BELLEVUE silo manufacturer DE Engineers will introduce new spiral steel silos to the Australian market next year.
According to DE Engineers principal Kevin Prater, the manufacturing equipment used to make the silos is the most advanced technology in the world.
The idea of using a spiral forming machine was initially to improve the way silos are constructed in WA, including transportable silos in the range between 45 and 105 tonnes.
These will be produced with a five-fold seam lock which is airtight without rivets, bolts or glue.
In addition to improving the transportable range of silos, the new machine can work on-site with the silo roof mounted on the body at ground level with roof ladder and loading port in place.
The body is then spiraled up to the desired height. This allows the 240t steel-bottom silos to be much easier to build on site, in less time and without the need for a crane or jacks until the body is lifted onto the base.
Moving forward there is also the possibility for DE Engineers to produce 500-1000t flat-bottom silos in the off season with the same equipment.
"Farmers have been desperate for larger silos in recent years but the labour required to bolt them together and being impossible to seal always turns people off this type of silo," Mr Prater said.
To build a (fully sealed) spiral flat bottom silo, the roof is built onto the body, the body is formed up within hours then it is cut off and lowered to the ground by the forming machine for securing to the pad. Once again no bolts, rivets or crane are required.
Finally, DE Engineers have secured access to machines and technology that can form 4mm steel into 20 metre-wide silos with a capacity up to 20,000 tonnes of grain with elevators and unloaders as required.
Spiral silos can be made to any height, have much stronger bodies and will be much easier to maintain.
A spiral swage 30-40mm wide, five times thicker than the original steel coil, is formed outside the silo wall thus greatly increasing the strength of the silo body.
By using different materials, spiral silos can store a wide variety of granular and liquid materials.
In other countries spiral silos have also been used in the chemical, grain and brewing industry, civil, sewage and refineries.