Although silos are most commonly associated with storing agricultural products, such as animal feed, grains and corn – they are also used for purposes to suit the construction industry too.
Purpose built silos are often found within the construction industry and are used to hold cement, calcite, carbon black and petrochemical supplies. They are a fundamental part of building projects, particularly large-scale ones. Often made of concrete and steel, these are ideal for the storage of bulk materials. These are designed for high extraction rates, to cope with the huge quantities that the building industry uses on projects.
Most are commonly used for cement storage, such as this, cement production in Estonia. These silos, come in two kinds: cement silos, which are used for on-site storage purposes; flyer steel silos are static silos and can be used in different kinds of industrial production.
Cement silos are especially durable, having a long service life and are low-maintenance, while flyer steel silos, commonly used for storing fly ash, can be built-on-spec in less than a week.
Because of the size of these structures – and the need to keep them as operable and efficient as possible – it is essential that they are regularly cleaned and maintained. One common problem is the compaction of cement can make slow down access and output of cement; as well as storage capacity in general. When this happens, which is why regular silo cleaning helps to minimise costs by removing build-up and blockage.
Expert knowledge of health and safety and cleaning procedures are essential in doing so, silo cleaning can be extremely dangerous and both in working from height and the respiratory problems of working in a confined space with such material.
Another consideration is that professional cleaning methods also take every care to ensure that the internal structure is not damaged when dealing with clogged or plugged materials. This is a common (and again, dangerous) mistake when the unskilled attempt to unblock silos and increase flow.
Cleaning cement silos should be seen not as a cost but an investment; not only does it increase capacity, but it can also release materials that were previously inaccessible and ‘dormant’.