2001 - Volume #25, Issue #3, Page #36[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Grain Bin Sealed From Inside Using Grease And TapeThe conventional way to seal up grain bins is to apply tar or caulking around the outside where the bin meets the foundation. It can be a hassle because over time the tar or caulking cracks and leaks and you have to apply new material.
Instead, we seal the bin from the inside using ordinary grease and 4-in. wide "caution tape" that's often used at construction sites. You can buy it cheap at any hardware store. We hook up an air-operated grease gun to a big tub of grease and apply a 1/2 to 3/4-in. thick bead along the inside edge of the bin. Then we place the tape over the grease and gently press it down. As the bin is being filled, the grain pushes on the tape and forces the grease between the bin and foundation to create a seal. The tape keeps the grain away from the grease.
We've been sealing bins this way for almost 20 years and have never lost any grain to spoilage. Our bins measure 27, 40, and 48 ft. in diameter. We can usually leave the tape and grease in for three to five years before it has to be replaced due to a broom or shovel catching the tape. It takes only a few minutes to pull the tape up and use a putty knife to scrape away the old grease. We do use new grease and tape every year on the 48-ft. dia. bin, because with a bin this big the sides will often shift one or two inches on the foundation as the bin is being emptied.
We buy bulk grease cheap in a 100-lb. drum and fit the air-operated grease gun on top of it, with a hose leading out to the grease gun handle. (Richard Pope, 3728 Gary Dr., W. Harrison, Ind. 47060 ph 812 637-1365)
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