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> Home > FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

GSI

We are providing information for both those familiar with our product and those that are new to the GSI Bin/Silo lines on this page. Much of this information is from the GSI Price List. All information and recommendations on this page that are not from the GSI Price list are intended to be of an advisory nature only. GSI assumes no liability of any type related to the use or application or misapplication of said information.


 

Narrow (NS) vs. Wide (WS) Corrugation Pattern

Grain Systems manufactures both the Narrow (2.66") and Wide (4") corrugation bins and silos. Neither corrugation has a great theoretical advantage over the other.

The Narrow (2.66") corrugation is the original GSI grain bin line. This series is a popular choice throughout the United States and in several other regions of the world. The 32" (813 mm) tall sheets reduce the weight of each sheet, which eases construction of the larger diameter and taller silos, which utilize thicker gauge steel.

The Wide (4") corrugation is popular in certain area's of the United States and Canada, especially in the smaller diameter and shorter bin heights. GSI began manufacturing the Wide corrugation bin/silo to match up to the eave and peak heights of existing 4" corrugation bins/silos, as well as for the overall appearance. This is often an important factor when adding to an existing facility.

 

Stiffened vs. Unstiffened Tanks

GSI manufactures both the stiffened and unstiffened series of bins/silos. The unstiffened series is popular in the United States due to the large number of existing unstiffened bins/silos on the farmsteads. They also have lower erection times.

The stiffened series generally offers more efficient material usage and will generally have a lower material cost and lower freight cost than the comparable size of unstiffened tank. They also offer the advantage of being available in taller bins / silos than the unstiffened series.

 

NSL, NHL and NRL Differences

Narrow Series:

"NSL" Series - 2.66" Narrow - Standard Bins
1. For general storage or drying of grain.
2. Most multi-screw stirring devices 12' - 36' diameter.

"NHL" Series - 2.66" Narrow - Heavy Bins
1. For a situation where a heavier structurally designed bin is required.
2. Most multi-screw stirring devices 42' - 48' diameter.

"NRL" Series - 2.66" Narrow - Recirculating Bins
1. For a situation where a much heavier structurally designed bin is required.
2. Any recirculating device or system 12' - 36' diameter.

Stirring Device Usage and Bin Series

 
Bin Diameter
N Series Stirring Device
12'
15'
18'
21'
24'
27'
30'
33'
36'
42'
48'
4 or more augers
NS
NS
NH
NH
NH
NH
NH
NH
NH
NH
NH
3 down augers
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NH
NH
2 down augers
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NH
NH
1 down auger
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NH
NH

NR Bins are required for all bins with Recirculating Devices and may be used with any Stirring Device. Use the recommended series or heavier. Rice requirements differ slightly. Please contact GSI for details.

 

WSL, WHL and WRL Differences

Wide Series:

"WSL" Series - 4" Wide - Standard Bins
1. For general storage or drying of grain.
2. Stirring devices 12' - 36' diameter with 1, 2, or 3 vertical down augers.
3. Stirring device 42' to 48' diameter with 1 or 2 vertical down augers.

"WHL" Series - 4" Wide - Heavy Bins
1. For a situation where a heavier structurally designed bin is required.
2. Stirring device 18' - 30' diameter with 4 or more vertical down augers.

"WRL" Series - 4" Wide - Recirculating Bins
1. For a situation where a much heavier structurally designed bin is required.
2. Any recirculating device or system 12' - 48' diameter and stirring devices 42' - 48' diameter with 3 or more down augers.

Stirring Device Usage and Bin Series

 
Bin Diameter
W Series Stirring Device
12'
15'
18'
21'
24'
27'
30'
33'
36'
42'
48'
4 or more augers
WS
WS
WH
WH
WH
WH
WH
WH
WH
WR
WR
3 down augers
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WR
WR
2 down augers
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
1 down auger
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS
WS

Bins are required for all Recirculating Devices and may be used with any Stirring Device. Use the recommended series or heavier. Rice requirements differ slightly. Please contact GSI for details.

 

FCDL and FCRL Differences

Farm-Com Series:

FCDL Drying and Storage Bins

FCDL bins are punched for 12" plenum and stiffened to the eave. FCDL bins include the following: base angle, sidewall sheets, door, decal sheet, outside stiffeners, sidewall hardware with caulk, 30 degree roof, roof cleats, and one manhole.

All FCDL bins with a plenum floor should use the High Back flashing floors. FCDL bins up to 7 rings are designed for heavy duty drying and recirculating of small grains. FCDL bins may be used with drying equipment and most multi-screw stirring devices. FCDL bins 8 rings and taller are warranted for storage/aeration only - not drying. All FCDL bins except 54' and 60' taller have a walk through door located in the 2nd ring and top half of the bottom ring. The specific door part number may vary based on the diameter and eave height of the bin. 54' and 60' bins below 7 rings also have a walk through door. 54' and 60' bins 7 rings and taller have a commercial 1 ring round door.

Stirring Device Usage and Bin Series

 
Bin Diameter
W Series Stirring Device
12'
15'
18'
21'
24'
27'
30'
33'
36'
42'
48'
4 or more augers
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
3 down augers
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
2 down augers
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
1 down auger
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC
FC

FCDL bins are for all recirculating devices and any stirring device. Use the recommended series or heavier. Rice requirements differ slightly. Please contact GSI for details.

 

Recirculating Devices and Special Considerations When Installing Them

In general, GSI defines a recirculating device as a unit the draws the grain across the floor while the floor is under full load.

GSI considers the following to fit into the class of "Recirculating" devices:
1. DMC Grain Flo
2. NECO Circu-Flow
3. Shivers Circulator
4. Sukup Foreway and Foreway II, FastDry

When installing a recirculating device you should:
1. Use a NRL or WRL bin or silo.
2. If installing a plank floor system, use a Cut-Lok or 18 gage Cor-Lok plank floor.
3. For bins with recirculating devices installed, use the recommended quantity of floor supports (greater than the standard number).
4. If installing a corrugated perforated / mono-rail support system, utilize the recirculating floor support package.
5. Consult with GSI if installing a recirculating device in a 27' diameter or larger TopDry Bin/Silo.

 

Bin vs. Silo Terminology

The interchanging use of the term bin and silo as the description for our grain storage structures stems from the international nature of the WWW (the World in WWW). In the U.S.A. and Canada the term bin is most frequently used to describe corrugated metal structures for the storage and drying of grain. The term silo is most commonly used in these nations for structures meant to store fermented forage products (silage or haylage) or for tall concrete dry grain storage structures or complexes.

Conversely, outside of North America the term silo is almost uniformly used as the terminology for round grain storage structures, including corrugated steel structures.

Our structures are not intended for storage of forage products such as silage that requires a fermentation process to reach the products desired condition.

 

Painting Recommendations for Older Bins/Silos

After an extensive period of use, the question sometimes arises what kind of paint could be used to paint an older used bin or for the maintenance of a bin / silo that is in an aggressive environment. The following statement from our engineering archives addresses this point.

Painting of galvanized grain bin shell components and roof panels
Before painting, the steel surface should be free of all foreign materials such as dirt, white rust, red rust, oil, etc. Wire brushing or needle or brush blasting of corroded areas is recommended.

New, non-corroded galvanized steel will typically have a di-chromate (rust retardant) coating that inhibits paint adhesion. To paint new galvanized steel an abrasive removal process such as wire brushing or sand blasting will be necessary to abrade the di-chromate coating. Natural weathering will remove this coating as well. A minimum of six months would be required for the natural weathering off of the coating.

Once the steel surface has been cleaned, a zinc rich primer should be applied per the manufacturers instructions. Two coats of the zinc rich primer are normally recommended. This primer will have a dull gray appearance. To provide the bright shine and color of new galvanized steel a final coat of a rust inhibiting aluminum paint may be applied over the primer. One manufacturers primer product recommendation follows. Other manufactures may offer similar products.

For touching up small areas zinc rich spray paints marketed as "cold galvanizing compound" or similar identification may be useful.

Call GSI for more information.
Ph: 217-226-4421 | Int'l Tel: 217-226-4401

This is a non-epoxy product with good corrosion resistance, requiring a lesser degree of professional equipment or application than three component epoxy type paints. Contact the particular manufacturer for equivalent primers and aluminum paint numbers / specifications.

Painting of commercial hopper tank steel columns and painted bracing:
GSI commercial hopper tank columns are specially cleaned, primed and finish painted. For maintenance painting, the steel surface should be free of all foreign materials such as dirt, red rust, oil, etc. Wire brushing or needle or brush blasting of corroded areas is recommended.

Call GSI for equivalent primers and paint numbers / specifications.
Ph: 217-226-4421 | Int'l Tel: 217-226-4401

 

Important Considerations when Adding to Existing Unstiffened Bins/Silos

The following information addresses a number of concerns on the issue of adding to existing farm bins / silos.

"Let's "ADD-ON" to that Old Bin and Save Money"

One frequent request is to "add on to" or "raise" an existing farm bin to increase its storage or drying capacity. While usually possible, certain areas of concern should be covered before proceeding with such a project.

The existing bottom ring will not usually be heavy enough to be kept as the base ring of the taller bin. If the lower edge of the base ring is punched for bolting on new panels, the base ring can be raised with the bin. However, this may require disconnection and disturbance of flooring, transitions, unload equipment, electrical, etc. One alternative is to discard the existing base ring and replace with new panels of the proper type and gage. Another option is to add stiffeners to the bin through the base ring and on into the upper part of the bin. When installing stiffeners on a bin, GSI recommends a minimum of two stiffener columns per sidewall panel. If the stiffeners do not cover the entire height of the bin wall, we recommend staggering their stopping points alternately on the bin. GSI offers our "FC" Farm-Com stiffeners as an economical way to add stiffeners to existing bins.

Existing bin foundations should be checked out for structural adequacy to carry the additional loads of a taller bin.

If the existing bin has some type of flooring system, it should be reviewed to be sure it will withstand the new higher floor pressures of a taller bin.

The existing bin door must either be left in position, moved to a new position with proper sidewall door panels, or replaced with a new door. Be sure the existing door is structurally sound for a possible new location in a taller bin. For example, previous to 1990, GSI did not install the standard two ring door (of that time) in all unstiffened bins / silo heights. Usage of a door from that era and earlier must be limited to it's original design range, or structural problems will result.

Be aware that modification of an existing bin will generally void that bin's warranty from the original bin manufacturer and warranty on new added materials is questionable on some other manufacturer's product.

 

Important Considerations when Adding to Existing Stiffened Bins/Silos

As with unstiffened farm bins / silos one frequent issue is the desire to "add on to" or "raise" an existing commercial bin / silo to increase its storage or drying capacity. While many of the same issues and concerns that were discussed in the farm bin FAQ on this subject apply, there are additional areas of concern that must be considered in extending commercial bins / silos. Such projects will frequently require the retention of a professional engineer to evaluate the existing structure, foundation, connections, etc.

The existing bottom ring will not usually be heavy enough to be kept as the base ring of the taller bin. If the lower edge of the base ring is punched for bolting on new panels, the base ring can be raised with the bin. This may require disconnection and disturbance of flooring, transitions, unload equipment, electrical, etc. If the bin has a "rolled lip" formed into the sheet, normally you will have to discard the existing base ring and replace with new panels of the proper type and gage.

Existing bin foundations should be checked out for structural adequacy to carry the additional loads of a taller bin. Additionally the extended height will create increased pressures on adjacent structures. The affect of the increased pressure on those structures must be evaluated.

New stiffener profiles may not match up to the existing bin stiffener profile. In that case it will be necessary to design and fabricate a connection to properly transfer the load from the original profile to the new one. Under no case should running the stiffeners past each other on the sidewall sheet be relied upon as the transfer mechanism. The planned connection / fabrication should be designed or reviewed by a qualified engineer. In the case of a stiffened extension to a unstiffened bin / silo, you will normally have to stiffen the existing structure.

Among the information necessary to determine the requirements for components are the number of stiffener columns in the tanks and the spacing between them along the perimeter, a determination of the actual diameter if the brand is not known to be a standard industry diameter and what type of base sheet (standard, rolled lip, etc.) is installed on the existing bin / silo.

In certain cases, increasing the height of the bin / silo will result in pressures on the existing structure higher than what that bin has experienced before. Similarly, conversion of systems that have been low cycle storage into high cycle, high unload rate systems may result in higher stresses on the existing portion of the structure.

If the existing bin has some type of flooring or aeration system, it should be reviewed to be sure it will withstand the new higher floor pressures of a taller bin or suitably modified to enable it to withstand the greater height.

The existing bin door must either be left in position and moved up with its ring or replaced with proper sidewall panels. A new door will be necessary in the added rings.

Be aware that modification of an existing bin will generally void that bin's warranty from the original bin manufacturer and warranty on new added materials is not provided by GSI for additions to other manufacturers tanks for commercial add-on's or conversions.

Evaluation by qualified engineering representatives may be necessary to properly evaluate a particular situation with regards to new components, foundations, anchorage systems, etc.

 

Roof Damage from Internal Air Pressure and Blocked Exhaust Ports

Grain bin roofs can be damaged by internal air pressure from drying / aeration fans running with roof exhaust ports blocked with frost or ice. This can happen to almost any bin roof regardless of size or brand. GSI clearly warns about this potential problem in our catalogs, bin construction manuals and fan manuals.

Anytime fans are moving air through grain and outside temperatures are near or below the freezing mark, the possibility for this problem exists. Years with late harvesting and difficult drying conditions are often associated with running of fans during such weather conditions. Moisture laden air off the grain can form frost and ice on cold metal surfaces such as roof vent screens, roof panels, sidewall panels, etc. If frost accumulation occurs to the point of restricting air flow through vent screens and other air outlets, a build-up of air pressure can push up roof panels and damage the roof.

GSI "wire-grill" roof vents are less prone to frost blockage with our 3/4" wire spacing than many competitors' vents still using 1/2" mesh hardware cloth. The GSI "Auto Vent" is even less likely to frost-plug with the single vent louver providing a large size opening while fans are running. However, no roof vent design can be absolutely guaranteed to never frost over.

The best preventative for this problem is to always have the roof peak cap and roof manway door "OPEN" while running fans during these weather conditions. These door openings will provide adequate exhaust area to prevent roof damaging air pressures. Please remind your customers of this potential problem and how to avoid roof damage.