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RE: Steel Silo Bins

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>I've been asked to design some steel silo bins and support framing.  The
>silos will be about 12 ft. dia. and 20 ft. tall.  It holds a glass
>powder with a density of 50 pcf.
This isn't the simplest job you've ever managed. Silos look pretty 
trivial, but bulk materials are a black art. Here's a starter to get your 
feet wet. <> The American Society of 
Agricultural Engineers has some literature 
<> on Code approaches, but 
the mechanics of making particulate materials move when and where you 
want isn't easy. Then comes the matter of  of corrugated material and 
orthotropic shells--silos don't work like buildings.

I got involved with some bin failures a number of years ago including one 
that was about 50 feet in diameter. The things you can and cannot do with 
bins are non-obvious, and the one that I got the best look at was verging 
on collapse when a very perceptive businesswoman saw to it that it was 
emptied, even though she didn't know jack about hoop stresses and angles 
of repose. She probably saved some lives, and certainly saved some money. 
It was a little scary looking at broken bolts and matchmarks and an 
inward bulge from an eccentric draw-off and realizing what might've 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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