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Happy Paws ™ Ice Melt
Dear Science Fair Participant;
Happy Paws™ Ice Melt is made with CMA. CMA, calcium magnesium acetate, is an environmentally safe, low-corrosion alternative to salt and chloride-based deicers. This product is designed for applications where corrosion, concrete spalling, or the environment are of concern. Clear scientific evidence shows CMA is virtually non-corrosive, that it does not damage concrete, and because it is biodegradable it is safe for the environment. It does not harm vegetation, aquatic organisms, or receiving waters.
Originally developed by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration as a low-corrosion alternative to road salt, today CMA is used by government agencies, commercial institutions, and private parties worldwide. CMA is made from limestone and acetic acid (a component of vinegar). Like road salt, it is most effective above 20°F (-7°C). Unlike chloride deicers, CMA protects the environment. The calcium improves soil structure (the benefit we get from liming our gardens/yards). Magnesium is an essential part of plant photosynthesis. And, the acetic acid component biodegrades to CO2 and water.
Also unlike chloride deicers, CMA is safe for concrete, rebar, other metals, and vehicles, and is considered a good corrosion and spalling inhibitor when blended at relatively low rates (>20%) with sodium chloride. So good, that we can recommend SubZero 20™ for walkways when concrete quality is the primary concern. Blending CMA reduces costs while still maintaining many of CMA's infrastructure advantages. For areas where metal corrosion is the primary issue, CMA is always the best choice.
Conducting experiments with Happy Paws™ Ice Melt (CMA) and salt are relatively easy. You can easily demonstrate the comparative effects of Happy Paws™ with those of salt on plant life and metal with the following experiments:
Laboratory evaluations of product performance are, at this time, simply unable to predict actual field performance, or to help users select among candidate chemicals. None of these test methods really addresses the fundamentals of keeping roads clear. Instead, lab deicer tests are virtually all ice melting tests, wherein weighed amounts of chemical are applied to carefully prepared, pure, ice. Whether measuring free brine created or undercutting or penetration, these test designs clearly do not deal with the most common problem faced by road maintenance crews, namely snow accumulation and adherence (snowpack). The basic problem with this type experiment is that it only measures the degree to which candidates behave just like salt. They discriminate against candidates which are different or function in fundamentally different ways but achieve the same result. Salt readily dissolves and produces brine but the test cannot tell if this would refreeze or float on top of road ice or snowpack. The presence of water in the deicer, whether liquid or solid, must be accounted for. At the other extreme, Happy Paws™ (CMA) performs very poorly in this type of test. CMA chemically ties up the first ice melted as waters of hydration so there is little runoff. Then it dissolves, but the brine does not run off. With only "ice melting" data to judge, CMA might never be used. Yet many users report that CMA is just as effective as salt, at rates from 1/2 of salt usage up to equal rates - but the application strategy is different and the result is an "oatmeal" snow which is easily removed and will not pack to itself or to the road.
Happy Paws™ (CMA) Works Differently
Product brochures, articles, studies, and samples of Happy Paws™ are available upon request. If you have any questions regarding experimental design or the interpretation and reporting of results, please feel free to contact us, remember to include your mailing address when requesting information.
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