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Demoing a cement tank

Discussion in 'Demolition' started by GrainBinMan, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. GrainBinMan

    GrainBinMan Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2015
    South Central PA
    We have an opportunity to bid on taking down a hopper tank that held cement for a precast plant. The tank hasn't been used for a number of years, but is nearly full of product. It definitely is hard on the top, but it may be still in powder form below a crust.

    I know dust can be explosive. How about cement? We are thinking of cutting a hole in the bottom of the tank (either with a gas-powered cutoff saw, or a torch) to remove the cement that is in it, if possible. But I don't want the tank blowing up in my face.

    What are the chances? Anybody have any experience with cement?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

    Nov 30, 2003
    Grass Valley, Ca
  3. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

    Jan 4, 2013
    I wish I was closer. Are you planning to use the cement? It would be perfect for soil cement stabilization, or drying up a mud hole for construction.

    There's nothing to burn in cement, even if there's some other dust, which is unlikely in a cement bin, it wouldn't be airborn at the bottom of the bin. Be careful of bridging though, hardened cement is pretty much guaranteed to bridge.
  4. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

    Mar 27, 2009
    sw missouri
    Five years ago, I helped tear down a concrete plant about 3 miles from my shop. There was a 15' diameter tank off to the side, on probably 13' legs, maybe a 15-20' tall tank. They wanted me to hold the tank while they cut the legs and then set it down. I climbed the tank tapping it, and guessed it was full of material. I politely declined on that portion of the tear down, and we removed the rest of the facility.

    About a month later I got a phone call to upright a 10k telehandler. They hired a scrapper to remove the last of the site, and they wanted the hopper bottom. They placed the mast of the forkift up on the side of the tank, and started cutting legs. They had 3 or 4 legs left, and the tank twisted on the remaining legs, falling toward the forklift. It pushed the telehandler over onto it's left side, smashing the operators foot, lucky he wasn't killed. He still doesn't walk right.

    The tank is still laying on its side at the site, surrounded by the powder from the tank.

    If the tank has gotten moisture in it, it can be quite hard to get the material out.

    Concrete dust is not like grain mill dust. No chance of fire.