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Stacking Tube Coal Silo Inspection Following a Fire - West Virginia

Market: Power

Material Stored: Coal

Silo Size: 20' diameter by 112' tall

Issue: Coal fire inside the silo.

Silos for inspection
A stacking tube silo.


Stacking Tubes can be constructed using the same Jumpform technology as much larger storage silos. Stacking Tubes, sometimes called Lowering Wells, store bulk material in an external conical pile and double as conveyor supports. The material is conveyed to the top of the stacking tube and dropped in by gravity.

An inspection was required on this stacking tube due to a fire that occurred in the lower one third of the tube. Because of the heat, the structure was weakened. In addition to the fire damage, there are obvious signs of impact damage caused by dozers moving the coal piled around the stacking tube over the years. Pictured below is a closer look at one of the discharge points showing visible structural steel around the discharge and obvious impact scarring of the concrete.


Silos for inspection
A closer look at one of the discharge points.


Stacking Tubes are an economical method for storage and material transport in this nature. The construction cost is less expensive than traditional silos because they are much smaller in size and do not have to sustain the vast loads of a traditional concrete silo. It is, however, still important to have these structures inspected regularly by a professional engineer to maintain the efficient operation of the material storage and handling system. To date this stacking tube is still standing, but is not in operation.