Storage silos, bins, and silo buildings fail at a higher rate than almost any other form of industrial equipment. That's because silo failure can include minimal events that do not cause safety concerns and catastrophic events where the silo and stored material are lost, neighboring structures are damaged, and serious injuries or death occur. To help ensure your silo can withstand daily stresses from stored materials and adverse weather, selecting the most durable silo construction
material is essential.
Both steel and concrete silos are commonly used in industry to store ash, coal, lime, aggregate and more. Yet there is a clear winner when it comes to the durability of steel versus concrete for silo construction. Steel structures are notoriously susceptible to costly corrosion issues, especially with corrosive or moist stored materials. They are also highly susceptible to catastrophic failure from extreme weather conditions, including high winds. Concrete silos are favored over steel silos because they can withstand various harsh weather conditions and pressures that would cause steel silos to buckle. Concrete silo construction also provides better corrosion resistance, including corrosion of internal walls due to the stored bulk solid and external corrosion caused by moisture.
Concrete offers numerous advantages over steel in silo design and construction, resulting in minimal maintenance to sustain overall function and safety. However, all silos, regardless of construction material, are still susceptible to deterioration and wear due to environmental conditions and structural stress from normal usage. Periodic inspections can locate areas of concern and prevent issues, such as wall failure, cracking, and structural deterioration, that could lead to workplace injuries or deaths. Silo failure can happen for a number of reasons that are often preventable and easily corrected if caught early. A proactive inspection program can safeguard your team members and ensure your structures' safety and continued operation.