A silo is a storage facility for bulk material. For example, grain, animal feed, plastic granules, or cement and other granular bulk materials are stored in a silo.

Mode of operation of a silo

The silo is used in various designs. In a regular silo container, the filling is always done from the top and the removal of the bulk material from the silo is done from the bottom. In a broader sense, this can be referred to as the FIFO – First In First Out method; strictly speaking, this cannot be guaranteed for removal from the silo. When filling at the outlet at the bottom of the silo, different filling layers mix into a mixture of bulk material filled earlier and later in time. Therefore, in the case of incorrect silo filling, the incorrect bulk material must also first be removed again from above using a suitable device before further removal can take place.

Different forms of silos

There are different forms of silos. Flat or mobile silos consist of a base plate and surrounding side walls. To protect the stored bulk material, the driving silo is covered from above with a plastic tarpaulin. Silage is usually stored in this type of silo. The bulk material is evenly distributed in the mobile silo and compacted accordingly. Later, special equipment is used in conjunction with a tractor for removal.

High silos are used mainly in agriculture for grain storage, but also in industry for storage of bulk materials (granules, cement). These elevated silos are tall cylindrically shaped structures made of steel, concrete, stone, wood or plastic, depending on their use. A high silo is usually 10 to 20 meters high. However, there are also particularly high silos, which are then called silo towers.

In addition, textile fabric silos are increasingly used. The textile silos are characterized by their flexible properties and variability in size. At present, they are often used as small silos for the storage of heating pellets or animal feed.