The Benefits of Custom Fabricating Grain Storage Silos Using Carbon Steel vs. Concrete

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If you are involved in agriculture as a farmer, middleman, feed or flour mill operator, or even in the government storage of grains, there will come a point where you may need to source information on the unique capabilities and advantages of grain storage silos.

Other than warehouses, which use large amounts of property, silos are the best option for a variety of reasons. Silos use ground space more efficiently and can be constructed in sizes to best suit your needs. But, finding the right silo for your application will eventually come down to the right material for the job.

Common options include grain storage silos that are constructed using concrete or from silo manufacturers who can custom fabricate using carbon steel, the latter of which offers distinct cost, quality, and customization advantages.

Long Term Costs

While it may seem that concrete grain storage silos have some initial cost advantages, the fact is, that over the long haul, carbon steel grain storage silos will provide more value. Concrete silos can crack and be challenging to maintain and repair. Weather will have a greater impact on construction costs, and concrete construction can involve more labor.

Steel grain storage silos can also be constructed with a larger capacity, which can offer more significant ROI and cost savings long term vs. any initial cost benefits concrete may offer. The key is to project your cost investment over several years to see the ROI your carbon steel grain silo can provide with the right fabrication partner.

Higher Quality

Steel silo manufacturers fabricate their silos in more controlled environments — from initial design to pre-assembly — which allows for more precision in working with raw carbon steel, but also in engineering to exact design-build specifications. Concrete has many more variables involved in construction, with a greater potential for issues that may affect its strength and lifespan.

Customization Options

Not only do carbon steel grain silos offer the ability to better customize your storage solutions, but accessories such as industrial stairs and platforms are easier and cheaper to install. Silos can also be customized to have a smaller diameter without negatively impacting the full storage capacity of the unit. While steel can be easily bent, concrete is inflexible.

Fewer Potential Foundation Problems

Concrete silos are extremely heavy and require a very solid foundation to provide a firm and level surface for which it will stand. Steel construction provides strength and stability; without the enormous weight. This even makes them ideal for use on softer soils. Installation can also be completed without significant impact from certain outside elements.

Improved Aeration

Steel silos can also provide better aeration for grains, especially when compared to concrete. This is critical in maintaining the quality of the stored grain and avoiding mold and other conditions that can lead to spoilage. Tall concrete silos can be much more difficult to aerate than wider carbon steel silos, and temperatures are more easily controlled in a steel grain silo.

If you are planning a new or replacement silo, it’s critical to fully consider the benefits of custom carbon steel vs. other material types like concrete. All in all, custom carbon steel grain silos provide longer lasting value, higher quality construction, numerous customization capabilities, superior aeration, and weight advantages that are better suited for even the most exacting of industrial applications.

Serving Agriculture with Bulk Storage Solutions

Southern Metal Fabricators has been building bulk storage solutions for a variety of business segments for over 27 years, including agriculture. Whatever your bulk storage needs, our experienced team can partner with you at every step of the custom metal fabrication process, from design to installation, to ensure your customized steel silo is delivered on time, on budget, and to your precise specifications.

If you’re ready to discuss your bulk storage silo project, give us a chance to say, “Yes, we can do that!” by contacting us today.