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Crucial factors in steel grain bin management by Kirk Nelson, Director of Marketing and Sales Behlen Mfg. Co.

At the recent GEAPS Exchange in St. Louis, Missouri, Kirk Nelson addressed the fundamentals of steel bin installation and maintenance. Safety awareness was also highlighted, a topic that remains of critical importance to those working in the grain, storage and handling industry. In the past 50 years, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported with a fatality rate of 62 percent, according to researchers at Purdue University in Indiana. Nelson cited the main hazards associated with grain bins commonly include; grain engulfment and burial, falls from heights, dust and mould inhalation, pesticide exposure, electrocution and injuries from augurs. In this four-part series, Milling and Grain take a closer look at the essential elements of bin maintenance, starting with the crucial considerations relating to bin construction and bin safety measures. In this talk, Nelson pointed out that usually steel corrugated grain bins are designed and manufactured to withstand the constant forces applied when they are filled with grain and when properly installed and operated, storage structures should provide many years of good service. However, it is vital that those who erect the structure in the first place follow proper guidelines. It is usually worth consulting experts to carry out the process of erection. First, it is critical that erection manuals and assembly drawings are thoroughly studied prior to construction of the bin. Acquiring proper knowledge of individual assembly procedures aids safety and speed of construction. 56 | Milling and Grain


efore erecting a steel bin, soil-boring tests should be performed by a competent, independent geotechnical engineering firm. Failing to ensure this process is carried out can have disastrous consequences. Damage to a bin can result from factors including poor soil, the wrong type of concrete, and construction method used. The strength and stability of a footing or foundation depends on factors such as climate, subsidence, elastic and/or plastic deformations, shear deformation, and soil consolidation. Any number of these factors may be present on a given foundation project, and each is relatively independent of the other; that is to say, each must be considered and dealt with separately. To be safe from one standpoint does not necessarily ensure one’s being safe from any of the others, Nelson said. Seismic and wind conditions should also be taken into consideration. Companies should check for any local or regional building codes and regulations to ensure compliance, including but not limited to seismic zone conditions and high winds.

May 2015 - Milling and Grain magazine  
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