How To Understand Grain Silos

Farm produce has to be stored properly to preserve its quality and its selling value. Farm storage has a different style of structure depending on the farm product that has to be stored. Silos are for the grains and are cylindrically built for practical reasons.

  1. The first practical reason why a grain silo is constructed round is for space management. A cylindrical storage doesn't need a big land compared to a square or rectangular structure. Building a round silo costs less since land acquisition is costly.
  2. The second reason is its storage capacity. Tension and pressure has to be considered when storing tons and tons of grains on storage bins. The enormous weight of the stored grains exerts pressure on its bottom as well as on its walls. A round structure resists this pressure through the outward force or better known as hoop tension due to the steel reinforcement of the walls. Rectangular storage won't have this much capacity of resisting the pressure since this kind of storage has to resist another pressure which is the bending pressure as well as the overturning forces applied on its foundation.
  3. Another consideration why a grain silo is round is because it only requires fewer joints when constructed. Unlike the square or rectangular structure that requires more joints because of its corners. In a cylindrical silo, joints are only along the foundation and a conical top. When the bottom and top joints are fitted properly, its wall becomes more rigid, the silo becomes more airtight and fumigation becomes easier. This cannot be achieved in a rectangular structure because of the joints in every corner that makes sealing and fumigation difficult. Preventing grains from spoilage is achieved when it is sealed from outside weather.
  4. Loading and unloading of the produce is another thing to consider in building the storage structure. In a rectangular silo, it would require additional equipment just to maximize the amount of grain to be stored inside it. It would also require machineries in unloading the grains when it is time to sell it. Unlike in a round silo, it is not a problem due to the law of gravity. Grains can be dumped or poured in a higher elevation and through gravity, all the spaces are filled. With a shoot, unloading the grains from the round silo is much easier and need no additional machinery. When a shoot is opened, gravity allows the grain to come down and fill the container.
  5. Cost and durability is another practical factor in building a round silo. Shorter silos are found to be more durable and cost less. It is durable because of the less pressure from the grain, thus it would achieve higher structural integrity and endurance.

Safety of the stored grain is also one of the most important considerations in building a silo. In a rectangular structure, because of its difficulty to seal in order to prevent pests such as rodents to enter become disadvantageous compared to round silos. Moisture is a risk factor that should be avoided in storing grains. This could be eliminated with an airtight grain storage that a round silo could provide.


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