How to clean out a cement silo without having to go inside.

August 16, 2022

As more cement products are being introduced to the Concrete Industry, producers are trying to rejuvenate old dormant silos into the overall plant cement storage system.  However if the cement has been left unused in a silo for any length of time, the cement density might be too high to flow freely out of the silo.

By temporarily using a low pressure high volume Positive Displacement Blower (instead of the common plant aeration blower) the cement can be aerated to be fluid and flow out of the silo.

Make sure all 8 (minimum) of the aeration pads are working and located correctly.  Use a manifold with individual air lines to each pad to provide consistent aeration flow.  You should have two rows of 4 pads each.  The first row should be approximately 16” up from the cone with the 2nd row 24” above the first row.  Each row of pads should be 90 degrees from each other (12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock) and in line with the pads on the 2nd row.  By having the two rows of pads in-line, the aeration of the cement will create a “avalanche” of movement  which will release more cement to flow freely through the cone.

If you have a “cement ball” plugging the cone section, you might need to build an access blister to break up the ball and remove from the silo.  The blister will allow temporary access to the inside of the cone and can be sealed up after use.

Once the cement is flowing, you can clean out the inside silo walls by opening up the top manhole and using a pole with brush to clean the sides.  An aluminum pole and brush from your local pool supply store works well.