Ice Free Switch®

Rail Switch Anti-icing/Deicing Agent

Winter weather creates havoc on transit and freight schedules. Frozen switches in particular cause expensive delays, but most approaches to deicing them are inefficient, expensive and waste resources. The solution is Midwest’s anti-icing agent: Ice Free Switch.

Eliminate Delays Due to Frozen Switches

Ice Free Switch is Midwest’s anti-icing agent for railway switches. It’s the answer to significant winter operating costs caused by severe weather conditions. Snow and ice are the enemy of train schedules. Winter storms cause snow buildup, blocking switches from connecting with the rail; freezing temperatures turn moisture into ice; ice locks switch components into place.

All of this means delays: trains stuck in place, waiting on maintenance crews to deice switches, a process which can take hours of labor and many gallons of deicing product. Add to this the costs of refunding tickets for late passengers or paying penalties for freight deliveries, and you face astronomical winter operating costs.

Traditionally, the alternative has been installing expensive heating systems and paying high fuel costs to keep switches ice free. This can work ok, until heaters break down or temps drop below -10º F, when they can’t keep up.

And that’s where Ice Free Switch steps in. A glycol-based anti-icing agent, Ice Free Switch incorporates Gravity Free “smart fluid” technology developed in partnership with NASA. This “space-age” ingredient allows Ice Free Switch to cling to every surface, even vertical or steep ones. (Ice Free Switch is “non-newtonian,” or able to resist removal by rain, sleet, snow and wind.)

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Rail Switch Anti Icing Deicing Midwest Industrial
Applied In Advance Of Cold Temps and Bad Weather

Ice Free Switch keeps ice and snow from building up, even in temps down to -70º F.

The highly viscous nature of the Gravity Free ingredient means that it pours or sprays onto the switch components like a liquid, but when activated by precipitation, solidifies into a gel that acts as a barrier between the metal of the switch and the snow and ice.

As precipitation lands on the switch components, the chemical formulation if Ice Free Switch disrupts the water molecules, thereby lowering the freezing point. Visually, this means that precipitation sits on top of the switch as a loose sludge that easily wipes away on contact.

While Ice Free Switch can be poured on current icy switches to thaw the ice (and it works quite well doing this), its real strength is in its function as a preventative measure. Using it this way only requires a half to a full gallon per switch, compared to anywhere from five to 20 gallons per switch for a deicing agent. This saves you significant maintenance costs compared to deicing (or even installing and fueling heating systems). It also saves you the cost of significant manhours spent manually deicing or handling snow removal.

Ice Free Switch will have a significant impact on lowering your winter operating costs by reducing delays, and even accident damage, on your railways.

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Ice Free Switch Features and Benefits

Stop Relying on Inefficient Deicing Methods

Ice Free Switch keeps your trains moving with the following features:

  • Multi-component glycol-based liquid flows easily at -40º F
  • Prevents switches from freezing and re-freezing down to -70º F
  • Non-flammable, non-corrosive, non-conductive
  • High viscosity prevents run-off during application
  • Holds fast to vertical surfaces and remains in place
  • Helps prevent derailment at flangeways
  • Biodegradable
  • Virtually non-toxic to aquatic life
  • Is not easily absorbed through skin, and is not volatile, meaning there is little risk of vapor inhalation or injury upon contact with skin
  • Can be used in many other applications as well, such as door tracks, couplers, lift bridges, tunnel walls, signal lenses, flangeways, snowplows and blades (to prevent snow buildup) and anywhere else that metal-to-metal freezing might occur or snow and ice can buildup