Calcium chloride is a versatile liquid. It is commonly used for de-icing/anti-icing on highways and streets, and it is also used for controlling dust on gravel roads, construction sites, and other areas.
Calcium chloride can be applied using many different types of sprayers. In this post, we will discuss the types of sprayers used in different scenarios, the components of these sprayers, and how they work.
Different Calcium Chloride Sprayer Applications
- Spraying calcium chloride on construction sites can mitigate the creation of dust clouds generated by typical construction work like excavation, demolition, and material handling.
- Spraying calcium chloride on unpaved roads keeps the road moist, preventing dust clouds from forming from the vehicles that travel on them. This improves visibility making it safer for drivers.
- Pretreating Highways, streets, and parking lots before snow and ice build up on the surface. Calcium chloride depresses the freezing point of water, making it more difficult for ice to form.
- De-icing streets and highways after accumulation of snow or ice. The Calcium chloride is sprayed in solid streams to penetrate snow and ice to speed up the melting process.
Basic Parts of a Calcium Chloride Sprayer
Calcium chloride sprayers come in many different forms. Due to all the various applications, there are sprayers made to fit the needs of these different scenarios. However, they all have the same basic components:
- Spray Bar/Boom
- Control Valves
- Sprayer Controller
The size and capability of these components vary depending on the specific sprayer. Tank size, pump flow rate, nozzle size, etc. are all things that vary depending on the needs of any given application. Next, we will look at the characteristics of these different sprayer types.
Calcium Chloride Sprayers Used for Different Scenarios
|Sidewalks & driveways||Electric motor-driven diaphragm pumps. Applying liquid with a small boom or spray wand.||Small, hand pump sprayers are used to spray isolated areas with a hand wand. Just like the sprayers used for lawns & gardens.|
|Parking lots||12 V Boom Sprayers & Spot Sprayers||Electric motor-driven diaphragm pumps. Applying liquid with a small boom or spray wand.|
|Streets||12 V Boom Sprayers or Engine Driven boom sprayers||Large tanks, often 1000 gallons or more. Booms that cover multiple lanes of a highway. High-flow hydraulically driven pumps.|
|Highways||Dump Truck/Plow Truck Sprayers with multi-lane boom and 1000 gal + tank||Electric motor-driven pumps or larger gas-engine/hydraulic-driven pumps for greater volume.|
|Small work areas||12 V Spot Sprayer||12 V-powered pumps, spraying directly to an isolated area or machine.|
|Construction Sites||Truck mounted skid sprayerTrailer sprayer||Similar to de-ice sprayers for parking lots and streets. 12 V pumps or gas-engine driven.|
|Gravel Roads||Truck SprayerSemi-Trailer Sprayers||Large water trucks or semi trailers with a spray bar. High-flow nozzles. Potentially 20 -100 GPM.|
How a Calcium Chloride Sprayer Functions
A calcium chloride sprayer is equipped with a pump that is responsible for generating the necessary flow and pressure to move the liquid from the tank to the spray nozzles. The type of pump used varies from small 12-volt diaphragm pumps, similar to the ones used on lawn and turf sprayers, to larger centrifugal pumps. These large centrifugal pumps require a lot more horsepower than 12 V pumps. They are either gas-engine driven or hydraulically driven in most cases.
Dust control and liquid de-icing require a lot more flow than spraying herbicides or pesticides. So the boom and nozzle size for calcium chloride applications are much larger. Smaller sprayers for parking lots or small construction sites might be able to get away with 12-volt pumps, where the max flow is typically about 5 gallons per minute, but any boom with more than a few nozzles will require a larger pump to apply enough calcium chloride to be effective. This is especially true for dust control.
Typical Boom setups consist of a 1-inch diameter or larger pipe and multiple nozzles. De-icing nozzles are usually smaller in capacity and they are solid stream “pencil” stream nozzles. Dust control nozzles are very high-capacity. Flat fan nozzles, boomless nozzles, and flood nozzles can all be used for dust control. Check out more specifics on these nozzles in this guide about nozzle types.
You will size the nozzles based on the amount of liquid you want to apply over a given area, and how fast you want to travel. You can read more about the formulas used to determine nozzle size in this article.
Calcium Chloride Sprayer Controls
The sprayer’s output can be controlled by adjusting the pump’s speed. If the pump is driven by an engine or hydraulic motor, then the motor/engine speed would be adjusted until the output is at a level desired by the user. This could take some trial and error to see what level of output provides the desired results. This is a simple method that works on large trucks for dust control where volume is more important than precision.
Anti-ice and de-icing are applications where you would require more precise control. This is a scenario where you might need to change your travel speed as you spray. As you change speed the sprayer output must be precisely adjusted to maintain a consistent rate. For this you need valves and other controls to regulate the flow.
There are different ways to precisely control the amount of liquid sprayed over a given area. There are pressure-based control and flow meter-based control options. Each requires a different set of valves, sensors, or gauges.
Sprayer control is a complex topic, and for a complete guide read this article breaking down the different sprayer control systems. But the basics are In order to precisely control the application rate, you need to know these variables: nozzle size, nozzle spacing, speed, and operating pressure.
To monitor and control these aspects, The minimum equipment Requirements needed are an on/off valve, regulating valve, pressure gauge, and speedometer (or other means to monitor speed).
You can see all the details of how a de-ice or dust control sprayer is set up and operated in these articles:
- Building a De-Ice Sprayer
- Building a DIY Dust Control Sprayer
Spraying Calcium Chloride is a very effective way to keep roads and worksites safe. Building and operating a sprayer for this is simple but it is essential to remember to utilize a pump and tank large enough for your application.