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.
All silos eventually need to be cleaned. When the time comes for either routine silo cleaning or material buildup removal, it's best to count on silo cleaning methods that have been proven for safety and efficiency.
Manual Silo Cleaning
When looking to cut overhead costs, companies often postpone essential silo cleaning or attempt to remove silo blockages or material buildup using in-house labor. However, both of these approaches are not only inefficient, they are extremely dangerous. Failing to follow through with regular silo cleaning can put your silo at risk of catastrophic failure. Material flow issues disrupt the equal distribution of pressure on silo walls. This can lead to stress beyond what the silo was designed to withstand, resulting in delamination, cracking, and even structural wall failure.
Unskilled labor used for silo cleaning can lead to structural failure and other costly damages. Falling materials dislodged during manual silo cleaning can damage silo cones, break through walls, or lead to severe injury and even death. When it comes to manual silo cleaning, the bottom line is that it is unsafe. Manual silo cleaning often relies on dangerous confined-space entry. Not only does this put workers at risk of injury from falling materials, but toxic fumes or unsafe oxygen levels are also huge risks.
Professional Silo Cleaning Techniques
When looking for proven silo cleaning methods, it is essential to employ qualified, trained silo cleaning professionals. A professionally cleaned silo maintains workplace safety and decreases the potential liability for work-related accidents. When looking for a professional silo cleaning company, it is important to review its reputation as well as the cleaning system used. A professional silo cleaning company will use a remote silo cleaning machine that safely removes material buildup, restoring your silo to its original storage capacity.
Types of remote, dry silo cleaning systems include:
- Enhanced Pneumatic Cleaning System with The Boss™
- Pneumatic Cleaning Systems
- Whip Cleaning Systems
USA Silo Service has been cleaning all types of silos and storage domes for nearly thirty years. In that time, we've seen time and time again the enhanced pneumatic cleaning method with our proprietary cleanout head is the most powerful silo cleaning method available.
Our proven silo cleaning techniques get the job done quickly, effectively, and safely every time. When combined with our vacuum truck services, we can quickly remove or relocate silo debris recovered during cleaning. That's why we're the go-to silo cleaning company for expert silo cleaning.
Silos can be costly to maintain if you don't do the essential repairs to prevent further deterioration of the silo. In any repair, Marietta Silos tries to identify the root cause of the damage to the silo and incorporate those findings into our restoration and design procedure.
Silo Roof Beam Repair
The silo beam pocket rests on a bearing plate to support the roof. Beam pockets are a critical point in the silo as these roof beams hold up the roof slab and all the necessary equipment to operate the bulk storage system. Often the concrete under the plate spalls leaving the beam pocket at risk for failure. The structural integrity of the beam pocket is reestablished by having structural steel placed to ensure the integrity of the repaired beam pocket. A high-strength, non-stick grout is used to patch the spalled area.
Silo Wall Delamination
Delamination of concrete is caused by the lack of bonding to the interior structural steel reinforcement of the silo, which weakens the silo's structural capacity. To repair silo wall delamination in extreme cases, additional reinforcement may be added to the silo wall or a new concrete steel reinforced liner can be installed, returning the silo to normal operating conditions.
Be proactive with silo repair – schedule your silo inspection.