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Structural Engineering

As the world leader in bulk solids storage, handling and processing, Jenike & Johanson has extensive experience in structural engineering of bulk solids storage structures (such as bins, vessels, silos and bunkers) and handling structures. In fact, Dr. Andrew Jenike, the founder of Jenike & Johanson, received his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from the University of London. Dr. Jenike understood how critical the bulk solids-structure interaction is in a complete engineered bulk material handling solution; therefore, he not only developed and expanded the science of bulk material handling design but also theories and procedures for calculating loads exerted by bulk solids on storage structures.

The Structural Group at Jenike & Johanson has continued and expanded this approach by not only understanding the structural analysis and design of bulk solids storage structures, but also the bulk solids flow behavior and its effect on material-induced loading patterns. Our engineers have extensive project experience in design and analysis of bulk material storage structures used in power, chemical, mining, food, and agricultural industries.


Structural Engineering Services

Our engineers have decades of structural engineering experience in the design of concrete, steel and aluminum storage structures as well as a unique knowledge of bulk material behavior. This combination of skills and experience, both of which are crucial for a complete engineered bulk material handling solution, is unmatched in the world.

  • Structural Analysis & Design of New Structures: While the design of new structures provides more freedom at the engineering stage, it is also a time of a lot of decision-making. These decisions can drastically affect the performance of the storage structure in the future if expertise and experience in the design of such structures are minimal or non-existent.


  • Rehabilitation of Existing Structures: Rehabilitation of storage structures tends to be complex as the new components have to be designed for easy installation and be sized to fit space constraints due to surrounding structures and equipment. Additionally, the remaining portion of the existing structure needs to be analyzed – and often reinforced – to ensure that it will be capable of resisting the new loads and bulk material behavior.
  • Inspection, evaluation and assessment of existing structures: There are times when a storage structure is used and/or operated in a different way than originally intended (e.g., different bulk material, variations in discharge and filling) or deterioration (e.g., corrosion, wear) has occurred over the years. Either change can lead to a dangerous situation – even catastrophic failure – if timely actions are not undertaken and a proper inspection and/or assessment is not conducted on the storage structure.


  • Failure Investigation of Existing Structures: Hundreds of industrial and farm storage structures experience some degree of failure each year due to improper design, faulty construction, inadequate maintenance, and/or change in operation. Although failure may involve a catastrophic collapse of the structure, it can also display in less obvious forms, such as cracks in a concrete wall, wrinkles/dents in a steel or aluminum shell, and/or bending/deflection of support beams/columns. Even these more “minor” issues can be important danger signals, indicating that corrective measures are probably required.

  • Design of Internal Structures: Internals in storage structures such as inserts, J-PurgeTM system, BINSERT®, let-down chutes, distributors, etc. are utilized to solve flow problems and/or to allow processes such as drying, cooling, purging (of trapped volatiles), and starting or stopping chemical reactions. The design of these internal structures is not trivial due to the complex bulk solids-structure interaction while the stored material is flowing around them.
  • Design of purge columns for volatiles stripping (degassing) and drying


  • Evaluation, review, analysis of concrete and steel storage structures


  • Advanced structural modeling, stress and fatigue analysis of storage structures


  • Design of let-down chutes, inserts, distributors, other internal structures in silos


  • Design of support for ancillary equipment attached to silos

Our engineers perform structural design calculations including stress and fatigue analyses using our extensive proprietary and commercial software capabilities. They also possess the knowledge and valuable experience needed to inspect, evaluate, assess, rehabilitate as well as to analyze and design bulk solids storage structures based on critical loading including all relevant internal (solids and gas pressures) and external conditions.


Structural Engineering Examples

  • Rehabilitation engineering for two of the largest concrete storage silos in South America that were experiencing severe concrete deterioration from coal handling
  • Design of numerous ASME code purge columns for polyethylene and polypropylene stripping operations.  These vessels include a wide variety of internals, including our patented J-Purge™ system.
  • Analysis of failure and design of repairs for internal let-down chutes in large steel silos handling grains and beans
  • Design of 30 ft (9 m) diameter silos for underground storage of trona ore
  • Inspection and design of repairs for a wide variety of structural failures including buckling, abrasive wear, corrosion, fatigue, collapsing masses of solids, and damage from freezing and other environmental factors
  • Retrofit design for 1500 ton capacity silo handling hot lime at 800° F (427º C) to improve flow reliability

Limestone storage bin retrofit.

New design of a square silo.


Structural Engineering Design Tools

We perform structural design calculations, stress and fatigue analysis using our extensive proprietary and commercial software capabilities such as COMPRESS, RISA, and ANSYS®.  Our engineers have the knowledge and valuable experience to analyze and design storage structures based on critical design loads including all relevant internal (solids and gas pressures) and external conditions.

We routinely apply our unique structural engineering skills to provide valuable input for customized bulk material handling equipment such as our J-Purge™ gas introduction system, slide gates, and transfer chutes.


Contracting the Structural Engineering Service

What are the benefits of contracting the structural engineering service with Jenike & Johanson?

  • Expertise and Experience. Our engineers have the combined knowledge of structural engineering of storage structures and bulk solids behavior; therefore, we can ensure not only a safe and durable design is achieved but also the design intent is met.
  • Cutting-edge knowledge. Our structural designs are based on current codes and standards applicable to bulk solids storage structures for loading (internal and external) calculations as well as the structural design engineering. For those conditions, geometries or designs not covered by codes or standards (e,g., transition hoppers, internals), our engineers will utilize proprietary procedures and methods that have been validated on a number of built designs.
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness. Structural designs are based on probable loading scenarios during the service life of the storage structure with the aim to provide a cost-effective, reliable and safe engineering solution in a period of time according to your project needs.
Jenike & Johanson engineer
Jenike & Johanson engineer

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