What Is the Principle of an Electromagnetic Crane?

Official U.S. Navy Page/CC-BY-2.0

The principle of an electromagnetic crane is to allow for the lifting and transporting of metals using a strong magnetic force. Instead of using claws or pincers, the special crane uses a large flat magnet to pick up metallic materials.

Utilizing the principle of electromagnetic induction, these large cranes are used to pick up and move ferrous metals, such as steel and iron, which is primarily found in recycling plants and junk yards. The electromagnetic cranes work by using a magnetic field that is created by an electric current that can be turned off and on whenever necessary. The electromagnet consists of an iron core with a wire wrapped around it, which is where the electric current travels.