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Steel Silos and Bins or Concrete? - Dixie Southern

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Weighing the Options: Steel Silos and Bins or Concrete?

May 24, 2016

There are innumerable methods for storing grain, silage, coal, woodchips, food products, and other bulk materials. The most common are towers, bunkers, and bins.

Towers, Bunkers, and Bins

You’re well aware of what a tower silo is, and a bin is more or less a shorter, wider tower. Bunkers, on the other hand, are built into the ground and the bulk material is stored in a trench with an airtight top. Bunker silos are less regulated than towers and bins, and there are countless do-it-yourself bunker silo “designs” currently in use. As we have seen thousands of examples of bunker silos with incorrect seals, overflowing materials, and faulty designs that result in 25 – 30% losses, it’s advisable to go with a tower silo or bin. Though the costs may be more upfront, you’ll make that money back over time.

Bins and Tower Silos: Steel or Concrete?

  • Construction

While a steel silo or bin is designed and constructed by a custom steel fabricator, concrete silos must be built on-location. Construction impacts not only convenience, but also business operations—plus the weather and the useful life of concrete add difficult time constraints. The useful life of concrete is just 2-3 hours before it begins losing its optimal characteristics.

  • Costs

The design and construction process for concrete silos is a dynamic. It involves more people, more time, and ultimately higher costs. A custom steel fabricator can deliver a steel silo and erect it while also installing any accessories you may need at a fraction of the cost.

  • Design

Steel silos and bins generally deliver greater storage capacity per dollar spent. Both steel silos and concrete silos are airtight if designed and erected/constructed correctly, but steel silos hold an advantage in aeration. Short/wide steel silos and steel bins are more resilient to outside temperature because of their aeration systems. Additionally, the foundation requirements for steel silos are not as strict as those for concrete silos. The load-bearing requirements of concrete silos are very strict because of the added weight of their building material.

Steel Silos and Steel Bins That Meet Your Exact Specifications

Dixie-Southern is a custom steel fabricator with 40 years of experience providing heavy-plate steel work and fabrication to a variety of industries. We design, fabricate, and deliver large-diameter pipe, pressure vessels, non-code tanks, heavy-welded ductwork, steel silos, wind turbine towers, and lots more. Our Easy Quote Form makes submitting your steel silo or steel bin specifications easy, and our location near two Florida ports and major interstates makes shipping streamlined. For more information on our approach to custom steel fabrication, please visit our homepage today.

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