, including a snow melting method using heaters. Such countermeasures, however, may have some challenges such as increasing maintenance cost.

Countermeasure using HIREC

HIREC is a valid countermeasure for the snow accretion of bridges. An example as shown below shows a bridge when the bridge beams were painted with HIREC, and were equipped with snow separators. Before forming large banks, snow attaching to the beams falls away in a small size. This may reduce the problems of big snow banks or icicles falling onto the bridge roadway. This effect can be expected in several seasons. (*)

Painting HIREC onto bridge construction may reduce the snow accretion problems.

Note *: The performance of the snow accretion using HIREC may vary according to the design conditions and designs of the bridge beams and snow separators, etc. It may include the face angle of the beam surface, shape, size and positions of the separators, etc.  Prior investigation is crucial before applying the HIREC.