Without silos, we wouldn’t be able to store vast quantities of grain to meet the world’s food demand. Farmers and factories keep their crops fresh and clean with this ingenious innovation from 1873. Most silos discharge the grains onto a conveyor belt, where they will be packaged and shipped.

The problem is that when the new grain is applied to the top, small residue and dust particles adhere to the silo’s sides. These grains may become infected and develop bacteria over time. Here are some of the most well-known methods for cleaning silos.

High-Pressure Air

Previously, staff would be lowered into the silo to scrub and clean any debris manually. This was the most efficient process at the time, but it involved a lot of staff and could take up to a day to clean a single silo. Because of the scale of the silos and the possibility of dust ingestion, workers needed to be supplied with air. This quickly became a very expensive method, and many factories looked for other means.

To stop human contamination, first make sure the silo is clean of grain. There are two approaches here. You can either blast the silo clean from the top with a big high-pressure pipe, or use air cannons at the bottom. If you only have a few people to clean the silo, air cannons may be useful, but they are heavy and don’t always cover all parts of the silo.

Use Vibrations

This approach is simple and inexpensive to implement, and it is highly successful without the use of humans. It works by putting pads on the inside of the silo and around it. These pads produce a powerful vibration that loosens any particles attached to the silo. Depending on the size of the silo, frequencies vary from 1 to 50 Hz.

The only disadvantage of this approach is that if too high-frequency noises are used, the structure of the silo can be damaged. Even so, it’s a lot better than manual washing, which can expose workers to poisonous gases. There are a variety of other silo cleaning services that can be just as effective.

Acoustic Cleaning

Cleaning a silo with acoustic cleaning is currently the preferred process. Humans are unable to hear low sound waves below 40 Hz, making this a useful process. The science behind it is that when low-frequency sound waves are moved at a high rate over a long period, they will isolate solid grains and dust attached to the silo. Higher frequencies may be released for harder-to-release debris, but they will most likely be very noisy.

Silos, above all, are massive structures that can be hazardous to clean. It is preferable to use an automated system that does not need human intervention. Silos, in particular, must always be kept clean and sanitary at all times to avoid any bacteria from entering food packages. It’s not easy to find a cost-effective and reliable silo cleaning solution with the lowest risk of contamination, but it can be done.

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