A storage silo is a structure for storing heavy materials or equipment. The silos are used in agriculture to store food grains or fermented feed known as silage. They are more commonly used for bulk storage of grain, coal, cement, carbon black, woodchips, sawdust and food products. The three types of silos which are used today are tower silos, bunker silos, and bag silos.

Types of silos

Cement Storage Silos

Many types of cement silos are available such as the low-level mobile silo and static upright cement silo, both of them are used to hold and discharge cement and other powder materials. These silos are easy to transport and to set up on site. An electronic weighing system is installed on the mobile silos which have a digital display and printer. This allows the amount of cement or powder discharged from the silo to be controlled. It further gives an exact indication of what amount of content remains inside the silo. The different types of storage silos in which cement can be stored are horizontal mobile silos, concrete silos, steel panel silos etc, depending upon the requirement of the end user.

Concrete Stave Silos

The concrete stave silos are built from common components designed for high strength and long life. They are highly flexible to have their height changed depending on the needs of the farm and the purchasing power of the farmers. In addition, they can also be totally disassembled or reinstalled somewhere else when they are no longer in use.

Low-Oxygen Tower Silos

The low-oxygen storage silos are designed to keep the contents in a low-oxygen atmosphere at all times, to prevent the contents from decaying and to keep the fermented contents in a high-quality state. Though the silo structure is open to atmosphere, however, the air outside is separated from the internal air with large water-resistant bags sealed to the silo breather openings. During the daytime when the silo is heated by the sun, the gas trapped inside the silo expands and the bags breathe out and collapse. At night when the silo cools down, the air inside contracts and the bags breathe in and expand again.

Bunker silos

Bunker silos have concrete walls and are filled with tractors and loaders. The filled trench is usually covered with a plastic tarp to make it airtight. These silos are normally unloaded using a tractor and loader. They are cheap and are well suited to very large operations.

Bag silos

These are heavy plastic tubes being approximately 8 to 12 ft in diameter and are of a variable length which depends on the amount of material to be stored. They are packed using a machine and are sealed on both ends. Bag silos require little capital investment.

Sand and Salt Silos

These storage silos mostly contain the sand and salt required for road maintenance during winter. They are mainly conical dome-shaped.

Fabric Silos

The fabric silos are constructed using a fabric bag suspended within a rigid, structural frame. For the fabrication of the bag material, polyester based fabrics are mostly used. Upper areas of silo fabric are often manufactured with slightly larger pore size. Some popular designs include metal thread within the fabric which provides a stationary conductive path from the surface of the fabric to ground. The frame of a fabric silo is generally made of steel. Fabric silos are a smart option due to their low cost in comparison to conventional silos.

Usage of storage is becoming popular day by day and in the agricultural sector, it has secured its position as one of the most important tools. This is indeed an advanced and cost-effective way to keep the grains safe and organized.

Published by Amelie Lawrence