Dickinson Group of Companies, offers a highly specialized service for cleaning contaminated and clogged up bulk storage containers in the  manufacturing, mining and mineral processing industries. These services, which involve the safe and efficient removal of compacted materials, are coupled with consulting services on  the implementation of preventative maintenance procedures and the formulation of proper cleaning schedules.

    Our Silo cleaning work is executed using cutting-edge equipment that is fast, efficient and safe, as the cleaning operations require no human entry into the  storage vessel at any time. The company’s services are designed to safely remove compacted materials from any size or shape of silos, bins, hoppers, tanks, reactors and chimneys.

    The company’s Silo Cleaning Services adopt a combination of specialist cleaning systems, which create a number of advantages including the following:

    • No human-entry in confined space making it 100% safe
    • Ability to safely remove flammable, explosive, hazardous or toxic products
    • No special safety measures required, only standard operating procedures when using our system
    • The  systems do not cause damage to facilities or the environment
    • Compliance with Government Health and Safety Regulations

    • Dry process, no water and no chemical
    • Environmentally friendly and no contamination
    • Regular cleaning will ensure that quality control of all storage areas is maintained
    • Higher standards of cleanliness


    • Hygiene ensuring that silo cleaning is undertaken timeously prior to possible product contamination, build-up of material and lost bin capacity

    • Reduce costs connected to “entry into confined space legislation”
    • System allows reclaimation or recycling of vessel contents, this could reduce cleaning costs
    • Improve storage capacity by eliminating buildups and blockages
    • Able to offer turnkey service to enable reduction of in-house labour cost
    • Able to assist and fulfil your factory QA and ISO compliances

    • Faster than conventional methods
    • Reduce time taken out of productive work
    • Ability to clean more than one silo at the same time
    • Materials removed from scaling to total blockage
    • Production enhancement by overcoming blockages without disrupting production


    Whether it be cement, coal, soda ash, fertiliser, plaster, animal feed, salt or clay, substances kept in silos attract moisture, which causes the material to bind and adhere to the walls or form clumps.

    As the moist product dries, it can harden and start to break up, producing lumps that can block the valve outlets. This results in the built-up of debris, which restricts the flow of material, causing  capacity reduction and production stoppages (so lumps can be removed from the valve areas or air slides). This is a typical case for Dickinson’s Silo Cleaning Services

    Specialist expertise is critical to the success of any silo management system. Dickinson believes that, through innovation and new technologies, the company’s silo cleaning services can replace the traditional unsafe methods used, by avoiding having personnel work inside the unsafe confined spaces. 

    In addition to providing relevant experience and know-how, silo cleaning services require highly specialised equipment. Dickinson adopts a combination of specialist cleaning systems.


    Cleaning technologies

    Our company adopts a combination of silo cleaning technologies, including the SiloWhip system, which can be used in combination with the Cardox CO2 system

    After a period of time, the material inside a silo tends to bond or harden due to the presence of moisture or contact with foreign environmental elements. 

    It then starts forming a build-up along the sidewalls and at the base of the silo. This build-up continues to propagate and as the years progress, without proper maintenance, the situation can lead to significant problems.

    How the Cardox CO2 System Works

    The Cardox System has a variety of different tubes for specific applications.

    Cardox tubes are filled with liquid carbon dioxide - CO2 (exactly the same as a fire extinguisher). When energized by the application of a small electrical charge, the chemical heater instantly converts the liquid carbon dioxide to a gas.

    This conversion expands the CO2 volume and builds up pressure inside the tube until it causes the rupture disc at the end of the tube to burst. This releases the CO2 - now 600 times the original volume - through a special discharge nozzle to create a powerful heaving force, at pressures up to 40,000 psi (3,000 bar). All this takes place in milliseconds!


    This instantaneous build-up in pressure reaches the yielding pressure of the rupture (shear) disc which bursts, releasing a heaving mass of carbon dioxide which breaks the surrounding material.

    By selecting the thickness of the rupture disc, the power of the tube can be regulated to suit all conditions. After recovery the tube, the heater, washer and rupture disc are replaced, the liquid carbon dioxide recharged and the tube is ready to be used again.

    How The Silowhip System Works

    After a period of time, the material inside the silo tends to bond or harden due to the presence of moisture or contact with “foreign” environmental elements. It then starts forming a build-up along the sidewalls and at the base of the silo.

    This build-up continues to propagate, and as the years progress without proper maintenance, the situation leads to significant problems: 

    The layer of build-up that is formed over the prolonged period reduces the actual capacity of the silo. There are two specific areas where the build-up generally occurs:

    • Sidewall of the silo – The layer of build-up, which bonds onto the sidewalls of the silo, begins to thicken. This symptom is known as coating or overhang if the layer becomes too bulky.
    • Base of the silo – The build-up forms at the base of the silo along the cone and sidewalls. The build-up becomes more compact and harder at the bottom as it stacks up higher. This is known as a hill formation. When a hill formation becomes too high and starts to join other hills, the effect known as bridging.

    Industries & Applications

    Our vessel cleaning services, generally referred to as Silo Cleaning Services, are used in manufacturing, mining, construction, and agricultural facilities on a wide range of bulk materials to:

    • Remove Product Build-Up
    • Restore Flow Rates
    • Recover Design Capacity
    • Prevent Cross-Contamination
    • Reclaim “Lost Material”
    • Eliminate Combustion-Generating “Hot Spots”
    • Decommission Storage Vessels at Facility Conversions or Shut-Downs

    Industries We Serve

    Our Silo Cleaning Services have been used by:

    • Aluminium
    • Biofuels
    • Breweries & Distilleries
    • Coal
    • Cement Plants & Terminals
    • Feed & Grain
    • Foundry
    • Glass, Stone & Clay
    • Iron & Steel
    • Metals Smelting Industries
    • Mining / Quarying
    • Mineral Processing
    • Paint & Allied Products
    • Pulp & Paper
    • Sand & Gravel
    • Thermal Power Plants

    Bulk Solids We Have Cleaned-Out

    We have performed Silo Cleaning on a wide range of bulk solids:
    • Animal Feeds
    • Alumina Powder

    • Boiler Ash
    • Catalyst
    • Cement
    • Chemicals
    • Clinker
    • Coal
    • Cullet
    • Dusts
    • Fertilizer
    • Flour
    • Fly Ash
    • Grain
    • Gypsum
    • Lime
    • Ore Fines
    • Pelletized Fly Ash
    • Pet Food
    • Plastic
    • Salt
    • Sand
    • Sugar
    • Potash
    • Sludge
    • Wood Chips & Pellets



    Tel: +27 (0) 16 421-3720
    Fax: +27 (0) 16 422-1038

    10 Smuts Avenue
    P.O. Box 63, Vereeniging
    1930. South Africa