The Conical Shape of a Grain Bin – An Engineering Marvel!

The modern grain bin is an engineering marvel with structural ingenuity you may not have fully appreciated during a busy harvest season but it’s worth thinking about from a practical standpoint. For instance, you may intuitively know that “round” is a better grain bin shape; but have you ever wondered exactly why? Of course, a round grain bin is easier to clean out and easier to empty when it doesn’t have corners that need to be shoveled and swept.

And do you know what shape has the maximum holding capacity per unit of building material used in its construction? The light, thin metal walls of conical grain bins have truly amazing weight holding capacity. The conical shape allows even very thin metal buildings to take tremendous weight distribution inside the structure due to the how the forces are applied to the structure.

The conical structure also provides the best shape for ventilation because the warm and cold air currents caused inside a round grain bin allow convection air currents through the grain mass.

A round or conical grain bin can be easily loaded through a top center portal without the use of the additional conveyors and handling equipment that would be required inside a rectangular or square structure. When loading and unloading inside a building, two conveying systems are required and gravity assist of grain movement is not obtainable. The conical grain bin with a hopper bottom can also be easily unloaded with the assistance of gravity to move the grain into a transport vehicle.

"When speaking to your sales rep, we learned a lot about the advantages of stiffened walls as well as how temperature monitoring and fan control can keep you from losing value on your grain."

Don Chapman (farmer)