Accidents do happen, and Silo accidents can happen very suddenly – Concrete.TV interviewed Chemical Investigation Specialist, Simon Norton on his opinions of why the Majuba Silo collapsed recently. Norton says it is the industry’s responsibility to conduct non-destructive testing on all silo’s as well as risk profiles, looking at probability of failure and the consequences of failure.
Norton says the question to be asked in this particular circumstance, is if the material stored in the silo is for arguments sake, coal, and if the coal has got corrosive materials in it, or it gives off corrosive materials or corrosive gasses [for arguments sake] – and if the coal is going to be wet – then what should have happened was that the reinforcing steel inside there, should have been hot-dip galvanised.
All of that goes into the design, [now of course I haven’t seen the design so I can’t comment on it] – but when the investigators go to look at it – they will look at the original design drawings, the materials, the concrete testing, the records, quality certificates and whether hot-dip galvanised reinforced steel was used.
“Silo design is a specialised area of engineering and engineering design and it’s possible that whoever designed it wasn’t aware of what could happen within a silo”.
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