In South Australia, silos are used for the bulk storage of grain. They are often located alongside railway lines, or in areas central to farming communities.
Grain is transported by road from farms to the silos for storage before being transported to bulk handling facilities, such as shipping ports or major rail heads. The bulk grain is generally moved by railway wagons, or road trains to these bulk handling facilities.
During harvest time, there is also the added hazard of many more heavy vehicles on the road.
Possible incidents the CFS firefighter may encounter in these complexes may include confined space rescue of personnel, elevator fires, and dust explosions.
Horizontal Storage: The horizontal shed is commonly a square or rectangular building with flat floor, steel or reinforced concrete walls up to 6 metres high and a corrugated steel roof. Capacity may range from 10,000 to 40,000 tonnes, although at some export terminals they may be as large as 300,000 tonnes.
Vertical Storage: Vertical storages consisting of blocks of individual cells with a height to diameter ratio in excess of three to one, usually constructed of reinforced concrete or steel. The cell base may be flat, in which case grain must be cleared manually once gravity flow has ceased, or the base may be a self emptying one where high output capacity requirements has justified the additional expense. The capacity of individual cells ranges from about 1,500 to 4,000 tonnes but the total capacity depends on the number of cells in the complex.
Temporary Storage: Temporary bunker storages with steel, earth or concrete walls are widely used as overflow storages in years of high production. Typically they have capacity ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 tonnes.
Key Port Grain Loading Facilities are located at Port Lincoln, Port Adelaide, Wallaroo, Ardrossan, Port Pirie, Port Giles and Thevenard.
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