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Friday, February 7, 2014

Concrete Stave Silos

Previously, I've shown you pictures of a stone silo, and one made of salt-glazed tiles. Today I found several good examples of what is probably the most common vintage farm silo in the east, the concrete stave silo.

Here's a really large one.

concrete stave silo

The construction method is pretty simple. There are hundreds of cast concrete staves, like interlocking concrete blocks. They are fitted together vertically to create rows of circles which are built upwards. The seams are bound with those steel rings. When the silo is filled, the pressure of the contents pushes outward to keep the silo stable.

If you have any engineering bent, you know that pressure is a function of depth, so there will be more outward pressure at the bottom of a full silo than at the top. Look how far apart the metal rings are near the top of this huge silo.

concrete stave silo

And look how close they are together near the bottom to deal with that additional pressure.

concrete stave silo

Concrete stave silos can be made in all kinds of diameters and heights. Here's an interesting example of that I found just down the road from the huge silo.

concrete stave silos

Of course, each one has to have a secure foundation. If you come across some large concrete ring in the woods, it's probably the silo foundation from a long-gone farm. I'll take a picture the next time I see one. If the foundation is undermined the silo can lean and even collapse.

Don't think that just because these examples have nice "beach ball" tops that is the only style. There are a number of standard and homemade types of silo caps. A little farther down the road, this abandoned barn and silo is a good example. You can also see the foundation ring. Also note that this silo was not tall enough to need more rings near the bottom.

concrete stave silo

Actually, silo caps can be quite interesting. I'll have to start catching pictures of those. So many of these vintage barns and silos are simply disappearing- falling apart from dis-use.

Tonight's a work night. Hoping for a nice nap tomorrow.

See Glazed Tile Silo
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rainfield61 said...

Everything can be very interesting, as long as we have the interest.

Ann said...

whats a barn without a good silo to stand next to it :) I don't think I've ever seen any farms around here that have the three different sizes like that your picture.

vanilla said...

Excellent! Physics lesson with photos.

Secondary Roads said...

The evening that I met Sylvia, I had spent the whole day filling silo. I was so tired that I almost stayed home. Glad I didn't! I like the smell of ensilage when you put it out for the cattle to eat.

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