Silo Inspection Components
All of our inspections examine aspects known to be potential areas of failure. In general, this includes foundations, walls and roofs. For concrete silos, it also includes cones or discharge configuration.
A strong foundation is integral to wall stability and the overall safety of the workplace or structure. Cracking foundations and earth erosion around the foundation are relatively easy to identify during general inspection if above grade. Other issues, such as settlement, can only be determined through close examination by a qualified professional.
Walls are placed under an enormous amount of stress horizontally and vertically during the concrete structure or silo's normal useful life. These stresses can result in horizontal, vertical or diagonal cracking of the concrete walls or offset stave joints in stave silo construction. Cracked silo walls can indicate delamination, which greatly comprises the structural integrity of steel reinforcement in the silo wall and can potentially lead to failure or collapse if not repaired immediately.
Silo Cones, Floors, Shelves and Tunnels
Silo discharge cones are frequently at the forefront of silo failures. Silo discharge cones are of utmost concern in being inspected for wear, weld condition and structural integrity. Silo floors, shelves, and tunnels are particular areas of concern regarding concrete deterioration. They typically involve an interface of steel and concrete that can draw moisture, introduce or show signs of movement relative to the structure and lead to water and material leaks.
As with any structure, the roof generally receives the brunt of physical and environmental abuse. Proper roof maintenance is needed to keep the materials within the silo safe and dry and prevent further damage to other concrete structures. Silo roofs are subject to abuse from overfilling, explosions, vibrations and movement during silo loading or unloading and overloading, as well as environmental abuse. A buildup of excess material leaking from conveyors on top of the roof can put undue stress on the internal infrastructure and lead to roof sag, increasing the risk of collapse.