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Silo Flow Pattern Makes All the Difference
Posted by Dennis Blauser, July 11, 2022
Concrete silos have four different flow patterns depending on the construction, cone angles, and stored material. These flow patterns dictate how stored material moves through your silo.
 
Mass Flow Silo
  • First out flow sequence
  • Segregated particles remix as discharged
  • Ideal for coal, other combustible or perishable materials
 
Funnel Flow Silo
  • Middle first flow sequence
  • Should be emptied regularly
  • Ideal for coarse, non-degrading solids with minimal segregation and free flow
 
Expanded Flow Silo
  • Middle first flow sequence
  • Should be emptied regularly
  • Ideal for large diameter silos with short-term storage
 
Fluidized Flow Silo
  • Fluid-like flow sequence
  • Fine powders are aerated as discharged
  • Not suitable for combustible materials
 
Once a silo begins to lose flow, this accelerates the buildup over time and can lead to additional blockages. While these are the standard flow patterns for concrete silos, the unique shape of concrete domes creates a non-standard flow pater that can increase the likelihood of material buildup. The shape also makes removing said buildup from dome walls and fluidizing equipment more difficult. In both concrete domes and concrete silos, however, once material flow begins to slow, material buildup accelerates and can lead to additional blockages.
 
Proper material flow in silos is important for more than just production schedules. Issues with material flow can cause increased stress on silo walls that may go beyond what the silo was designed to withstand, causing cracking, spalling, wall separation, or structural failure.
 
Proper cleaning and care will increase your silo's useable lifespan and minimize big-ticket repair and cleaning costs. It can also allow you to recover stagnant material that has built up inside the silo.
 
Find out more about the different types of concrete silo flow patterns or schedule your next silo inspection.
 
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