Concrete Silos vs Steel Silos

Cement silos

A cement silo is the on-site storage container that allows for the storage and distribution of different cement mixes. Cement silos can come in a range of sizes to fit the needs of construction sites.

A silo could be a permanent structure holding hundreds of tons of cement or a portable model to be relocated to different work sites. They are usually outfitted with some kind of blower to expel the dry cement into a truck or mixers.

Large silos are more likely to be found at concrete plants as permanent structures, where finished product is stored until shipping. However, smaller portable silos are ideal at large construction sites where they can be moved to wherever work is being done. By volume, cement is the most-used material in the world.

Cement silos range in size

Companies May Use Different Types of Cement Silos

Construction companies engaged in several projects at once may keep a variety of portable cement silos. The moveable silos can usually be set up or taken down in a few hours, and the different components stored in a warehouse when not in use. The blowers and augurs for moving the mix may be powered by electricity or by fuels such as propane, depending on the resources available.

The materials and design used in the construction of a cement silo may differ, depending on the type of product stored. Some materials may be a poor choice, if they allow caking or moisture to bind the dry cement blend. Given the variety of materials involved – limestone, soda ash, silicates  – a particular material may work better.

In general, most silos are made up of metal parts or finished concrete forms.

Advantages of Cement Silos Over Steel Silos

  • Lower initial cost
  • Resistance to both internal and external corrosion
  • No need for painting or other coatings to reduce corrosion
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • No risk of electrolytic effects from welds or fasteners
  • Steel components and assembly may leave ledges or obstructions which reduce the flow of the cement mix
  • Concrete is better able to resist abrasions
  • Concrete is better able to absorb impacts and sustain pressures than metal panels
  • Concrete has better friction angles than most metals. When moving bulk materials, this results in more frictional drag and lower pressures on silo and hopper walls.
  • No need to worry over stress and metal fatigue of welds or bolts
  • No potential gaps in poor seals or joints, and thus less risk of loss of fine powders into the environment

The Del Zotto family has been providing high-quality cement products to the construction industry for more than 50 years. We are recognized experts in the precast concrete trade and supply a variety of forms, tools and equipment. Give us a call or stop by our facilities to see how we can help you.