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Engineered fabric buildings for salt dome storage provide an affordable alternative to brick and mortar structures for the salt and sand industry. Since they are designed to meet specific requirements of the building site, these structures last longer making them highly sought after in a budget conscious industry. They are strong, customizable, and corrosive resistant. These benefits prevent deterioration of the buildings while protecting materials in a strong, durable structure.

The Added Strength of Hot-Dipped Galvanized Steel (HDG)

Manufactured galvanized steel has an exterior zinc coating of .9mm. The framework for engineered fabric salt dome storage structures are treated to a hot dipped galvanized mixture that increases the zinc coating to 3.9mm inside and out. The dipping process covers the framing materials down to the smallest crevices that go unnoticed by many assemblers. This step helps to maximize structural integrity and creates a tough barrier against corrosive materials. After the metallurgical process, the overall strength increases from 300-500/psi to 3600/psi. Additional strength like this allows the structure to withstand high winds, temperature fluctuations, and heavy rain or snow falls.

A common misconception is that all fabricated galvanized steel has an interior coating. Most actually have a zinc rich paint applied during the manufacturing process. The HDG process ensures an even coating is applied to every surface. The total width of the protective mixture is equal to or greater than the thickness of the steel component. Thicker structural components increase the load-bearing capacity creating a stronger building that lasts longer.

Salt and sand are highly corrosive materials so the HDG treated steel withstands much of the pitting, rust, and deterioration that most metals suffer. This makes the buildings resistant to the damage while providing a strong, durable structure that lasts for years.

Tough Super Shielding

Engineered fabric buildings for salt dome storage have a strong monolithic-like membrane that prevents moisture and water from accumulating in the seams, joints, and junctions of the structure. The rubberized material is applied in these areas to seal the cracks that lead to deterioration and corrosion. Expansion and contraction problems are minimized due to the flexibility of the elastic-like material.

A certified applicator applies the Super Shield evenly using a sprayer. The coating can be used on blocks, cement, and HDG treated materials. Foundations, base plates, and block walls receive extra protection because it acts as a moisture barrier at ground level. The sealant creates a waterproofing method that is cost-effective and efficient while adding to the tensile strength of the structure.

Spray coating the fabric with this shielding creates an almost seamless building that repels water from your salt dome storage while being UV resistant. Since most materials break down in the sunlight, it’s important to understand that this treatment increases the life use of the fabrics making them tougher and more impervious to weather-related conditions. This not only creates a longer lasting unit, the tensile strength increases to approximately 1,000/psi making it a durable and sturdy structure for storing salt and sand. Since sand and salt can become contaminated if left to the weather or mixed with other chemicals, fabric structures are a safe, economical solution.

Site-Specific Customizations

The location of the site, it’s intended purpose, and local building regulations are important factors to be considered when creating a customized, engineered fabric building. Since most transportation departments have a strict budget to work with, these buildings need to meet a high standard of quality at an affordable price. The quick assembly, sturdy structure, easy maintenance, and long life use make them an important addition to these industries.

Building to meet the specific needs of the location for the structure means taking into consideration usable space, drainage, and access. Since this can limit the size of the building, engineered structures take into account the necessary height, various roof pitches, and custom wall sizes in order to accommodate tight spaces through 3D Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis. The compression coupler (CC Series) system even allows for longer pressure transfer over the connecting cords for more design options.

Many villages, towns, and counties have limited storage space for their sand and salt supplies and the buildings need to meet a high standard of safety conditions. The special sealant that shields engineered fabric buildings are created to be corrosive resistant and strong. Many departments have begun using these structures to protect their salt and sand because it not only withstands the deterioration these materials can cause, they also have a 15-year warranty on most of the parts and materials.

An important feature of an engineered fabric building is the thorough testing phase the materials must endure before being used. This step ensures the structure meets the requirements of the Canadian Standards Act (CSA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

The sand and salt industry requires long-term storage solutions, temporary facilities, and mobile units to meet all their needs. Whether that means covering a mine shaft or protecting the materials from the weather, the building needs to meet local building regulations and high industry standards. By using non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, asphalt-free shield coating and HDG processing, engineered buildings are strong, durable, and resistant to deterioration weathering and water-borne chemicals.

Not only are these structures engineered to meet zoning laws, the designs are flexible enough to incorporate skylights and solar panels. These buildings are economical as well as environmentally friendly. They withstand extreme weather conditions and can last up to 70 years if properly cared for and maintained. If more space is needed, expansion is quick and easy.


Get the most out of your salt and sand storage fabric structure by reading some strategies and tips from our article, Salt Protection: Getting the Most Out of Your Salt Storage Building.


To learn how Calhoun can solve your salt and sand facility needs, read our Salt and Sand Storage Solutions page.