Silo Storage: An Overview
Silos are constructions that are utilized for storing bulk materials. These are used in various fields and industries to store end products of different processes – mainly to store grains, cement, coal, food and such other products. Silos are divided into three major categories based upon their orientation, functionality and construction.
Follows the categorical description:
1. Cement silos:
These are used for storing cement and other powdered materials like cement. Cement silos are further divided into two categories – Low-level silos (mobile) and Static upright silos. Low level ones are very advantageous due to their mobility as it helps in transportation. One other major plus of low-level silos is that they come equipped with electronic systems that reflect the exact status of the stored quantity inside. Static silos are not mobile but they are also advantageous as they require lesser maintenance. Static silos also boast of a larger capacity, they can store up to 80 tons of a material.
2. Tower silos:
As the name suggests, these are constructed in form of towers – cylindrical towers to be precise. These towers can be constructed with various materials like concrete, wood, steel and others. These are heavy and not mobile, consequently such traits make them difficult to unload and transport. In case of tower silos, transportation is generally practiced in train cars. The weight comes to aid the packing of materials inside the silos, which is the only merit induced because of being too heavy.
3. Concrete stave silos:
These are constructed with concrete as the building material. The structure is held together with the help of reinforced steel around the circumference. The reinforced concrete provides great strength and durability to the building.
There are few other types of silo storage like bunker silos and bag silos, but they are not used on a larger scale.
Utility is what makes silo storage systems a pre-requisite for any organization involved in production. Also, it is difficult to overlook the advantages of Silo storage systems over orthodox storage systems. Let us take a look:
1. Better protection for perishable grains:
Grains are perishable too, though they have a good shelf life. Silo storage systems help in increasing that shelf life even further by providing better protection.
2. Large storage in a limited space:
Due to their definite shape, they provide greater storage in a limited space. It helps in minimizing the land space requirement for set up of storage.
3. Minimizes the effect of moisture and other harsh conditions:
Typical engineering ensures that moisture and other harsh climatic conditions does not affect the quality of the material stored inside.
4. Easy unloading:
Silos come with a mechanism of unloading which helps in unloading the materials for the purpose of transportation.