Eccentric Discharge from Silos: Bulk Solids Behavior, Loads, and Structural Implications

2014-04-03 | 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Please join us in Boston, Massachusetts, April 3-5, 2014, at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Hynes Convention Center as we present a paper on bulk solids behavior at the  2014 Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2014 Structures Congress.

Title: Eccentric Discharge From Silos: Bulk Solids Behavior, Loads, and Structural Implications

Presenter: Jesús Chavez

Silo structures are used all around the world to store granular bulk solids such as grains, coal, plastic pellets, and mineral ore among many others. As bulk solids processes increase in complexity and size in industrial facilities due to plant improvements and increased global demand of products, many storage silos are designed or modified to discharge eccentrically. Even though those designs or modifications meet all the requirements at the basic and functionalengineering level for the envisioned process, they may have severe implications for the storage structural system. Silo shells are efficient structures if internal pressures are applied uniformly. However, eccentric discharge changes the loading behavior to non-uniform pressures around the circumference of the silo. These non-uniform pressures cause high membrane stresses in thin metal silos; therefore, deforming the shell and in some cases causing catastrophic failure. In some other cases, bending moments cause severe damage to the walls of concrete silos by developing dangerous cracks. These structural damages are intimately related to the loading pattern, which in turn is related to the bulk solids behavior developed during eccentric discharge of silos. Design of new or modified silos discharging eccentrically is a challenging task that requires not only understanding the structural analysis and design of these types of structures, but also bulk solids flow behavior as well as their loading patterns. Engineers in charge of the structural design and construction of silos will benefit from this presentation as they will be able to understand the structural implications of eccentric discharge in silos as well as the loads imposed by the stored material. Forensic engineers will be able to identify areas of distress in silos caused by eccentric discharge. In a similar way, engineers developing the basic and functional engineering as well as equipment arrangement will benefit from this presentation, as they will understand the structural implications of eccentric discharge in silos. This will allow them to take more educated decisions during their engineering work.

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