Silo Construction 101: 5 Things To Know

Ravindra Ambegaonkar
Author : Ravindra Ambegaonkar
November 8, 2021
5 Minutes Read
  
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    As the applications of silos are widening, so is the increasing need to customize them to fit one’s specific intended use. If you’re looking to have a silo constructed, it’s all about making sure your contractor has enough track record to back their word because you don’t want anything to go wrong. 

    You can search for silo constructors near you then check their profiles. Though you have to take your time, it’s not too difficult a thing to do. Established services such as Borton silo construction could be a good place to start.

    Before you actually start your silo construction project, here are some of the things you'll need to know about silo construction before getting one built for yourself.

    1. What Are The General Construction Rules?

    A silo is a steel box with slanted inner walls that are covered with insulation material to keep the stored materials as cool as possible during hot days. But it's important to prevent moist air from entering the silos so they have properly vented openings for intake and outlet of gases.

    They have an open bottom where grain or other harvested materials enter by gravity flow which enables filling without putting too much manual labor into this task. The opening is adjustable in height, it’s normally set at knee height but it can be set depending on your physical capabilities. You can also raise it to waist height if that's more suitable for you. 

    There are different types of silos used for storing quantities of cereals or materials that are either free-flowing or not. A free-flow silo is used for storing grain that flows freely through the bottom opening when filling it with harvested grains.

    For bulk solid materials like wood chips, bark mulch, cloths, etc. you'll want to construct a silo with a discharging auger inside or simply use an oscillating chute system for this type of material to be able to fill the silos more easily and safely.

    Some tips include: 

    • Separate Pneumatic System for Clean Grain-There should be an airlock or pneumatic system that can separate the grain receiving channel where you fill your silo bin with new grain to the channel where you store it for later use. This will enable you to separate clean, un-mixed but already stored grains from the incoming new grains so only clean grains are re-stored in your silo bin. You don’t want any outside dirt or other foreign substances to enter into your silos because these could spoil the quality of the grain if it’ll become wet and moldy which is very common during rainy seasons.

    • An Airproof Ceiling to Prevent Spoilage Through Molds- The best way to prevent moisture from entering dampening or spoiling your stored grain is by applying an airproof ceiling. With every new batch of incoming grain, you should use an approved fire-resistant dry powder that can be sprinkled on top of the grain as a safety precaution.

    • The Best Way to Connect Internal Silo Brackets- You can connect internal silo brackets in several ways depending on how strong or heavy your construction is because when building heavy, sturdy, rigid, and strong grain bin silos with steel beams, you should use a combination of different kinds of connections which are either bolt-on/clip-together or welding to strengthen each joint connection. By doing so, you’ll create a sturdy but flexible mounting system that enables easy maneuverability during construction work. You should always keep in mind that every time you insert another beam through the center of the bracket, you’ll need more than one connection point on each end for mounting purposes

    There are more tips on how to build the ideal grain silo, dig as deep as you need depending on your intended application of the silo.

    1. Aside From Basic Construction, What Are Some Of The Best Customization Tips? 

    One way to customize the silo you have built is to run metal sheets that are two feet wide along both sides of the bottom base of the structure where it stands still on the ground. Doing this will help reinforce its stability and give it a more sturdy appearance. Another thing you can do as not to waste space is to hang a ladder from one side of your rooftop so that people can climb up and down easily without having to take too many steps to get where they want.

    Technically you can get your silo customized to your personal specifications, all you need is to discuss these specifications with your contractor or engineer responsible for your project.

    1. When Should You Think Of Repairing Your Silo?

    Repairing a silo is quite expensive so if there are no apparent damages on the surface you might want to think about applying a coat of exterior paint to your silos. This will prevent rust spots from appearing and damaging the steel reinforcements which might lead to defects of the structure. If you do have some evident defects of your silo's exterior or interior you better get in touch with professionals at once for applying reliefs for these defects.

    1. What Are The Common Mistakes When Building A Grain Silo?

    Most errors that might happen during the construction process stem from the lack of knowledge about what’s needed for safe and proper storing conditions which lead to storage risks like moist air inside, flooding, etc. If you don't exactly know how you should build your wet grain silos properly then just get in with some professionals who'll guide you through the proper construction process.

    1. Where Should I Build My Grain Silo?

    It all depends on your preferences and capabilities as well as climatic conditions that might influence its construction location (risk of flooding, frost, etc.). If possible, you should try and find a nice and calm place with proper drainage which can be reached easily by road transport. Also, keep an eye out for industrial noise pollution because nobody wants industrial noise infiltrating their environment!

    In general, though, most countries have specific regulations about how close to the road, houses, etc. a grain silo should be built, it's best to check all of them before you decide on building your facility or even buying some used silos!

    Conclusion

    These are some. things you should know about silos and their construction. If you want to build a grain storage facility then it's good to be well-informed before making any final decisions. Take your time to educate yourself about all the aspects of any investment like this, including any new innovations associated with it, and ask for assistance if needed! Remember, it’s better safe than sorry! Do your research well before deciding on which type or brand of wet or dry grain storage bins will suit your needs best!

    Tags construction technology | steel construction | construction contract

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