Common types of grain storage tanks

Food grain storage has been inculcated as a commodification of essential goods for future usage since ancient times. There have existed structures in the past suggesting the storage of food grains and pulses in civilizations of decades ago. Today, it has modernized into an efficient and admirable looking structure known as the Silo. Often seen in country landscapes and fields of produce. They stand tall in the vastness of plains which provide for their distinct appearances. There are various types of Grain storage tanks or commonly known as Silos. Here are the types of Silos that most common use:

1. Metal Silos

Metal Silos are the best looking out of all the variables that can be commonly found. It has a shining outer beam effect due to the galvanized metal it is made of. The structure is similar to that of a cylinder constructed onto the ground. It has a flat bottom and a conical top/flat top depending on the design requirements. A padlock system provides for the grains to enter and exit the tank through a pipe connecting to the base of the Silo wall. The base plate may come with concrete fitting for more stability as these Silos are huge holding grain capacity of anywhere between 10-25 tones. These are useful as the cover of metallic material traps any unwanted moisture or dust to invalid the entire storing process.

2. Tower Silos

These Silos are distinct for their tall height as much as 100 meters high and 30 meters wide. Here the materials that are used to make the silo might vary. It can be made from wood, concrete or metal like steel panels. These variations in material usage can be linked to operational cost during manufacturing and also it can determine how durable the tanks will be. Tower Silos are also cylindrical but longer in length. Due to its height it can get difficult to load and unload grains, hence a mechanical loader is needed to offload the grains into the Silo. Tower Storage Silos are not recommended for India as the conditions do not suit the temperature requirements.

Low-oxygen Silos are specially made to store grains and feed in a tower type Silo enclosure at low atmospheric temperature as it retains the high quality and produce to the end customer for maximum satisfaction. The low oxygen lets the grain ferment and that is from time to time opened directly for loading and unloading activities.

They are a highly capable storage system as they don’t fall prone to any decay or damage. You can be sure to see such structures in the agricultural and industrial landscapes of Australia, US and Canada. Also, the cost of these structures is higher as compared to their horizontal counterparts.

3. Horizontal Silos

These Silos are low lying or even called as mobile Silos due their easily shiftable structures. These are used in places of low height availability where cranes and other vehicles cannot be used to anchor stuff. Due to their positioning, cleaning can be made a lot easier with leaving both sides open for proper ventilation after grains disposal. These Silos give the cheapest options to any buyer looking to store grains on an economical level.

4. Pit Silos

The advantages of pit silos are that they are circular deep which means they can store grains just like the tower Silos but in an open uncovered kind of structure which prevents spoilage due to climatic conditions. It is designed in such a way that it is sealed from all corners and bottom so that water does not seep in. This is great for terroir that poses low water index and loose soil.

Pit Silos are the same as above ground Silo just that they are deeper to provide greater capacity with the wall plastered around it. Not just storage but also retainment of grains quality as keep the silage intact.

Pit Silos can be made of boundary walls containing materials like stones, cement or concrete. The top cover surface which will cover the entire silage is made sure that it's completely air tight and water tight.

5. Trench Silos

Trench Silos are dug up from the ground and can be made without any use of materials like brick, cement, concrete or steel. However, Trench silos might get greater spoilage as their caved-in walls curve due to excessive water seepage, making the bottom area muddy. So, the walls of the trench silos are now starting to be built with brick, concrete or cement plaster reinforced by a mesh wiring. Drainage system is highly recommended for the silage to not come in contact with water sources.

6. Synthetic Silos

This type of Silo is made from a dense matter combination of butyl rubber and high-density polyethylene. It is therefore very strong and can hold large amounts of grains in storage. They can be tied upside down for further space reduction. They are generally used only in a few countries and might be more susceptible to rodents or animal manifestation.