Bolted Construction Silos Offer Flexibility and Economy

Originally developed in the early 1900’s for liquid storage, bolted tanks were adapted in the 1930’s for dry bulk storage applications, with first applications being in the grain industry. The smooth interior walls and gasketed bolted joint system (per Specification API-12B) proved very durable and economical when compared to the tanks that were then used (concrete and site welded). These early grain tanks proved so durable that it is common to see these now 50 to 60 year old tanks still in service.

As with the bolted liquid tanks, these tanks incorporate a lap joint vertical wall seam layout with a flanged horizontal wall seam, and use synthetic rubber and elastomeric gaskets to seal the panel joints. Materials of construction include mild steel and stainless steel, and protective coatings for the steel tanks include factory applied baked on epoxy and hot dip galvanized systems. These tanks are normally configured with a flat concrete floor or steel cone hopper, steel walls and a steel deck.

Since the mid 1970’s, these tanks have seen strong growth around the world, and are now in use in over 120 countries. Excellent economics and low maintenance requirements are the trademark characteristics of this tank.

Bolted tanks offer a very wide range of sizes, capacities, configurations and applications. They are available for quick delivery and erection, they have low life time ownership costs, are easy to assemble, and are easily delivered worldwide. Their structural integrity is not compromised by construction labor, they are easily expanded and relocated, and within their applicable ranges and configurations they typically offer the lowest initial and total life-cycle ownership costs.

For industrial storage applications the bolted tank is usually lowest initial cost and almost always the lowest life time cost. Industrial storage applications can be described as frequent silo filling and emptying frequency (daily, weekly or monthly) with any dry bulk products, as well as infrequent filling and emptying with heavier products (i.e., products with a bulk density > 640 kg/m3).

Typical size ranges

Flat bottom terminal bulk storage – from 15 m3 to 50,000 m3 in diameters from 3 m to 60 m.
Cone hopper bottom tanks – from 36 m3 to 3,500 m3 in diameters from 2.81 m to 11.78 m.

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