With soybean storage, consistency matters

Choose the right soybean storage structure by considering the unique nature of your product. Since soybeans are sensitive to moisture and temperature changes, an airtight structure that wards off water and controls the interior environment is the best way to ensure quality control. Here are a few advantages of selecting a dome:

Increased and improved storage: Oftentimes those who buy land on a port get less property for their money, requiring decisions on how to get the necessary storage on a smaller parcel of land.

“If a port does not have height restrictions, which some do, the most efficient thing is to go vertical instead of horizontal,” Dome Technology sales manager Lane Roberts said.

Because of its height, a dome allows companies to stack product deeper, taking up less property at the site. The double curvature of a dome lends itself to the ability to build up, rather than out, and that curve provides strength at all points of the structure, even near the apex. The entire interior of a dome, then, can be used to contain product.

A structure that lasts: Facilities storing soybeans should be robust enough to tolerate frequent loading and unloading. The storage facility needs to be able to hold a high volume and be able to handle its throughput.

Selecting a seamless concrete shell for soybean storage means no rust and no seams for moisture entrance, but it also provides greater ability to flex with frequent loading and unloading. A dome’s tolerance to cyclic loading and unloading is high because of its structural integrity, compared to steel bins built with fasteners or welded seams. Frequent loading and unloading cycles will manifest fatigue at bolt holes or weld imperfections until a crack develops. Filling and emptying will stress a dome too, but a steel-reinforced dome can accept the force without the same fatigue problems; the stress is not channeled to weak spots like bolt holes or seams because there aren’t any.

Superior product protection through climate control: Insulation doesn’t come standard with traditional storage facilities like bins and silos, and fluctuations in external and internal temperature, plus the possibility of moisture or condensation inside the structure, can compromise product integrity and pose a danger for volatile materials.

In contrast, a dome staves off some boundary issues other structures face. First, the airform covering the entire dome prevents water and moisture from seeping in. Important for moisture-affected products, this feature eliminates introduction of outside water into the pile.

Secondly, the combination of waterproof membrane, reinforced concrete shell, and continuous layer of polyurethane foam prevents extreme interior temperature fluctuation; these features reduce heating and cooling of the walls and air inside, preventing condensation.

Aeration systems, and a cable array of moisture meters and temperature cables ensure internal conditions are ideal.