GSI’s Z Series grain storage bins use inflatable bladders that make cleanout a breeze.
“It eliminates the need for any kind of sweep augers or paddle sweeps or any kind of sweeping mechanism inside of a flat bottom bin system,” said Jarod Wendt of GSI.
“During the typical unload, you can still open up the door and see the movement of the grain, but there is absolutely no reason to go into the bin.”
The inflatable liner is composed of a thick industrial grade polyester material that is attached to the bin walls and the trough section that runs through the center of the bin.
GSI calls its bladder-assisted unload system Flexwave.
“We essentially blow it up, much like a balloon or something like that. We’re adding air behind the liner and by doing that, it pushes and removes that grain that was there towards the centre of the bin so that grain can come out from the centre of the bin and out of the unloading mechanism,” Wendt said.
Blowers inside of a GSI control panel only have to inflate the bladder to one PSI to push the grain to the middle of the bin.
Wendt said traditional sweep augers can leave some grain behind and can be time-consuming to send around the bin two or three times.
“Even then you might not get all of the grain. The way this balloons up and pushes all that grain towards the centre, it gets all that material out of the inside of the grain bin,” he said.
“It doesn’t leave any material behind, essentially about 99.99 percent clean out.”
Wendt said from a design point of view the bladder should last as long as the grain bins do, 30 years plus under typical use, and the bladder is easy to repair if damaged.
“Because it’s very low pressure, we offer glue patches that allow you to fix and repair the small little tears, and the small little patches hold up well and continue to allow for the life of the liner to continue,” Wendt said.
The aeration system available for the Z Series storage bins is similar to aeration systems used in temporary storage piles, which use round tubing to aerate the grain.
“We have optional aeration ductwork round tubing that you can put inside there to ensure that you can still run fans and still get air across the majority of that grain, so that really helps with keeping it in condition and keeping it in storage longer term,” Wendt said.
“That round tubing sits on our Flexwave system and as our Flexwave system is inflated, the tubing moves with it.”
GSI started selling the 24-foot diameter bins last August, and is now offering 30-foot diameter bins.
“So now we can have them in bins all the way up to 21 rings tall or about 47 thousand bushels of grain stored inside our largest V-Series bin,” Wendt said.