Condensation in silos has long been recognised in the food industry as one of the main causes of ingredient supply problems and resultant downtime. To address this problem, Barton Fabrications has developed a new silo wall design, which has a significant impact in reducing condensation related maintenance.
The amount of condensation which may occur in a storage vessel is determined by the moisture content of the ingredient stored and the fluctuation in temperature experienced at the inner wall. On clear nights after a warm day, the ambient temperature can drop by more than 10ºC resulting in significant moisture being formed. On certain foodstuffs such as sugar or flour, this moisture is absorbed and causes the product to form hard lumps which either stick to the silo wall or fall down and block the outlet. Either way, the only answer is to clean out the silo which can stop production.
Traditionally, it has been industry practise to provide silos with an air gap and mineral wool lagging trapped between the inner and outer skin of the silo. This insulated layer reduces the temperature transitions within the silo and therefore reduces condensation. There are, however, a couple of problems with the existing design :-
1) Migration of the lagging during transportation and installation, leading to cold spots within the silo and, therefore, greater condensation problems.
2) Insect infestation within the lagging material.
Barton Fabrications, one of the industry leaders in silo supply to the food industry, has addressed this problem with its latest silo design. The innovation uses a new insulation material which not only ensures a more consistent insulating blanket, thus avoiding cold spots, but also avoids providing a location for insects to nest.
The new silo construction is suitable for any applications where the stored product is susceptible to moisture ingress and all products are built to comply with the latest ATEX standards.