Temporary Grain Storage Considerations

Grain storage in temporary structures must be considered when permanent commercial and on-farm grain storage structures are filled. The primary problems in adapting existing farm shelters and machine sheds or using alternative structures for temporary grain storage include:
1) structural strength;
2) floor surface;
3) grain handling; and
4) grain management.

Existing Farm Buildings – Structural Strength:
Stored in a building, grain pushes out against the walls, so the building frame and lining materials must withstand heavy horizontal loads. Shallow grain piles are easier to contain than deep ones. The total lateral load from a 10-foot-deep pile is 6.25 times the load from a 4-foot-deep pile. The load from a level pile is only about three quarters as much as from a pile heaped at the filling angle of repose.

Under the lateral pressure of grain, a building wall may fail or be permanently damaged. The damage is caused by tipping the foundation wall outward; shearing or tearing out the anchor bolts in the sill; bowing the sill or wall sections between the anchor bolts; or structural failure in the wall sections above the foundation wall.

The wall attachments are especially critical in grain storage structures. The foundation wall must be tied to the floor either by casting them in one piece, or by lacing reinforcing rods through the joint to make them act as one unit. Since the load from the wall is transferred into the foundation wall and floor through the anchor bolts or stud attachments, both the floor and the anchors have to be adequate for heavy loads.
Source: Kansas State University
Authors: Joseph P. Harner III | Timothy J. Herrman | Carl Reed

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