Valley Grain Company | Grain Elevator Collapse
Litigation assistance to evaluate the credibility of the opinion of other expert engineers that the collapse had been caused by weld defects in the newest grain elevator tower. Review included project documents, examination of the condition of the tower members and connections, and analysis of the as-designed and as-built load cases, conveyor system, and the two adjacent towers. The newest tower had been erected with unplanned connections to an existing horizontal conveyor. Analysis of the relative stiffness of the new tower, adjacent conveyor support towers, and elevated conveyor structure revealed load resistance of the newer tower was more than twice that of the adjacent towers. Connection of the new tower to the conveyor in conjunction with the tower's relatively high stiffness, significantly increased the loads the structure would need to resist during a wind storm.