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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Design criteria for structural design of silage silo walls

Von Wachenfelt, Hans; Nilsson, Christer; Östergard, Göran I.; Olofsson, N. Anders; Karlsson, J. Marie; Östergaard, Göran I.


Existing Swedish design guidelines (JBR) cover silo wall heights up to about 3 m. These guidelines presumably overestimate the forces and pressures exerted by silage juice when silo walls are more than 3 m high, which could result in over-sizing, material waste and increased capital costs. This study determined silage physical properties in terms of horizontal wall pressure and evaluated silage juice levels in silos with a wall height of 3 m or more.Wall pressure was measured by transducers mounted on a steel ladder rack placed vertically along the internal silo wall. The ladder rack also permitted measurement of silage juice levels in slotted steel pipes. The pressure on the transducers was recorded by a data acquisition system displaying static and total loads (pressures imposed by silage material without and with the compaction machine, respectively).The static pressure at the bottom of the silo wall (4 m) was 16 kPa during filling and compaction, and 22 kPa 1-4 months after filling. The silage juice did not interact with compaction. The wall pressure increased by 30% after filling, but the increase was only significant at 1 m from the silo bottom. The dynamic load was 17 kPa when the compaction machine passed 0.1 m from the silo wall.New guidelines are proposed based on the results and on the Eurocode for ultimate limit states (ULS) for two stages; filling and the utility period. The design bending moment for ULS was 21% lower than specified in JBR. (C) 2014 IAgrE. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Bunker silo; Wall; Silage; Pressure; Force

Published in

Biosystems Engineering
2014, volume: 126, pages: 92-103

Authors' information

Von Wachenfelt, Hans (Von Wachenfelt, Hans)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology (VH), general
Nilsson, Christer
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology (VH), general
Östergard, Göran I.
Abetong AB
Olofsson, N. Anders
Abetong AB
Karlsson, J. Marie
Abetong AB
Östergaard, Göran I.
Abetong AB

Associated SLU-program

Built environment

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science

Publication Identifiers


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