The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos … August, 01

1 1.1

INTRODUCTION General

The storage of granular solids in bulk represents an important stage in the production of many substances derived in raw material form and requiring subsequent processing for final use. These include materials obtained by mining, such as metal ores and coal; agricultural products, such as wheat, maize and other grains; and materials derived from quarrying or excavation processes, for example sand and stone. All need to be held in storage after their initial derivation, and most need further processing to yield semi- or fully-processed products such as coke, cement, flour, concrete aggregates, lime, phosphates and sugar. During this processing stage further periods of storage are necessary. In the Southern African region, with its vast raw material resources, the storage of bulk solids plays an essential part in many industries, including coal and ore mining, generation of electricity, manufacture of chemicals, agriculture, and food processing. The means of storage of these materials is generally provided by large storage vessels or bins, built in steel or reinforced concrete, located at or above ground level.

1.2

Design

The functional planning and structural design of such containers represent specialised skills provided by the engineering profession. Unfortunately there is a lack of comprehensive literature, covering all aspects of bin design, available to the practising engineer. It is the purpose of this publication to present the necessary guidelines to enable the design function to be carried out efficiently and safely, as related to the wide range of typical small, medium and fairly large storage containers or bins built in steel. In the past the design of bins was based on static pressures derived from simple assumptions regarding the forces exerted by the stored material on the walls of the bin, with no allowance for increased pressures imposed during filling or emptying. In the present text, advantage has been taken of a large amount of research work that has been carried out during recent decades in various countries, especially the United States and Australia. It is hoped that the application of the better understanding of flow loads and the analysis of their effects will lead to the design of safer bins and the avoidance of serious and costly failures such as have occurred in the past.

1.3

Terminology

Regarding descriptive terminology applicable to containment vessels, it should be noted that the word "bin" as used in this text is intended to apply in general to all such containers, whatever their shape, ie whether circular, square or rectangular in plan, whether at or above ground level, whatever their height to width ratio, or whether or not they have a hopper bottom. More specific terms, related to particular shapes or proportions, are given below, but even here it must be noted that the definitions are not necessarily precise.

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The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos … August, 01

a)

A bin may be squat or tall, depending upon the height to width ratio, Hm D, where Hm is the height of the stored material from the hopper transition level up to the surcharged material at its level of intersection with the bin wall, with the bin full, and where D is the plan width or diameter of a square or circular bin or the lesser plan width of a rectangular bin. Where Hm D is equal to or less than 1,0 the bin is defined as squat, and when greater as tall. A silo is a tall bin, having either a flat or a hopper bottom. The hopper transition level of a bin is the level of the transition between the vertical side and the sloping hopper bottom. A bunker is a container square or rectangular in plan and having a flat or hopper bottom. A hopper, where provided, is the lower part of a bin, designed to facilitate flow during emptying. It may have an inverted cone or pyramid shape or a wedge shape; the wedge hopper extends for the full length of the bin and may have a continuous outlet or several discrete outlets. A multi-cell bin or bunker is one that is divided, in plan view, into two or more separate cells or compartments, each able to store part of the material independently of the others. The outlets may be individual pyramidal hoppers (ie one per cell) or may be a continuous wedge hopper with a separate outlet for each cell. A ground-mounted bin is one having a flat bottom, supported at ground level. An elevated bin or bunker is one supported above ground level on columns, beams or skirt plates and usually having a hopper bottom.

b) c) d) e)

f)

g) h)

1.4

Design procedure

The full design procedure for a typical steel bin would comprise a series of activities as described in the ensuing text, but which can be summarised as follows: a) Assessment of material properties This involves an examination of the stored material with a view to determining its properties as affecting both the functional and the structural design of the bin. The properties include the density of the material, its compressibility, and its angle of internal friction, angle of repose and angle of wall friction. For the majority of stored materials such as ores, coal, grain, etc these properties can be obtained from the tables given in Chapter 2, but for unusual materials or very large silos the properties should be determined from laboratory tests or by reference to specialist materials handling technologists.

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The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos … August, 01

b)

Assessment of flow characteristics Based on the material properties mentioned above, it is necessary to determine the flow characteristics of the material and thus determine the optimum shape or geometry of the bin to ensure satisfactory emptying and the prevention of hangups such as arching or bridging. It should be noted that there are three main flow patterns when a bin is being emptied, viz mass flow, funnel flow and expanded flow. These are discussed later, but the particular type of flow applicable to a bin depends both on the geometry of the bin and the flow characteristics of the material. Specialists should be consulted in the case of uncommon or suspect materials.

c)

Functional design of bin The design of the bin from a functional or operating point of view, based on the material characteristics described above, is usually undertaken by material flow technologists. This will involve the selection of the required depth, width and height to accommodate the specified volume of material, the slope of the hopper bottom, location of hopper hip, size and location of outlets, etc. Some guidance is given in chapter 3.

d)

Determination of pressures and forces The normal and frictional forces exerted by the material on the inner surfaces or walls of the bin are determined, considering the dynamic effects during filling, the static effects during storage and the dynamic effects during emptying, plus effects due to temperature, expansion of contents, etc, when present. The magnitude and distribution of the wall forces will depend on the applicable flow mode, the effects of switch pressure in bins with hopper bottoms, and the effects of eccentric discharge where applicable. Pressure diagrams showing the magnitude and distribution of pressure and frictional force are prepared for each inner surface of the bin for the filling and emptying phases, for use in the structural design of the bin.

e)

Structural design The structural design of the bin, including all of its components, can now be carried out, for the various loads and load combinations applicable. Methods are given in the text for the analysis of rectangular and circular bins, bunkers, hoppers and silos, using conventional design practice or more recently developed methods.

1.5

Flow chart

A flow chart depicting the activities described above is given in Fig 1.1 for easy reference. The four main phases, viz (a) assessment of material characteristics, (b) functional design of bin, (c) determination of design loading, and (d) structural design, are clearly identified. The first two activities, may be undertaken by the client or by a
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01 specialist retained by him. support beams and columns Fig.1. The third and fourth activities would be the responsibility of the structural design engineer. hoppers. hoppers. (a) MATERIAL FLOW TESTS (b) FUNCTIONAL DESIGN OF BIN MASS FLOW FUNNEL FLOW EXPANDED FLOW (c) DESIGN LOADING FILLING CONDITIONS EMPTYING CONDITIONS ECCENTRIC DISCHARGE CONDITIONS (d) STRUCTURAL DESIGN OF BINS CIRCULAR BINS Plating. stiffeners.1 – Flow chart of bin design activities – 1. stiffeners.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos … August. skirt plates RECTANGULAR BINS Plating. ring beams. columns.4 – .

hoppers and silos. Alternatively advice may be obtained from specialist sources locally. containing materials with known or predictable properties and flow characteristics.5 – . stored materials having unusual properties. etc. asymmetric bin geometry. 01 1.6 Scope of text The contents of this publication are intended to serve as guidelines for the design of the various types of containment vessel built in steel for the storage of bulk solids. It will thus be of assistance in the typical engineering design office and will enable the structural design of bins to be carried out efficiently and safely. bunkers. Where any of these unusual circumstances are present. etc. it must be stated that the structural design of the bin must be undertaken by persons suitably experienced in this class of work. on the assumption that the functional or operating aspects have been dealt with by a specialist materials flow technologist.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos … August. medium and fairly large size and of conventional shape. – 1. because of the wide range of variables that may apply in the case of non-standard material types. reference should be made to the publications or papers dealing with the particular topic. as mentioned in Chapter 8. and especially in the interpretation of the theories and methods employed. bin geometries. the text concentrates on the structural aspects of bin design. As implied in the title of the publication. as quoted in the text. and as stated above. The subject matter presented covers the large majority of such vessels of small. Finally. It must be emphasized that the text does not cover all aspects of bin design. including bins. Such variables would include eccentric filling and emptying points. The overall responsibility for the structural design must be taken by a registered Professional Engineer.

1 — . These flow characteristics govern the flow pattern during discharge and the loads on the vertical and hopper walls are governed by the flow pattern. The recommended procedure is to test the material for its flow characteristics. The test procedures used are outlined in the publications Storage and Flow of Solids. and assumptions of loading conditions which are not concurrent with the flow pattern occurring in the bin during discharge can lead to serious problems. ie establish the desired flow pattern in the bin during discharge conditions. a sample of the material is tested by means of specially designed test equipment. and tests are performed in accordance with the procedures and recommendations developed by them. In most countries of the world equipment designed by Jenike and Johanson is used. August..1 PROPERTIES OF STORED MATERIALS Introduction Materials stored in bins have their own material flow characteristics which have to be taken into account in the design of the bins and silos. Not taking account of the flow characteristics can lead to improper functioning of the bin.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . 01 2 2.2 Material flow tests In order to establish the flow characteristics of a stored material. perform the functional or geometrical design. Salt Lake City. — 2. Bulletin No 123 of the UTAH Engineering Experiment Station of the University of Utah. Utah. as well as filling (or initial) and emptying (or flow) conditions. by Dr Andrew W Jenike.. 2. Chapter 4 gives all of the equations necessary to determine the forces on the vertical walls and hopper walls for mass flow and funnel flow conditions. and only then establish all design loads for the structural design.

For storage facilities with capacities in excess of 100 t.3 Tables of material properties Although it is advisable to test materials in order to establish their flow characteristics. piping and other related flow problems.2 — . ie the design required for proper functioning of the bin. Angle of friction between the solid and the wall or liner material. φw. and the chosen geometrical design governs flow patterns and subsequent loading conditions. August. should always be based on test results. Additional results may be derived from the tests. the functional or geometrical design. Effective angle of internal friction. (some guidance is given in chapter 3) A report.. All of the above values are obtained by test under varying pressures. These tables have been developed from averaged-out results derived from numerous tests. The data provided should only be used for the loading assessment of small bins with capacities not exceeding about 100 t. This report is used for the final geometrical or functional design of the bin. 01 The following information is obtained from the tests: • • • • Bulk density. Angle of internal friction. γ. it is highly recommended that the stored material be tested for its flow characteristics prior to the design of the geometrical arrangement or the determination of the loading on vertical and hopper walls.. — 2. but these are not relevant to this guideline because they are mainly used for the functional or geometrical design of a bin or silo. reflecting all minimum requirements for continuous gravity flow conditions derived from the test results. and it should be noted that some of these material characteristics show large variances. In order to eliminate arching. can be obtained from bulk solids flow consultants. tables reflecting typical flow properties of various materials with different moisture contents are provided at the end of this chapter. δ. 2. φ.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .

1 Mass flow bins (Type 1) Mass flow bins are bins in which all of the stored material is in motion during discharge. and material where segregation causes problems.2 Funnel flow bins or silos (Type 2) A funnel flow bin is a bin in which part of the stored material is in motion during discharge while the rest is stagnant. Fine powders have sufficient time to de-aerate and so flooding and flushing of material will be eliminated. If not properly designed the non-flowing solids might consolidate and a pipe will form through which the material will flow while the rest will remain stagnant. inflowing valleys. These bins are suitable for coarse. free flowing. first-out pattern for the material. it will remix in the hopper and segregation is minimised. August. When material is discharged from a bin. 2.4 Flow patterns Bins may be classified into three different types. When material is charged into a bin it will segregate. last-out flow pattern for the material. steep hopper wall allows the material to flow along its face and this will give a first-in. 01 2. and fine powders can aerate and fluidize. and particular care should be taken in assuring flow through the entire discharge opening. — 2. The smooth. sudden hopper transitions.. Material will flow through a central core and this will give a first-in.3 — . The hoppers of these bins are not steep enough to allow material to flow along their face. These bins are especially recommended for cohesive materials. with coarse material located at the wall face and fines in the middle of the bin. each type having its relevant vertical and hopper wall loads. Flow out of these bins can be erratic.4..The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . 2. non-degrading materials and where segregation is not a problem. slightly cohesive. fine powders. The bins should not have any ledges. materials which degrade in time.4. Pressures in a mass flow bins are relatively uniform across any horizontal cross section of the hopper.

eg the hopper. forms the mass flow section and the upper part. ie the vertical walled section.4 — . represents the funnel flow section.1.4.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . August. These bins are used especially for large storage capacities and where multiple outlets are required. The flow patterns of the three types of bin are illustrated in Figure 2. The lower part..3 Expanded flow bins (Type 3) An expanded flow bin is a combination of a mass flow and a funnel flow bin.. Type 1 Mass Flow Type 2 Funnel Flow Type 3 Expanded Flow — 2. 01 2.

or employ a material flow technologist himself after discussion with the client. 3. width and height to accommodate the specified volume of material.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos … August. no control at the feeder and quality problems down the line due to irregular feed. – 3. This is caused by either the cohesive strength of the material or by the mechanical interlocking of the larger particles.1 The design of the bin from a functional or operating point of view.2 Typical flow problems There are a number of flow problems of which the designer should be aware. fluidise and flush resulting in spillage. These are summarised as follows: No Flow condition A stable arch forms over the discharge opening or a pipe (rathole) forms within the bulk solid above the hopper. the slope of the hopper bottom. reducing the live capacity to a fraction of the total volume and requiring severe hammering. This involves the selection of the required depth. is usually undertaken by material flow technologists. ASSESSMENT OF FLOW CHARACTERISITCS AND FUNCTIONAL DESIGN Introduction 3. size and location of the outlets. based on the material characteristics described in chapter 2. prodding or mechanical vibration to restore flow of the material in the dead regions. Flushing Mainly a problem with powders which in funnel flow conditions aerate. It is better to pass this responsibility back to the client who will employ a material flow technologist.1 – . The engineer should never take responsibility for the functional design of the bin unless he/she is qualified to do so. location of the hopper hip. 01 3. Erratic flow Momentary arch formation/collapse within the bulk solid or partial/total collapse of a rathole. Inadequate capacity Due to rathole formation or hangups in poorly designed hoppers a large proportion of the material remains dead in the silo.

01 Segregation The different particle sizes within the bulk solid tend to sift through eachother causing accumulation of fine particles in the centre of the storage facility and coarse particles around it. Structural failure Drag forces on silo walls can exceed the buckling strength of the silo walls. In first-in-last-out flow conditions through a silo (Funnel flow).2 – . Moisture Content The flow of bulk solids is generally affected by the surface moisture content up to 20% of the saturation point. Vibrations Vibrations caused by solids flow can lead to serious structural problems. may be subject to spontaneous combustion with disastrous consequences. grains. some material may be trapped within the silo for extended periods and will only come out when the silo is completely emptied. 3. where pockets of material are trapped for extended periods. Chemical composition Chemical reaction of materials stored in a silo may change the flow characteristics of the material – 3. sponge iron etc) subject to first-in-last-out flow conditions. This problem causes serious effects on product quality and plant operation for certain process applications Degradation Spoilage. Temperature Some bulk solids are affected by temperature or variation in temperature.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos … August. Spontaneous combustion Certain combustible bulk solids (coal. such as thermoplastic powders or pellets. caking. or oxidation may occur within bulk solids during handling and when kept in a silo for too long a period. This is covered in more detail in chapter 5. Variables affecting the flow of bulk solids include: Consolidating Pressure The magnitude of surcharge loads exerted by the material inside the silo has a significant effect on the flowability of the material because it increases mechanical interlocking and cohesive arch formation.3 Variables affecting solids flowability Before geometrical design of a silo commences. it is essential that the flow characteristics of the bulk solid have been established and the conditions the material will be subjected to inside the silo under operating conditions are adequately defined.

burnt lime.A . Time under consolidation Materials subject to consolidation pressure for extended periods of time may compact with a resulting decrease in flowability. Facilities for flowability testing of bulk solids and the expertise for analysis and interpretation of the results are available at Bulk Solids Flow S.g. sugar etc. – 3.4 Flow Testing In addition to the testing of basic material properties such as bulk density. These tests are beyond the scope of this guideline. 3. ( Carnallite harvested from dead sea brines).The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos … August. The majority of bulk solids are however not strain rate sensitive.3 – . specific tests can be done to determine the flowability of a material. 01 Relative humidity Hygroscopic materials are particularly sensitive to conditions of high relative humidity with significant effect on flowability of the material. Gradation Particle size distribution and in particular fines content in many bulk solids can have a significant effect on flowability of the material particularly if moisture is present Effect of liner materials Friction angles of the material against the liner change from one type of liner to another. e. Strain rate Bulk solids with a viscous component need to be testes at various strain rates to determine the effect on flow properties. angle of wall friction etc . fertiliser.

The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos … August.4 – . 01 3. Figure 3.5 Determination of Mass and Funnel flow The following curves have been taken from the Institution of Engineers Australia “Guidelines for the Assessment of Loads on Bulk Solids Containers” Please note that they are to be used as a guide and do not provide absolute values.1 The boundaries between mass flow and funnel flow (Coefficient of wall friction vs Half hopper angle) – 3.

August.1.1 — . Internal pressure suction Wind loads. This is indicated in the following sections. This is illustrated in Figure 4. emptying or flow loads. Effects of solar radiation Settlement of supports Classification of bins — Squat or tall • • • • • • • 4. Loads from platforms and bin roofs. Loads from plant and equipment. A tall bin is one in which this height is greater than the above limit.. or the lesser plan dimension of a rectangular bin. respectively. A squat bin is defined as one in which the height from the hopper transition to the level of intersection of the stored material with the wall of the bin is less than or equal to the diameter of a circular bin. or the width of a square bin. depending on their ratio of height to diameter or width. These may be summarised as follows: • Loads from stored materials: filling or initial loads.. 4.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . 01 4 4. applicable to the initial and flow conditions and relating to the walls of squat and tall bins and the hoppers.3 Loads from stored materials The loadings applied by the stored material to the inner surfaces of a bin are based on various theories.2 Regarding the loads imposed by the stored material. Loads due to eccentric discharge conditions. bins may be classified as squat or tall.1 LOADING Introduction This chapter deals with the various live loads to which a typical bin structure is subject. In the material loading equations given later a distinction is made between the load intensities applicable to squat bins and tall bins respectively. — 4.

K also has maximum and minimum values. This factor is dependent on the effective angle of internal friction δ. The wall loads are furthermore dependent on the coefficient of friction µ between the material and the vertical wall and hopper of the bin.3. and since the latter has upper and lower limits for each type of stored material. 4. This value also has upper and lower limits for each type of stored material and type of bin wall or lining material.2 — .The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . The minimum K and µ values are used to obtain maximum loads on the hopper walls and in cases where internal columns are used. August. — 4. The maximum K and µ values derived from the lower limits for δ and .φ are used. which is the ratio of horizontal to vertical pressure.1 Loads on vertical walls of squat bins The method used for determining the loads during the filling or initial condition is based on the Rankine theory..1: Bin classification – Squat or tall In all cases the pressures normal to the surfaces are obtained from the calculated vertical pressures by use of a factor K. to obtain extreme maximum and minimum loads on these structural members.φ are used. For the emptying or flow condition the maximum K and µvalues derived from the upper limits for δ and .. 01 D D Hm (a) Squat bin Hm ≤ D Hm (b)Tall bin Hm ≤ D (c) Plan Shapes Fig 4.

4). the Janssen theory is used for load assessment. are the same as for mass flow hoppers. This localised pressure intensity is also referred to as 'switch pressure'. apply. these shapes apply mainly to concrete bins with slab bottoms.3 Loads on walls of mass flow hoppers Walker's theory is used in determining loads during the filling or initial stage. During flow an overpressure occurs on the hopper wall just below the transition. The bins are shown as either squat or tall. For the emptying or flow condition. — 4. Maximum K and µ values. The maximum K and µ values. and the hopper wall slopes are either steep (for mass flow of the contents during emptying) or not so steep (for funnel flow). 5 and 6). the latter being either the mass flow or the funnel flow condition. is used.2). derived from the upper limits for δ and .4 Loads on walls of funnel flow hoppers The methods used here. For this condition the maximum K and µ values.3.φ. In all cases the design of the bin and hopper walls would require consideration of the initial or filling condition and the flow or emptying condition. August.5 Examples of bin shapes and types of flow Examples of various combinations of bin shape and type of flow are illustrated in Figure 3.. The wall loads depend on the flow pattern. the Jenike method. apply. Also shown are bins having flat bottoms with hoppers having plan shapes occupying less than the plan area of the bin (examples 4. the Jenike method is used. 4.2.φ’.2 Loads on vertical walls of tall bins For the filling or initial condition.3. For the emptying or flow condition. derived from the lower limits for δ and . including the K and µ values. derived from the lower limits for δ and . except that no over-pressure occurs.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . 4. viz mass or funnel flow (see section 2.3.φ’.φ’.6. 4. apply.3 — . with maximum values of K and µ. derived from the upper limits for δ and . which has a peak value at the transition level and extends downwards in a diminishing triangular pattern for a distance of about 0. with either steel or concrete hoppers..3 times the top width of the hopper (see section 3. apply.3. based on strain energy. 01 4.

4 — . _ D H _ _ H D >1 The hopper valley angles are steep enough to allow materil to flow along its face. Both hoppers are operational at the same time This is a MASS FLOW SILO Hopper and vertical wall to be designed for mass flow conditions.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .2a: Examples of bin shapes and types of flow B — 4. and vertical wall for funnel flow conditions... August. 01 Shape Remarks _ _ H D >1 The hopper is steep enough to allow material to flow along its face H This is a MASS FLOW SILO Hopper and vertical wall to be designed for mass flow conditions. _ _ D H D >1 Hopper top diameter smaller than the silo diameter The hopper is steep enough to allow material to flow along its face H _ This is an EXPANDED FLOW SILO The hopper to be designed for mass flow. Fig4. D _ H _ H D <1 The hopper is not steep enough to allow material to flow along its face This is a FUNNEL FLOW BIN Hopper and vertical wall to be designed for Funnel flow conditions.

This is an EXPANDED FLOW BIN Vertical wall to be designed for funnel flow Hopper 1 to be designed for funnel flow Hopper 2 to be designed for mass flow. and vertical wall to be funnel flow conditions. Fig 4. 01 Shape Remarks _ H _ _ H D >1 Hopper one is not steep enough to allow material to flow along its face Hopper two is steep enough to allow flow along its face.) This is an EXPANDED FLOW SYSTEM The hoppers shall be designed for mass flow conditions. August.. H B >1 Hopper valley angles are steep enough to allow material to flow along the faces H D This is an EXPANDED FLOW SILO The hoppers to be designed for mass flow.5 — . This is an EXPANDED FLOW SYSTEM The hopper shall be designed for mass flow conditions..The hopper is steep enough to allow material to flow along its face.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . (This is to prevent stable rat holing or piping in the stockpile. B - The hoppers are steep enough to allow material to flow along their faces Both hoppers are operational at the same time.2b: Examples of bin shapes and types of flow — 4. .

The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .4 4.1.2 4..5.6 — .6 Initial loading Flow loading Mass flow loading Funnel flow loading Squat bins Tall bins Squat bins Tall bins Tall bins Loads on hopper walls 4.5. August.6 of this chapter.5 and 3.4 Equations for loading on walls – Introduction Equations for the determination of the forces acting on the inner surfaces of the vertical walls and hopper walls of bins are given in parts 3. 01 4.5.6.6. The sequence of the clauses and sub-clauses is summarised in the following table. Values of the hydraulic radius R for hoppers of different shapes and types are given in Table 4.1 4.3 4..1 4. The dimensional symbols are illustrated in the figure following the list.2 4. 4.5 Loads on vertical walls 4.5.3 Initial loading Tall bins Mass flow loading Tall bins Funnel flow loading Tall bins Squat bins Squat bins Squat bins The symbols used in the equations are defined in the list given at the beginning of the book. for easy reference.6. — 4.

.7 — .1: Values of hydraulic radius R for hoppers (For surcharge calculations) Silo Hopper Condition Initial Conical Type A Silo Type B Silo Type C Silo Type D Di 4 Di 4 = Dc 4 Di 4 = Dc 4 Di 4 Dc 4 Da 4 Dc 4 L x Ba 2(L +Ba ) Mass flow Dc 4 Dc 4 L x Ba 2(L +Ba ) Funnel flow Dc 4 Dc 4 Initial Square Mass flow Da 4 Da 4 = Db 4 Da 4 = Db 4 L x Ba 2(L +Ba ) Da 4 Db 2 4 Db 2 4 Di 4 Db 2 4 Db 2 4 Db 2 4 Db 2 4 L x Ba 2(L +Ba ) Funnel flow Initial Da 4 0. August.25 La2 + Bb2 0.25 La2 + Bb2 Funnel flow L x Ba = 2(L +Ba ) La x Bb 2(L a +Bb ) 0.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .25 La2 + Bb2 0.3. Note: For silo Type B..25 La2 + Bb2 Rectangular Mass flow L x Ba = 2(L +Ba ) La x Bb 2(L a +Bb ) 0. C and D material is flowing through a channel with a diameter equal to the top diameter of a conical hopper or the diagonal of square or rectangular hopper. Bb and La are illustrated in Figure 4. — 4. Dc. 01 Table 4.25 La2 + Bb2 Di 4 0.25 La2 + Bb2 The characteristic hopper dimensions Db.

August..5.8 — .5 Loads on vertical walls 4.400 b) 1 − sin δ2 1 + sin δ2 1 − sin2 δ2 1 + sin2 δ2 Sv = µ2 Ph (4. 01 4.5..1 Initial loading Squat bins Ph = γ1 h K2 (4.2) c) — 4.1) where K2 is the greatere of: a) 0.5.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .

9 — La . 01 H Ha Ha Ha hi hi TYPE A hi TYPE B TYPE C hi Ha TYPE D RECTANGULAR HOPPERS SQUARE HOPPERS CONICAL HOPPERS Dc Dc Dc Dc Db Db Db Db Bb Bb Bb Bb La Fig 4. August..3: Characteristic hopper dimensions for different bin shapes and hopper types La La — 4.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos ..

4) Sv = µ2 Ph 4.5. squat bins Ph = γ 1 h K 1 where K1 is the greater of: a) 0.5.5.3 Mass flow loading.8) where m = 0 for plane flow = 1 for axisymmetric flow Kh = x = ν 1− ν µ1 Mm R (4.3) where R = Di for circular bins 4 D = a for square bins 4 L Ba for rectangular bins = 2(L + Ba ) (4.5. 01 Tall bins Ph = γ1R 1 − e − µ 2K 2 h R µ2 ( ) (4.10) — 4.5.2 for plane flow 2ν = µ1 M 2(1−m ) N (4.3 for axisymmetric flow = 0.. August.5.2 Flow loading.5) 1 − sin2 δ1 1 + sin2 δ1 Sv = µ1 Ph (4.5.5.5.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .5.6) 4..400 b) c) 1 − sin δ1 1 + sin δ1 (4.9) ( H − h) (4. tall bins For horizontal pressure Ph: M = 2(1 − ν ) (4.7) where ν = 0.10 — .

11 — .5.5.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .13) (4.5. For frictional force U kN per linear m circumference: M = N = 2(1 − ν ) 2ν µ1 M 2(1− m ) (4.12) (4. August.17) = –A–N = γ 1D2  H  − 4 D  Ae x + Be − x + N   for circular and square bins  4  (4.8) (4.5.5.5.5. a maximum value will be reached somewhat below mid point of the vertica wall. This value shall be used for the remaining part of the vertical wall.17b) where D = Di = diameter of circular bin = Da = width of square bin Ba = width of rectangular bin L = length of rectangular bin — 4.5.15) Kh = x A B U ν 1− ν µ1 H = m M R = − K h M m − 1 (− N )e − x + M m µ1 − K h N K h M m + 1 e x − K h M m − 1 e −x −1 ( ( ) ) ( ( ) ) (4.5.17a) = LBa H − Ae x + Be − x + N  2(L + Ba )  2(L + Ba ) γ 1 LBa  (  ) for rectangular bins   (3.. 01 So = A B = 1 1 − e− µ1K1 h R µ1 K1 − K h Mm − 1 (So − N) e− x + Mm µ1−1 − K h N K h Mm + 1 e x − K h Mm − 1 e− x ( ( ( ) ) ( (4.11) ) ( ) ) (4.5..5.7) (4.14) = So − N − A Ph = γ1R µ  1 − ( A − B ) 1m  µ1  M  In calculating the horizontal pressure Ph from the top of the vertical wall down wards.5.9) (4.16) (4.

01 4.20) (4.5.5. Ph =  1 i − eµ1K1H R  µ  1 In calculating the horixontal pressures Ph from the top downwards.19a)  Ba   for rectangular bins = tan−1  2(H1 − h)  where D = Di = diameter of circular bin β ′ ′ = 0. For frictional force U (kN per linear metre circumference) (As for mass flow loading in 3.25) Ph = K a ( ) ( ) .24) (4.5.5 φ w1 + sin −1 (cos φ w1 ) (4..5. a maximum value will be reached. For the pressure calcultions.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .5.22) where (β + θ ) q = is in radians (4.5.5.5.5.21) x 2 m sinδ 1  sin (2β + θ )   + 1 =  1 − sinδ 1  sinθ   = y (2 {1 − cos(β + θ)})m 1− m (β + θ)1−m sin θ + sin β ⋅ sin1+m(β + θ) (1 − sin δ1) sin2+m (β + θ) (4.. a straight line pressure diagram can be adopted from the maximum achieved pressure downwards to the minimum pressure at the outlet.19b) = Da = width of square bin ( ) (4.12 — . August.23)  2 y(tanθ +sinδ 1 )   − 1  24sinθ  ( x − 1)sinθ   π Ka = (24 tan θ + π q) (1 − sin δ1 tan θ) 16 (sin δ1 + tan θ) γ1 R 1 − e−µ1 K1h R µ1 K1 (4.5.   (γ x R ) The minimum pressure at the outlet.4 Funnel flow loading.3): M = 2(1 − ν ) (4. tall bins For horizontal pressure Ph: θ   D  for circular and square bins = tan−1  2(H1 − h)  (4.7) — 4.5.

α is the half hopper angle.6 Loads on hopper walls Note: In sections 3. α = inclination of wall under consideration.8) (4.5..1 Initial loading For normal pressure Pn: K n α = K min = the greater of = tan α tan φ′ 2 + tan α h  or 0.9) (4.16) (4. 4.5.18b)   2(L + Ba )   ( ) where D = Di = diameter of circular bin = Da = width of square bin Ba = width of rectangular bin L = length of rectangular bin 4.6.1) (4.6. 3.2 and 3.6.3 below. August. ie the inclination of the hopper wall to the vertical (for rectangular hoppers.400 (4.5.17) = –A–N = γ 1 D2  H  − 4 D  Ae x + Be − x + N 4   for circular and square bins   (4.13 — .6.1.15) Kh = x ν 1− ν µ1 H = m M R A B U = − − K h Mm − 1 (− N)e − x + Mm µ1 1− K h N K h Mm + 1 e x − K h Mm − 1 e− x ( ( ) ) ( ( ) ) (4.5.5.5.6. ie either side wall or end wall of hopper).5.2)  (m + 1) K min 1 + tanφ h 2  − 1      ′   tan α  = half hopper angle where m = 0 for plane flow = 1 for axisymmetric flow — 4.18a) = γ1LBa 2(L + Ba )   LBa H − Ae x +Be− x + N  for rectangular bins (4..6. 01 N = µ1M2(1−m ) 2ν (4.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .

6.6. Bb is used when considering the long sides of the hopper and La when considering the ends.11) — 4. see Fig 3.7) = 2 m sin δ 1  sin(2 β + α )  + 1  1 − sin δ 1  sin α  (4. as applicable.8) y = (2 {1 − cos (β + α)})m (β + α)1−m sin α + sin β sin1+m (β + α) (1 − sin δ1) sin2 +m (β + α)  γ 1 D   1− m (4.6. Bb or La.6.9) where (β + α ) n tr = is in radians (4.6.6) 4..5 φ h1 + sin −1   sin δ     1    (4.25  h   γ D (tanα + tanφ′ 1) − 1 + m   3  tanα  1  (4.5b) ( ) For values of R for hoppers see Table 3.6.6.10) y  1 + sinδ 1 cos2β  x − 1 2sin α  where D = Dc.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .. For rectangular hoppers.14 — .6.6. Db. August.5a) (4.3.3) (4.6.4) ho = based on section Qc = γ 1 Ha for squat bins Ac γ1R = 1 − e − µ 2 K 2 H R for tall bins µ2 K 2 (4. 01 n h − z ho  ho − z     o   Pn = γ1K min  +  hc −   h   n − 1 o    n −1    1 Qc where hc = γ 1 Ac (4. q m 1  2n tr 1   π  = 0.6.1 For shear force Sh: Sh = µh2 Pn (4.2 Mass flow loading For normal pressures n t and n tr: β x  ′  sin φ h1    ′ = 0.

Db. C and D   sin 2α  2  4r  Pn = Ph    K +cos α + D µ h1sinα cosα    1    where pressure Pn applies (see below). For shear forces Sh: Sh = µh1 n tr Sh = µh1 n t (4.13c) For values of R see Table 3.13a) (4. see Figure 3. Bb is used when considering the long sides of the hopper and La when considering the ends.12) where Qc Ac = surcharge at top of hopper = γ 1 Ha for squat bins = = (4.6.15) 4.3 Funnel flow loading For normal pressure Pn: Ph = γ 1 K1 (H a + h1 ) for squat bins = = (4.6. August. For square and rectangular bins it flows through a channel with a diameter equal to the diagonal of the top shape of the hopper.6.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .6. as applicable.14) (4.4sinα )m (4. Bb or La.15 — .3 (4. — 4. 01 m Q 4  3.6.6.17) where r = horizontal distance from centre of hopper to point on hopper wall For rectangular hoppers.16b) (4..1 For distribution of pressures see figure at right.6.16a) (4.6..6. C and D the material flows through a channel with diameter Dc.13b) γ1R (1 − e −µ K H R ) for tall bins Type A µ1 K 1 1 1 for tall bins γ1R 1 − e − tan φ1K1Ha R Types B. C and D tanφ1K1 ( ) (4.6.6. and D = Dc.3  c − qγ1D    Ac  π    n t = n tr + (sinα +cosα tanφ′h1) (2 − 0. Note: For bins of Types B.16c) γ1R (1 − e −µ K (H µ1 1 1 1 a + h1 ) R ) for tall bins Type A ) R γ1R (1 − e−tanφ K (H tanφ1 1 a + h1 ) for tall bins Types B.

— 4.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .18)   1  Switch Pressures Switch pressures are only occurring where mass flow hopper meets with the vertical wall of an overall man flow silo. Some judgement in the calculation and use of switch pressure should also be taken in account as with very steep hoppers. August.16 — .. there are no switch pressures occurring. 01 For values of R see Table 3. taking account of the hopper loads with a modified switch pressure. the switch pressures tend to be very high. so where a mass flow hopper is a part of an expanded flow design.6.1. For shear force Sh:  1   2r 2 2   Sh = Ph     K − 1sinα cosα + D µ h1 (cos α − sin α ) (4.. The judgement should be based on a vertical wall design approach.

August.17 — .1) (4. eccentric discharge outlets should be avoided if at all possible in circular bins.... Using Jenike's moment equations. For this reason.7 Eccentric discharge When the discharge opening at the bottom of a circular bin is displaced laterally in plan from the vertical centroidal axis of the bin. the moment per unit length due to eccentric discharge is M = K R2 P where K = R (4. deformation of the cylindrical shell in plan tends to occur. although larger values may occur.2)  sin 2θ tanθ  sinθ 1 −   cos(φ ′ − θ )  π w1   = radius of bin θ = eccentricity angle θ′ = maximum angle of friction between material and wall w1 P = normal pressure The value of θ recommended for use in the above equation is 21º. ie Po Ph = r R (Ref . The material flows through an eccentric channel as shown in Figure 4. eccentric discharge conditions are introduced. The ratio of the horizontal pressure in the flow channel to the horizontal pressure in the rest of the bin is in direct proportion to that of the radii of the flow channel and the bin respectively.7.7..A W Jenike). Because of the large difference between the pressures Po and P. 01 4. and strengthening of the shell becomes necessary.4.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . — 4.

.6).5.25) may be used. August. (4.5.5. Thus in calculating lateral pressures Ph and frictional forces Sv and U for the vertical walls under initial and emptying conditions.2). (4. (4. 01 Fig4. where δ is the effective angle of internal friction of the material. and so are subject to funnel flow during emptying. w — 4. The vertical friction forces at the walls are not generated by the sliding of the contents against the walls.18) and (4.4: Eccentric discharge of circular bins 4. and the tangent of this angle substituted for µ. but with the effective angle of internal friction δ substituted for φ′ .5.8 Corrugated steel sheet bins Circular bins or silos made from corrugated steel sheets (with the crests and valleys of the corrugations running circumferentially) are usually mounted on flat concrete bases.5.5..18 — . (4.4). but by the sliding of the contents against the static material trapped in the corrugations.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . equations (4. The coefficient of friction is therefore not µ but tan δ.3).

Where a row or group of closely-spaced circular bins is located across the wind direction the wind resistance per bin is much higher than if the bins were widely spaced because the free flow of air around each bin is inhibited.. Wind loading on square or rectangular bins is usually not critical (but must of course be allowed for). however. which serve the dual purpose of protecting the interior of the bin and of maintaining the circular shape of the top of the shell. where the shell needs to be checked against buckling. The required thickness of plate in the upper strakes of a circular bin is often determined by the wind loading. The distribution of pressure around a cylindrical structure is given in Table 14 of SABS 0160. Since wind loading is usually only significant in tall bins.. rectangular and circular shape in plan. for calculating the total wind force on the bin. The great majority of circular bins exposed to the weather are furnished with covers or roofs. August. in terms of external pressure coefficients Cpe. are very sensitive to wind loading because of the varying pressure/suction distribution of the wind loading around the circumference. because the bin shape is inherently stable and stiff. In the case of a bin exposed to wind loading and having an open top..).. Such bins are much more subject deformation. Where a single row of bins is located — 4. which induces a vertical compressive stress in the leeward face. and the lack of stiffness of the shell in resisting this loading. it is recommended that the terrain be assumed as category 2. and require special consideration to cater for this severe form of loading. and has properly stiffened plate elements. on the other hand. this reached a maximum at the base of the bin. Wind buckling is characterised by the formation of one or more buckles on the windward face of the shell. where force and pressure coefficients are given for structures of square. Circular bins.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . for various height to width ratios. and as such bins are often located in unprotected sites.9 Wind loading The wind loading on bin structures can be assessed by reference to SABS 0160 (Ref . 01 4.19 — . Force coefficients. internal suction forces are generated that aggravate the non-uniform loading pattern referred to above. are given in Table 1 of the code for circular structures and in Figure 6 for square and rectangular structures. What has been stated above applies to single or isolated bins. Wind also produces an overturning moment on a tall bin.

with a corresponding horizontal reaction at the top of the bin. which in turn will induce a compressive or tensile force in the gantry structure. 4. — 4. A situation to be specially allowed for is where the gantry (or series of gantries) is anchored at its lower end and is not provided with a sliding bearing at its support on the bin roof. The loading imposed can usually be catered for quite simply in the design of the roof support beams. the bin structure should be designed to cater for all of the conveyor loading components.. blowers. in this way only vertical loading will be applied to the bin. If the conveyor belt tensions at the head pulley are to be resisted by the bin (ie if the tensions are not carried back into the conveyor stringers). then the bin roof structure will need to be proportioned to resist this extra loading and the bin as a whole be checked for the overturning effects. differential thermal expansion of the bin caused by solar radiation on one side of the bin will result in horizontal displacement of the top. A suitable means of avoiding the above situation is to have the gantry head end supported on sliding bearings and for the conveyor belt tensions to be transmitted back into the gantry.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos .20 — . etc. even where conveyor loading is not present. it is suggested that the temperature of the wall exposed to the sun be taken as 40ºC above the ambient shade temperature. are often mounted on the roofs of storage bins. August. including side wind on the gantry.11 Effects of solar radiation All bins in exposed situations are subject to the effects of solar radiation as described above. but the down-wind bin or bins would be largely shielded by the windward one..10 Loading from plant and equipment Items such as pumps. Here. conveyor head pulleys and drive units. Tall circular bins are particularly sensitive to these effects. It is not possible to suggest actual load factors for these conditions because of the number of variables involved and advice should be sough from wind loading specialists if wind loading is thought to be critical. filters. 4. Likewise if the conveyor is housed in a gantry and the head end of the gantry is supported on the top of the bin. but there are certain aspects of conveyor loading that need special attention. If it is necessary to investigate this aspect. 01 parallel to the wind direction the windward bin would probably be subject to wind loadings as determined above.

3.4. Consequently. and especially their upper parts (including the roof).0 kPa or a point load of 2. The live loading on access platforms and stairways in industrial structures is not specified in the code. but in any case the pressure required to open the vent should be ascertained.. Rapid discharge of bulk solids having low permeability to gases can cause negative air pressure in a bin. whichever is more severe.3. are very stiff in the vertical direction because of their great depth and fully-plated construction. settlement of one support point — whether a beam..14 Settlement of supports Most bin structures. positive internal pressures are generated by the blowers.5 kPa depending on the loaded area. For trafficable roofs the loading may be taken as given in Clause 5.3 kPa to 0. especially cylindrical ones. — 4.2. 4. ie a distributed load varying from 0.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . are particularly sensitive to this effect. The maximum pressure exerted should be obtained from the supplier of the system and the pressure acting on localised areas of the bin wall be taken as say 80% of the specified pressure. ie a distributed load of 2. 4.4. Clause 5. but as safety vents are usually provided the full blower pressure is not likely to be realised.0 kPa or a point load of 3.0 kN. or a point load of 0.9 kN. 01 4.21 — .3. August. a column or a foundation — may induce high stresses in the shell structure and also cause a re-distribution of load on the remaining supports. the load on each of the two remaining load-bearing columns is doubled. In the extreme case of the complete failure of one column — say due to vehicle impact — under a bin supported on four columns. Circular bins. the live loading may be taken as specified for roofs in SABS 0160.12 Live loads on roofs and platforms Where the top cover of a bin serves simply as a roof and not as a platform (ie where it is non-trafficable).0 kN.13 Internal pressure suction In the case of bins having pneumatic discharge systems. If material spillage or excessive dust collection is a possibility it should be allowed for in addition to the above loading. but it would be good practice to allow for a distributed load of 3. Safety vents may be installed to limit the negative pressure.

. August.3 and 1. For the emptying or flow condition. for both the material load and the wind load. and in any case its upper limit value is used in design.15 Load combinations When designing bin structures by the limit-state method. for example. a Ψi factor of 1. eg in the design of the support. would seem reasonable for this material when at rest. Thus where the effects of initial material loading and wind loading. as applicable. but certain variations as mentioned below may be advisable. Since the bulk density of the stored material is usually well-defined. 4. and it would therefore be prudent to introduce an overload factor for these.0 respectively. But since the maximum material loading may well be present when other live loads are active.0. On the other hand. are cumulative. the partial load and load combination factors as laid down in SABS 0160.6 on the material loading would be advisable.. 01 Even relatively small settlements of foundations can cause significant redistribution of load at the remaining supports.22 — .The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . the material load or the wind load combination factor would be taken as zero. as specified for stored fluids. the load combination factor Ψi should be taken as 1.2. however. Suggested values of partial load and load combination factors for the various types of load are given in Table 4. — 4. where the effects are not cumulative.3. Table 2. the partial load and load combination factors would be taken as 1. a partial load factor γi of 1. should be used.

5 1.0 1.3 1.. Partial load factor γi Load combination factor Ψi Type of load Loads from selfweight of structure Maximum..0 1.23 — .3 1.0 1.9 — 1.6 1.6 1. acting in combination Minimum Loads from stored material: Gravity (material at rest) Initial (filling) condition Flow (emptying) condition Dead loads from plant and equipment Loads from conveyors: Dead load Live load Loads from internal external pressure in bin Wind load Loads from vehicle impact Loads from differential settlement of supports 1.0 1.0 1.The Structural Design of Steel Bins and Silos . 1.0 — 4. ultimate limit state.3 1.6 1. August.3 1.0 1.2: Partial load and load combination factors.6 1.5 1.2 0.5 1. 01 Table 4. acting in isolation Maximum.0 0 0 0 1.

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