Virtual prototyping of grabs: Co-simulations of discrete element and rigid body models

Stef Lommen

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

624 Downloads (Pure)


This dissertation has investigated whether a combination of DEM and MBD can be used for a reliable and accurate environment for predicting grab unloading performance. A grab is a type of bulk material handling equipment used for unloading materials such as coal and iron ore from vessel to shore. Both a grab and iron ore pellets have been modelled and coupled into a co-simulation. Particle stiffness reductions and coarse graining techniques have been developed and applied to reduce computational costs. The developed large scale coupled grab-pellets model compared very well with validation experiments conducted on a bulk terminal with a scissors grab. A demonstration of virtual prototyping of grabs showed that when this model is implemented in the grab design process significant improvements in grab performance can be achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Lodewijks, Gabri, Supervisor
  • Schott, D.L., Advisor
Award date26 May 2016
Place of PublicationDelft, The Netherlands
Print ISBNs978-90-825419-0-8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • grabs
  • discrete element method
  • multibody dynamics
  • bulk materials
  • iron ore
  • virtual prototyping
  • DEM
  • MBD


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