Indian Geotechnical Journal

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 216–223 | Cite as

Buoyancy Reduction Coefficients for Underground Silos in Sand and Clay

  • Qingzhang Zhang
  • Lijun OuyangEmail author
  • Zhenqing Wang
  • Haiyan Liu
  • Yongbing Zhang
Technical Note


To elucidate the anti-floating problem of underground cylindrical grain silos, the water buoyancy effect and groundwater buoyancy reduction were evaluated for underground cylindrical silos in sand and clay. For testing, three silos of different diameters were installed in testing tanks with sand or clay, which were subsequently saturated with water. The buoyancy models were first verified using silos submerged in pure water. Using these models in the underground silo tests, factors favorable to anti-floating design, such as the effects of friction between the silo wall and soil and the negative pressure at the bottom of the granary, were considered. In dense well-graded saturated coarse sand, the comprehensive buoyancy reduction coefficient was in a range of 0.40–0.45 and the buoyancy reduction coefficient was 0.95. In saturated clay, the comprehensive buoyancy reduction coefficient was in a range of 0.50–0.53 and the buoyancy reduction coefficient was 0.79. These results demonstrate the requirement for considering the buoyancy reduction of different soils for the anti-floating design of underground silos.


Silo Groundwater buoyancy Reduction coefficient Model test 



This study is financially supported by the Scientific Special Expenditure of Food Industry in China (Grant No. 201513001), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51509084, 51708349), the Cultivation Plan for Youth Backbone Teachers by Henan University of Technology, the Key Scientific Research Project of Colleges and Universities in Henan Province (Grant No. 15A560022), and the National Natural Science Foundation of Guangxi (Grant No. 2013GXNSFBA019236).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Indian Geotechnical Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qingzhang Zhang
    • 1
  • Lijun Ouyang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Zhenqing Wang
    • 1
  • Haiyan Liu
    • 1
  • Yongbing Zhang
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureHenan University of TechnologyZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Environment and ArchitectureUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina
  3. 3.College of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureGuangxi UniversityNanningChina

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