Structural consequences of filling and flow pressures in steel hoppers

Jinguang Teng, J. M. Rotter

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Many theoretical and experimental studies have been carried out on pressure distributions in silo hoppers under both filling and flow conditions. Whilst opinions differ on the form of the pressure distribution in a hopper, it is widely accepted that a local high pressure occurs immediately below the transition between the cylinder and the hopper under mass flow conditions. This high local pressure is often referred to as the 'switch pressure' or 'kick pressure' in the bulk materials handling literature. Considerable effort has been directed towards the determination of the magnitude of this high local pressure. It has generally been assumed that a high pressure must induce high wall stresses, which must necessarily be deleterious to the structure. This qualitative argument leads to the conclusion that flow pressures should be more critical than filling and flow pressures for structural design. This paper summarizes the results of recent studies on the structural consequences of filling and flow pressure for mass flow welded steel silos. In particular, the filling pressures are shown to be more critical than the flow pressures and the effect of a high switch pressure is shown to be beneficial to the strength of the structure. In addition, the paper explores the implications of these findings for the structural design of steel silo hoppers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-89
Number of pages15
JournalTransactions of the Institution of Engineers, Australia: Mechanical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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