Cement Americas

FALL 2017

Cement Americas provides comprehensive coverage of the North and South American cement markets from raw material extraction to delivery and tranportation to end user.

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www.cementamericas.com • Fall 2017 • CEMENT AMERICAS 17 FEATURE R oofs are a fundamentally important part of any silo. They protect stored materials from the elements, offer entry points for filling and inspection and often house a variety of necessary equipment. They also typ- ically take the greatest amount of abuse from loading, unloading, the weather, maintenance activities, and foot traffic. Due to the size of industrial storage silos, roofs are easy to overlook. Yet roof and silo wall failures not only lead to unplanned downtime and lost profits, they also compromise safety. There are numerous news reports every year that cite critical injuries or fatalities as a result of silo roof failure. Preventive maintenance and routine inspection of silos can reduce the risk of liabilities. It is therefore recom- mended that all silos are inspected periodically to insure structural integrity, operability and safety. Proper roof maintenance is needed to keep the mate- rials within the silo safe and dry. One of the best main- tenance options for many silo roofs is the application of protective coating. Coatings can be applied preven- tatively or used to fix minor issues. There are a variety of coating types available, each of which has different strengths and weaknesses. Coating Options Scientific and technological advancements influence the types of coating materials available on the market. While breakthroughs can lead to enhanced product offerings, there are a few standard coating types used for metal and concrete silos. These typically include polyurethanes, acrylics or epoxies. Many advancements are a result of mixes that contain one or more of these components. When looking for the best silo and roof coating for your application, there are a number of specifications that should be considered. Ideally, products used for roof-top coating should be highly durable and resist foot traffic, environmental elements and industrial loading of silos to ensure product longevity and increased silo lifetime. Like many structures, silos are subject to thermal expan- sion. Throughout the year, the silo surfaces expand during warmer temperatures and contract when cooled. High elasticity coatings are able to tolerate this normal expansion and contraction throughout the year without cracking or peeling. Roof-top coatings should fully adhere to the surface material, not act as a floating membrane. The smallest hole in a non-bonded, floating membrane allows water to pass throughout the entire silo surface. This water becomes trapped between the roof membrane and the top of the slab or travels down silo walls. Up on the Roof: Staying on Top of Cement Silo Protection How to Pick the Right Roof-Top and Silo Coating. By Dennis Blauser and Tim Thieman Image of a failed silo roof. Silo roof that shows clear wear from exposure to weather conditions and use.

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