Heated test slabs installed at Des Moines International Airport. (Photo: Halil Ceylan)

Iowa State University tested slabs of electrically conductive concrete at Des Moines International Airport. The test slabs are made up of 1 percent carbon fiber and a special mix of cement, sand, and rocks. The carbon fiber allows the concrete to conduct electricity, but there is some resistance to the moving electrons, which creates heat.

The slabs at the Des Moines airport are 7.5 inches thick in two layers – the bottom 4 inches are regular concrete, the top 3.5 are electrically conductive concrete. Between the layers are 12 metal electrodes, six per slab, running the width of each slab. The electrodes are wired to the nearby hangar’s power supply. A thermal camera let engineers watch the electrodes heat up to a sample temperature of 75°F.