Bins and Silos

Bulk material storage vessels (e.g., silos, bins, hoppers, elevators, bunkers) are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The main types of material used in construction are steel and concrete. There are numerous factors to consider when selecting a silo, bin and/or hopper. The construction type is an important consideration due to the difference in behavior between steel and concrete. The location and use of the structure is also an important consideration, which often drives the design type.

There two main characteristics for consideration when selecting a storage vessels; functionally and structural design. The following structural considerations are important when designing a storage vessel:

  • Provide general configuration that meets capacity and spatial constraints.
  • Use bulk material flow properties that help select vessel design parameters Hopper shape, angle, and internal surface required for material flow pattern.
  • Ensure the required discharge rates and different load combinations are utilized in design process for outlet sizes and shapes ensuring adequate performance.
  • Use state-of-the-art FEA analysis to develop stress/strain profiles to determine worst case loading for all critical design elements. Provide cost-effective rehabilitation approach to modify existing storage vessels to fit the new building code requirements or expansion capabilities.