Some researchers at Iowa State think that implementing electric concrete at airports could help keep runways free of snow. This would reduce the number of delays and cancellations that tend to occur in the winter months.
A team at the university not only came up with the design for electric concrete, but they created it and put it into effect at the Des Moines International Airport in March.
The concrete is created with three different layers. The bottom layer is normal concrete. The middle layer then contains some electrodes that are powered by their connections to a nearby plane hanger. The top layer is created using a mixture of substances that include rocks, carbon fiber, cement, and sand.
The electricity in the concrete would generally be off, but airport officials could turn it on as soon as a winter storm approaches. When it’s turned on the electrical current is capable of warming the ground and therefore melting the snow and preventing ice from forming. Despite being warm enough to do that, it will still be cool to the touch.