Grabs are used for unloading dry bulk cargo vessels such as iron ore or coal. The request for higher payloads, shorter cycletimes and longer lifetime results in a permanent desire of a more efficient grab.
Development of grabs and other types of bulk handling equipment is still a complicated process: predicting the performance of a new design is hard, as continuous models are not very suitable due to the particulate nature of the dry bulk material. The current design process of bulk handling equipment such as grabs is based on years of experience and consists of designing a prototype, building it in the factory and evaluating it at a test site. This is an expensive process involving high risks and long R&D times. Virtual prototyping is proven to be successful in predicting the performance of bulk handling equipment such as grabs and an efficient method to improve grab designs.
A validated model using the Discrete Element Method (DEM) and Multibody Dynamics (MBD) has been developed at TU Delft and is ready to be used for predicting the performance of a virtual prototype grab. This combined model computes the behavior of the individual particles as well as the behavior of the grab. With this tool, the performance of virtual prototypes can be compared, indicating whether a design change is an improvement or not. As many variables can influence the performance of a grab, finding an optimal performance is a challenging task.
Currently there are multiple MSc thesis and Research assignments available within this project. Ranging from DEM supported optimization of grab designs to development of completely new grab concepts.
The research will be carried out together with the TU Delft, 3ME, section Multi Machine Engineering. During this project the supervisory team exists of dr.ir. Dingena Schott (section Multi Machine Engineering) as well as the Engineering team at Nemag B.V..
The office location of the student is open for discussion (Delft and/or Zierikzee). A monthly allowance and travel expenses will be offered.