Scrap handling with orange peel grabs

Most orange peel grabs are used for handling iron scrap. Scrap comes in different shapes and sizes. All these kinds of scrap result in different requirements for the optimal grab. We at Verstegen invest a lot of effort in optimizing our grabs for the best performance.

Orange Peel Grab Handling Scrap


Scrap is completely different from all other bulk materials, it is not possible to calculate with a fixed density for scrap as for example coal or fertilizer. Especially the Heavy Melting Scrap (HMS) is far from homogeneous and this makes that every grab of material will be different.

Dynamic forces

There are various factors that influence the forces acting on the grab and crane. Important with scrap handling are the dynamic forces. A lot of extra force can be required to pull the grab free from the scrap on the pile or in the vessel. This is especially important whilst unloading mixed scrap and HMS with large pieces. Dynamic forces can result in 20% to 30% higher crane loads than the combined weight of the scrap and the grab.


Another common type of scrap is shredded scrap. This type of scrap is more homogeneous and has an uncompressed density between 0.8 and 1.2 ton per m3. For unloading shredded scrap there is another important factor to take into account: the compression of the scrap. When the grab is put on the material and is closed, the grab picks up a much larger volume than the designed capacity and most of the time the shells cannot close completely. Furthermore the shredded scrap is compressed inside the shells.

Orange peel grab handling

Orange peel grab handling shredded scrap, grab capacity 12 m3 , dead weight 17 ton, working on 35 ton crane

The combination of the above points result in a “practical grabbing density” of 1.4 to 1.8 ton/m3.

Capacity of an orange peel grab

The capacity of an orange peel grab strongly depends on the type of scrap which is handled. The Verstegen orange peel grab has a very wide opening and large “grabbing capacity”. Normally an orange peel grab can pick up much more material than the scales can contain. As a result the scales don’t close completely, this is different from a clamshell grab. When the scales completely close the (theoretical) volume is less then the practical volume.

Orange peel capacity

Examples of grabs in operation

Below pictures show our grabs in operation with their practical filling.

Scrap grabs in action