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Category: Somavrac C.C.


  • Municipality: Municipality of Saint-Étienne-des-Grès
  • Project: pre-wetting of abrasive
  • Project specifications: custom de-icer
  • Timeframe: 2014 to 2018

Main customer challenges

  • Reduce the amount of road salt spread
  • Have a prepared mix of 18% salt with liquid brine for abrasive pre-wetting
  • Make the work of snow removal operators easier and eliminate time lost dealing with frozen clumps of sand

Solutions recommended by Somavrac C.C.

  • Mix of sand, salt, and liquid using an automated on-site mixer

Results and customer impact

  • Lower consumption of road salt
  • Uniform, malleable piles at temperatures as low as -45 degrees Celsius
  • Less loss through bouncing, as liquid enhances product ground adhesion
  • Better long-term product effectiveness leading to fewer snow removal operatio


Municipality: City of Drummondville

Project: Pre-wetting of abrasives (5 mm stone)

Project specifications: improve snow removal operations

Timeframe: 2011 to 2018

Main customer challenges

First challenge

  • Make the work of snow removal operators easier and eliminate time lost dealing with frozen clumps of sand

Second challenge

  • Reduce the amount of road salt spread
  • Increase driver safety at lower temperatures (salt begins to lose its effectiveness at -12 degrees Celsius)
  • Budgetary considerations

Solutions recommended by Somavrac C.C.

  • Solution to the first challenge: pre-wetting abrasives with an automated mixer
  • Pre-wetting abrasive piles with liquid to make handling easier at low temperatures (down to -51 degrees Celsius)

Solution to the second challenge: on-board liquid for abrasives

  • Installation of an on-site 40,000-liter buffer tank for liquid de-icer storage (29.6% concentration calcium chloride with corrosion inhibitor) for proactive spreader truck refills
  • Spreader trucks equipped with an automated liquid spray system controlled by operators based on spreading charts developed by the city
  • Before falling to the ground, the salt and sand in the truck body are sprayed with the de-icing agent for an immediate ice-melting effect

Results and customer impact

  • 30% less salt in the environment
  • Product effective down to -25 degrees Celsius
  • Uniform, malleable piles at temperatures as low as -51 degrees Celsius
  • Less loss through bouncing, as liquid enhances product ground adhesion
  • Better long-term product effectiveness leading to fewer snow removal operations

Municipality of St-Valérien

Déglaçant, de-icing, ice melter, Somavrac C.C

Municipality: St-Valérien (Rimouski County)

Project: determine the optimum mix of de-icing products, given the spreading surface (number of kilometers) and the benefits of available products (road salt, calcium chloride, abrasives, etc.)

Project specifications: optimum performance and road safety

Timeframe: 2011 to 2018

Main customer challenges

  • Improve the general condition of gravel roads (potholes and frost boil from freezing)
  • Reduce the amount of abrasives spread
  • Abrasive piles are frozen and hard to handle during snow removal operations

Solutions recommended

  • Mix of salt and gravel, ideal for asphalt roads (no gravel): cover large surfaces in harsher weather conditions (Rimouski-Neigette) for safe roads (excellent for traction)
  • Reduced amounts of abrasive, since it sticks to ice

Results and customer impact

  • Significant improvement of road quality
  • Fewer snow removal operations and less abrasive loss from bouncing through better ground adhesion of the Somavrac C.C. mix
  • Uniform, malleable piles at lower temperatures
  • Non-abrasive for the municipality’s salt spreader tank

Ore carryback problem (chloride-free)

Iron Melt,  déglaçant industriel liquide, chlorure de calcium, inhibiteur de corrosion, minerai, Somavrac C.C

Industry: mining

Project specifications: no chlorides

Main customer challenges

  • Ore carryback in railcars (down to -5 degrees Celsius)
  • Looking for a product with anti-adhesive properties for railcar bodies
  • Looking to use a chloride-free product (natural solution)

Solutions recommended by Somavrac C.C.

  • Mixture prepared at the Trois-Rivières Somavrac plant to supply an industrial vegetable-oil-based anti-adhesive (formula developed in collaboration with the customer and a local partner)
  • Shipping of totes to northern Quebec
  • Spraying railcars with product using a semi-automated spray system

Results and customer impact

Carryback has fallen from 12 tons to less than one ton

Mining De-Icer

Industry: mining

Project specifications: develop a super de-icer for the customer’s private roads

Main customer challenges

  • Salt is ineffective at -12/-13 degrees Celsius
  • Earth roads (with too much sodium, melt and recrystallize): many potholes, costly and frequent resurfacing

Solution recommended by Somavrac C.C.

  • Development of the right mix of salt and calcium chloride flakes for the customer’s needs
  • Several tests conducted with the customer to determine the ideal concentration
  • Residue left on the road acts as a dust suppressant in the spring and helps compaction

Results and customer impact

  • Lower road reconstruction costs
  • Product effective at low temperatures
  • Cost-effective solution
  • Environment that is dust-free, clean, and safe for road users

Ore carryback problem

Antiadhésif végétal, Bioguard, Somavrac C.C, wagons

Industry: mining

Project: railcar spraying to avoid ore freezing and carryback when unloading

Project specifications: harsh winter conditions (northern Quebec)

Main customer challenges

  • Loss of product through ore carryback in railcars during the winter
  • Risk of derailment from the weight of railcars (ore carryback)
  • Minimizing the material and labor costs required to protect the railcars: approximately 1,500 railcars were equipped with plywood and insulation, which are short-lived, nondurable, and lose their effectiveness quickly
  • Risks to employee safety, material damage (load weight), and time loss when ore clumps together, which employees then have to break up

Solutions recommended by Somavrac C.C.

  • Semi-automated system that sprays 29.6% concentration calcium chloride on railcar walls and top (includes a flowmeter to control amount of spray)
  • Following services: ship unloading, product warehousing in customer tank (pipeline), solution preparation in the tank, and railcar transfer (using the pipeline) performed by the Somavrac C.C. team

Results and customer impact

  • Less product loss at unloading (prevents the product from clinging to railcar side walls)
  • Safe railcar travel
  • Lower costs (material and labor)
  • Simplified management: product and service included, to avoid having to deal with 2 or 3 separate suppliers.

Ice, dust, and carryback problems

Customer industry

Our customer is a leading company in transportation infrastructure, abrasive production, and general maintenance of the Quebec road network.

Main customer challenge


  • Dust issues during road construction or other construction projects.


  • Problems with ice on worksites
  • Problem with bulk materials clinging to dump truck bodies and building up hard-to-remove accumulation. The problem can also make the truck body unstable and lead to serious accidents, even tipping.

Solution recommended by Somavrac C.C.

Dust and ice problems:

  • Annual delivery of 15 to 20 tons of Xtra85 calcium chloride flakes in 1,000 kg bags to the customer

Carryback problem:

  • To resolve the carryback issue, Somavrac C.C. delivered a tote of Liquidow liquid calcium chloride to the customer. As needed,
    • Somavrac C.C. can deliver the product or refill totes directly at customer facilities.
    • Customers can collect totes from Somavrac C.C.

Xtra85 can be purchased for you to dilute for applications such as avoiding carryback.

Customer benefits

85% concentration calcium chloride flakes (for dust and ice problems)

  • Safe worksites, free of dust or ice, for workers
  • Spreading handled by customer employees with minimal equipment (spreader truck) both for dust suppressant and de-icer: simple, effective, and cost-effective
  • Easy-to-store bags requiring only basic handling equipment (lift truck)
  • Product used year-round, killing two birds with one stone
  • Certified as a dust suppressant by Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ)

Liquid calcium chloride (for carryback problems)

  • Proactive, efficient customer deliveries (with no carryback) thanks to the product’s effectiveness and anti-adhesive properties

Ease of use: easy to spray dump truck bodies with a multi-use sprayer.