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Re: Steel Silo Bins

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Good comments from other but would add one more caution.  If not vented properly at the top you can sometimes pull a vacuum depending on the properties of the material flowing from the bottom assuming this is your situation.

Tee supports are pretty simple.  Design as an inverted pendulum non-building structure.  An easy way to go is to use a square tube column welded to a wide flange beam where the beam flange is slightly larger than the tube.  This allows one fillet all around and seals it from the elements.  Slap a baseplate to the bottom and your done.  From experience do not skimp on the baseplate thickness or anchor bolt diameter.  If you have very tall tee supports (say over 20 feet) or potential dynamic forces from the pipe system go with 8 smaller anchor bolts (three each side) instead of 4 large ones.  Look to see if there are any pipe anchors or guides that can throw large forces into one or two of your supports.  Anchor, guide, and thermal pipe friction forces can be significantly larger than wind or earthquake forces depending on size and configuration of your piping system.

Thomas Hunt, S.E.
ABS Consulting

richard lewis <rlewistx(--nospam--at)>

06/25/2004 01:45 PM

Please respond to

Steel Silo Bins

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.  It is exterior exposure.  The contractor wants
to fabricate the silo from steel sheets.  Are there any design standards
or methods of design literature available to design these?

Also, I've been asked to design a 'T' pipe rack system for the pipes to
the silo.  Any good references for pipe racks?

Any insight would be helpful.


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