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dreamdoctor

Steel grain bins were introduced by Butler in 1908 - there are about a million in use in the US currently (many times that world wide) - they are round with conical roofs and firmly anchored to their foundations. The design has not changed significantly in over a hundred years - can you guess why? It is becasue it is the strongest design via the fewest materials/least expensive and performs under extreme conditions. And they go up fast, are recyclable and no maintenance for about 70 years. They are a wonderfully elegantly engineered solution to a daunting structural need - this is why I build with them.

If you study utilitarian/industrial structures you will often find them to be round, spherical, domed or conical in shape.

   
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dreamdoctor

Metal can flex - in the case of grain bins it is not designed for that - expansion and contraction from temperature is what they are designed for. EMFs have to do with electrical generation and transmission is my understanding. Not much protects against EMPs except lots of ground I think. You could coat or line the bins with material (lead) to limit radiation but better to bury them if that is a concern - I have several designs for this in different sizes - they look similar to hobbit homes inside as they are installed on the "sides" in that case. Very minimal cost for high-performance, no maintenance, recyclable structures. they can be built off site and moved - they are very light compared to traditional construction - almost no concrete (they could be built with none of desired). Another layer can be added to the exterior as well in most any thickness and filled with whatever material meets the program - soil, gravel, shredded tires etc.

   
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celestina89

Accordingly steel grain bins don't seem to last as long as you say. Seems according to this one Canadian source, the average is between 10-25 years. This one from Nebraska agrees but besides the wear and tear, there is a wind loss problem that can be reduced if the owner of the steel bins maintains properly. Kansas computes lifespan of a steel grain bin is around 40-50 years. Interesting that they compared to concrete silos of having a longer life expectancy than steel. With proper maintenance, they can last 70+ years. That's concrete - not steel. Biggest problems with the steel bins according to this report is corrosion and wind damage as well as load problems. Both show photos of wind damage which effects the stability of the bin.

And yes, concrete buildings which are one of the most durable building materials DO REQUIRE repair and maintenance when necessary.

And I'm sure you know the reason why there are so many round grain bins is that it is the best type of storage for for bulk grains and have easy self-cleaning capabilities. They empty and fill a lot more easily than square bins. The design is very effective and practical.

   
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