How to select the correct Storage Silo for Dry Bulk Applications
Every selection process starts with a series of questions that requires answers before proceeding. This process is the same for silo selection. One of the main problems within the dry bulk market is that there are many possibilities in dry bulk conveying and dry bulk storage. Every selected process or system needs to be communicating and adapted to the other dry bulk systems. Silo or storage selection is no difference.
Tank and silo selection many times is based on a preferred “construction type” instead of “stored material” performance requirements.
Tank and Silo manufacturers tend to process customer information relative to their standard storage products and design parameters, which leaves the client responsible for the outcome. This is an ached approach that is safe for the vendor, but many times misses the mark in achieving a functional and efficient storage system that performs per your requirements.
The below mentioned top 10 of the main questions for selecting an storage silo or tank. This list includes the basic considerations that should be addressed on every storage application. If the application under review is routine and no problem areas exist with the stored material or the discharge stream, you can proceed with the vendor selection and purchase process. If any of items listed are a concern, contact a bulk handling specialist.
- How much material will be stored…tons? Cubic meter?
- Are there any unique characteristics of the stored material to consider?
- What materials of construction should be used?
- What product density should be used for volume and design calculation?
- Is material degradation a concern?
- Is material segregation a concern?
- What type of material discharge pattern is preferred or required for the application? (i.e., funnel flow, mass flow, expanded flow, etc.)
- Is a hopper flow aid device required for reliable discharge?
- Should my material be tested by a “flow specialist?”
- Do I need a reliable performance guarantee from the silo supplier?
If you need an bulk handling specialist, our team is ready to assist you and guide you through the selection process. Contact us here.
For your reference, please find some examples below;
Example 1: Funnel Flow
We need to store 5000 cu mtr of Cement. Based on the capacity requirements, a bolted or shop-welded tank is correct for the application. Based on experience with the material and an extensive number of applications in the field, a flow aid device (vibrating pads or fluidization fabric) is required. Perhaps a bin activator sized at half the tank diameter will provide reliable material discharge. A bin activator provides a “funnel flow” material discharge pattern. The material does not need to be tested. Material degradation should not be a concern.
Example 2: Mass Flow
Storage application requires 25,000 cu mtr of a granular product. It is desired to minimize material segregation during discharge. First we will note that size selection exceeds a shop-welded tank. This eliminates the shop-weld tank, unless we break the capacity requirements into a two-tank package. The correct storage selection is a bolted smooth-wall tank. The correct flow discharge selected is a mass flow bin. This does not mean we specify a silo designed for “mass flow” design loads. The correct request is to specify a silo designed for “functional mass flow” discharge. In order to provide reliable “functional mass flow” (FIFO) discharge, the material will need to be tested.
Tank & Silo Selection
In summary, if the basics are covered in storage silo selection, years of trouble-free containment and reliable discharge can be expected. In today’s industrial market, a storage specialist should advise or confirm your selection. In all cases, a reliable integrated storage system starts with a properly designed and configured silo. If you would like to know more about the correct storage selection for your bulk handling application, contact our team for more information. Tell us your project here.