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Bulging and Cracked Stave Silo Walls with Broken Frame - Pennsylvania

Market: Manufacturing

Material Stored: Clay

Silo Size: 28' diameter by 58' tall

Issue: Bulging and cracked wall with a broken frame.

Silos for repair
A concrete stave silo cracking from continued stress on its walls.


Stave silos were originally designed and used in agricultural markets for silage storage and are typically less than 30’ in diameter. Stave silos were adapted for use in industry. The introduction of side discharge chutes, vacuum or pressure loading and unloading, heavier materials and the need for faster throughput requirements have led to misuse and resulting complications. As demonstrated by the silo above, stave silos were not engineered for industrial applications. With the continued stress put on the structure the wall began to push or bow out from its normal form, cracking the concrete staves around this frame.


Silos for repair
A closer view of the cracking silo.


Pictured above is a closer view that shows the broken frame which is almost completely pushed out of the silo wall. The steel galvanized hoops are attached to this frame. As it is pushed out of the wall, this entire cross section of the silo’s structural integrity is compromised. This is the initial stage of a silo wall failure and, if not addressed, can lead to a catastrophic failure of the silo wall.

It is far more cost effective to make repairs of this nature, rather than build a new silo for changing applications and markets. Stave silos, however, must be inspected regularly to ensure they remain safe and efficient. As application needs change over time and new factors are integrated with an older structure, a professional silo engineer must be consulted to ensure continued safety.


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