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Five Disadvantages of Concrete Silos and How You Can Workaround It


As fundamental inventory vessels enabling non-stop concrete production schedules, concrete silos provide vital buffer storage between bulk cement deliveries and the continuous demands of concrete mixing and load-out operations. While concrete silos represent a ubiquitous fixture across ready mix plants, block manufacturing facilities and precast production yards, their rigid constructions still pose a mix of potential drawbacks around usage constraints, production risks and maintenance hurdles relative to other storage mediums. Thankfully, purposeful design measures, procedural controls and proactive operational practices can mitigate the most pressing downsides concrete plant managers face owning and operating concrete silo assets over decades-long service life expectancies.

Concrete Silo Inflexibility

Concrete Silos

Once erected, the fixed concrete silo structure remains static onsite forever so aligning initial unit placement and sizing factors with long range site layout plans proves vital to prevent accessibility or expansion limitations down the road. Unfortunately, balancing current requirements, future ambitions and budget realities makes perfect foresight elusive. See common inflexibility pitfalls in Table 1 below:

IssueMitigation Approach
Insufficient CapacityInstall additional silos for incremental capacity boosts
Access ImpairmentStrategic layouts to avoid build-outs blocking doors/chutes
Expansion LimitationsLeave open adjacent space for potential silo additions
Material ChangeoverMulti-use designs allow bag silo retrofits

While lacking the versatility of portable options, concrete producers can counter inflexibility via modular principles when planning silo quantity, site positions and facility growth accommodations.

Cement Separation Challenges

The dense powdered cement concrete silos contain can segregate during storage and discharge leading to inconsistent cement ratios and off-spec concrete if unchecked. This demands diligent first-in-first-out inventory rotation discipline plus auxiliary technical safeguards likes silo air pads, auto vibration actuators and rotating screw ejectors to continuously agitate contents preventing composition gradients building up.

Added Maintenance Requirements

The additional motored discharge enhancement equipment plus required hoist lifts for interior entry during annual inspection and cleaning of concrete silos increases mechanical upkeep versus basic structures alone to safeguard output flow reliability and longevity. While essential, this maintenance workload competes for the same limited personnel factory teams juggle. Establishing preventative protocols and mirroring duplicates streamline upkeep demands by avoiding full-scale troubleshooting situations.

Inventory Monitoring Difficulties

Unlike see-through bins or tanks, opaque concrete silos prevent quick visual verification of cement levels relying instead on external indicators like load cells with weight approximations or sounding rods. While mandated high-level sensors alert before overfilling critical for safety, precise real-time visibility still lacks compared to transparent storage with live measured volumetric totals. Sonar sensing and personal wearable visual imaging aids aim to alleviate monitoring blind spots.

Dust Control Challenges

Cement powder easily escapes concrete silo hatches upon loading, through discharge points and via leaks leading to fugitive dust issues that pose contamination, safety and respiratory risks. Adjustable flexible sealing hats, rotary valve shields, self-closing shutter gates and added ventilation help mitigate dust emissions yet still require vigilant housekeeping to limit open dust sources.

Часто задаваемые вопросы

What concrete silo filtration safeguards help address dust?

Baghouse fabric dust collectors offer robust cement dust protections by suctioning silo ventilation exhaust through permeable filters capturing >99% of particulate matter to contain dust.

Should concrete silos have redundancy backups?

For major producers, investing into duplicated parallel concrete silos prevents complete output interruptions during occasional outages or maintenance with cement supply able to shift across units.

How can inventory visibility be enhanced beyond weight estimates?

While load cells provide weight approximations converted into volume, non-contact ultrasonic cement level sensors grant precise real-time measures for exact fluid volumes remaining to avoid stock-outs or overfills.

Conclusion:Concrete Силосs

Accounting for concrete silo limitations like fixed positional permanence, potential cement separation risks, added equipment maintenance, unreliable inventory visibility and inherent cement dust hazards during initial activities planning mitigates the most pressing drawbacks associated with necessary long term concrete storage assets. What may first appear as rigid structural simplicity in concrete silos grows into multi-faceted complexity over years of concrete production making mindset shifts around upfront considerations against long term operational objectives essential from outset. Only then can silos deliver productivity rather than hindrances.


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