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Phone: 507-345-5748 e-mail: info@actek.com



Newton

Discrete Element Modeling Software

User Manual – Revision 1.08

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Table of Contents
1 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................. 4
2 INSTALLATION ............................................................................................................................................... 5
2.1 LICENSING INFORMATION .................................................................................................................................. 6
2.2 NEWTON UPDATES .......................................................................................................................................... 8
3 OVERVIEW .................................................................................................................................................... 9
3.1 TERMINOLOGY ................................................................................................................................................ 9
3.2 UNITS OF MEASURE ....................................................................................................................................... 10
3.3 MAIN NEWTON TOOLBAR ............................................................................................................................... 10
3.4 NEWTON PLAYBACK TOOLBAR ......................................................................................................................... 11
3.5 MAIN MENUS ............................................................................................................................................... 12
3.5.1 “File” Menu .......................................................................................................................................... 12
3.5.2 “Display” Menu .................................................................................................................................... 13
3.3.3 “Solver” Menu ...................................................................................................................................... 15
3.3.4 “Help” Menu ........................................................................................................................................ 17
3.3.5 “Library” Menu .................................................................................................................................... 18
4 PRE-PROCESSING ........................................................................................................................................ 19
4.1 SETTING GENERAL SIMULATION PARAMETERS ..................................................................................................... 19
4.2 SETTING MATERIAL PROPERTIES ....................................................................................................................... 25
4.3 IMPORTING GEOMETRY AND SETTING LAYER PARAMETERS .................................................................................... 28
4.3.1 Layer Control ........................................................................................................................................ 29
4.3.2 Layer Surface Velocity Control ............................................................................................................. 31
4.3.3 Layer Deactivation ............................................................................................................................... 32
4.3.4 Layer Movement and Cyclic Motion Control ........................................................................................ 32
4.3.5 Layer Frictional Properties ................................................................................................................... 33
4.3.6 Layer Triangle Control .......................................................................................................................... 34
4.3.7 Graphics Rendering Window ............................................................................................................... 36
4.3.8 Killboxes ............................................................................................................................................... 37
4.4 BELT GEOMETRY INPUT .................................................................................................................................. 39
4.4.1 Required Belt Input .............................................................................................................................. 39
4.4.2 Head Pulley Position and Rotation ....................................................................................................... 40
4.4.3 Pulley Input .......................................................................................................................................... 40
4.4.4 Optional Input ...................................................................................................................................... 41
4.4.5 Belt Speed ............................................................................................................................................ 42
4.4.6 Friction ................................................................................................................................................. 43
4.5 PARTICLE GENERATION FOR SIMULATION ........................................................................................................... 44
4.5.1 Newton Particles .................................................................................................................................. 44
4.5.2 Particle Generation .............................................................................................................................. 45
4.6 MATERIAL SET LIBRARY .................................................................................................................................. 56
4.6.1 Size Distribution Curves ........................................................................................................................ 57
4.6.2 Group List ............................................................................................................................................. 59
4.7 PARTICLE AND CLUSTER LIBRARY ....................................................................................................................... 62
4.8 FILE QUEUING............................................................................................................................................... 64
4.9 IMPORTING CUSTOM LAYER MOVEMENT PROFILES .............................................................................................. 66
4.9.1 Importing a Layer Movement Profile ................................................................................................... 66
4.9.2 Example Simulation using Custom CSV Movement Profile .................................................................. 68
5 RUNNING A SIMULATION ............................................................................................................................ 72
5.1 STARTING THE SIMULATION ............................................................................................................................. 72
5.1.1 General Simulation Information .......................................................................................................... 72
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5.1.2 Rendering Window Context Menu ....................................................................................................... 73
5.2 SURFACE AND MATERIAL VISUALIZATION ........................................................................................................... 75
5.2.1 Modifying Layer View Settings ............................................................................................................. 75
5.2.2 Material Coloring ................................................................................................................................. 76
5.2.3 Material Visualization, Outline Tolerance, Rotational C.G. ................................................................. 78
5.2.4 Clip Planes ............................................................................................................................................ 80
6 POST PROCESSING....................................................................................................................................... 82
6.1 OPENING AND MODIFYING PLAYBACK FILES ........................................................................................................ 82
6.1.1 Merging Playback Files ........................................................................................................................ 82
6.1.2 Exporting a Playback File to a DXF File ................................................................................................ 83
6.1.3 Reducing and Repairing Playback Files ................................................................................................ 85
6.2 CALCULATING THE SOLIDS RATIO FOR A PARTICLE SET ........................................................................................... 87
6.2.1 Calculating Solids Ratio ........................................................................................................................ 87
6.2.2 Setting Material Properties Parameters .............................................................................................. 90
6.3 CREATING PLAYBACK FRAMES .......................................................................................................................... 93
6.4 CREATING ANIMATIONS .................................................................................................................................. 94
6.4.1 AVI Creator Window ............................................................................................................................ 94
6.4.2 Choosing an Animation Resolution ...................................................................................................... 97
6.4.3 Creating and Removing Key Frames .................................................................................................... 98
6.4.4 Modifying View Settings for Key Frames ............................................................................................. 99
6.4.5 Analyzing Work on Particles and Chute Surfaces ............................................................................... 101
6.5 OUTPUT RESULTS WINDOW .......................................................................................................................... 105
6.5.1 Simulation Tonnage ........................................................................................................................... 105
7 REFERENCE PAPERS ................................................................................................................................... 107

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1 Introduction
Thank you for your interest in our Newton Discrete Element Modeling software. This manual
will discuss how to use the Newton software, and describes the meanings of all input and
output data.
This manual assumes that the reader is familiar with the basic principles of the Discrete
Element Method (DEM). It is not meant to be a tutorial on DEM, nor is it intended to be an
instruction manual on how to design conveyor belt transfer chutes.
If you have questions about the Newton software that are not addressed in this manual, direct
them to info@actek.com and we will respond as soon as possible.
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2 Installation
The Newton software consists of two parts. These are the software installation CD-ROM and a
Sentinel USB hardware dongle. Newton is supported under Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, and
Windows 7.

Figure 2.0.1 – Newton CD-ROM and License Key
The files on the Newton CD-ROM are shown in Figure 2.0.2.

Figure 2.0.2 – Files on Newton CD-ROM
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To install Newton insert the CD-ROM into your computer. The following items on the Newton
CD-ROM must be installed:
“setup.exe” Installs the main Newton program
“directx_Jun2010_redist.exe” Installs required DirectX components
“HASPUserSetup.exe” Installs drivers for the USB key
Additionally, you may install the Xvid codec “Xvid-1.3.2.exe” which you can use for creating
animation files in Newton. If you prefer to use another codec to encode your animation files,
you may install your own.
Newton will install two directories on your computer. The root “Newton” directory contains all
required Newton installation files and the main “Newton.exe” executable. The “Examples”
directory contains various example files, and Newton tutorial files which accompany the video
tutorial series.
2.1 Licensing Information
There are two different license types for Newton. The differences between them are outlined
in this section.
Features Newton Basic Newton Professional
Spheres, symmetric, and irregular clusters Predefined Unlimited
Custom cluster creation No Yes
Material properties input Predefined Unlimited
Number of particle creation locations 1 5
Maximum number of clusters 75,000 1,000,000
Geometry input layers 5 50
Geometry surface velocities Yes Yes
Geometry rotation/linear movement No Yes
Surface impact/abrasion recording No Yes
Ability to set surface properties per layer No Yes
Custom belt generation 1 Belt Up to 3 Belts
Full Multi-Core processing (up to 16 cores) Included Included
Key frame AVI video creation Included Included
Playback file generation Included Included
Free playback file viewer software Included Included
Pre/Post processing concurrent users 0 2

Note that if you have purchased the professional version, you may run up to 3 instances of
Newton on your network using one license. Only 1 of those instances of Newton can be
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running a simulation, but the other 2 instances may be performing pre and post processing,
such as setting up simulations, viewing playback files, or creating animation files. Newton
automatically detects the USB license through your computer network. If you have purchased
the Basic version, only 1 instance of Newton can be running per license.
To view the settings for your USB license, open a web browser on the machine that contains
the license, and type http://localhost:1947 in the URL bar. This will open the Sentinel Admin
Control Center, shown in Figure 2.1.1.

Figure 2.1.1– Sentinel Admin Control Center
From here, you can view information about all USB licenses currently connected to the
network. For more information about the Sentinel license keys, see “HASP HL NET
Configuration.pdf” on the Newton CD-ROM.
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2.2 Newton Updates
After installation you may want to check for any new Newton updates. This can be done by
selecting “Check for Updates” found under the “Help” taskbar menu. You will need internet
access for this process to complete.

Figure 2.2.1 – Updating Newton
If an update is found Newton will prompt you to automatically download and install the update.

Figure 2.2.2 – Updating Newton
After the download is complete Newton will step you though the remaining update process.
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3 Overview
3.1 Terminology
This section defines and describes some important terms that are used throughout this manual.
DEM: An acronym for the Discrete Element Method, a simulation method which records and
tracks the position, orientation, force, velocity, etc. of each individual particle using a discrete
time-stepping scheme.
Sphere: A sphere is the base unit of material in Newton. All material is created using spheres.
Cluster: This is a typical unit of material in Newton. Groups of spheres are arranged to form
rigid particles called clusters. A cluster can be composed of any number of spheres (see Figure
4.5.1).
Particle: This is a general term for a piece of material, either a sphere or a cluster.
Time-Step: Newton uses an explicit time stepping scheme. This means that at a single instant
in time, Newton calculates the position, orientation, and velocity of each particle. Then the
simulation ‘steps through’ a specific length of time (usually on the order of a few microseconds)
and repeats all calculations. The time-step is defined as this length of time.
Triangle: Newton imports geometry from CAD files in the form of triangles. Each layer in the
CAD model contains hundreds or thousands of triangles. The term “triangle” refers to one of
these triangles on a specific layer of the geometry.
Runtime: This is the length of real time that is required for Newton to run a simulation.
Runtimes can vary from a few hours to a few weeks, depending primarily on the number and
size of the particles. This can also be referred to as computation time.
Neighbor: For each particle, Newton maintains a list of “Nearest Neighbor” particles that could
potentially be in contact with the particle. These neighbor particles are checked for contact at
every time step. The neighbor list is periodically updated.
Cell: The simulation domain is discretized into cubic cells. The location of each sphere, cluster,
and triangle includes a reference to which cell it is in. These cells are used to track particle and
triangle movement and contact.
Rendering Window: Many of the input pages in Newton contain an area where the particles
and/or chute geometry is rendered using DirectX. These renderings can be panned, orbited,
and zoomed. The sections of the window where these renderings appear are called Rendering
Windows.

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3.2 Units of Measure
Newton uses the following metric units of measurement, unless otherwise stated:
Time: Seconds (s, sec)
Length: Meters (m) or millimeters (mm)
Velocity: Meters per second (m/s)
Force: Newton (N)
Work: Joules (J), or (J/mm
2
), or (J/mm
2
-sec)
3.3 Main Newton Toolbar
The main Newton toolbar contains quick shortcuts to most commonly used input and output
data windows. Figure 3.3.1 shows the buttons on the main Newton toolbar.

Figure 3.3.1 – Newton Main Toolbar
1. Open – Opens an existing Newton input file
2. Save – Saves the current Newton file
3. Simulation Parameters – Shows the simulation parameters window. (See Section 4.1)
4. Material Properties – Shows the material properties window. (See Section 4.2)
5. Geometry Input – Shows the geometry input window. (See Section 4.3)
6. Material Generator – Shows the particle generation window. (See Section 4.5)
7. Material Set Library – Shows the material set library. (See Section 4.6)
8. Particle Library – Shows the particle library. (See Section 4.7)
9. Pan – Move geometry by panning.
10. Zoom – Zoom in or out.
11. Orbit – Rotate the geometry in 3D.
12. Zoom Window – Zoom in by selecting a window.
13-14. Top & Bottom View – Rotate to top or bottom view (parallel to Z-axis).
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15-16. Left & Right View – Rotate to left or right view (parallel to X-axis.)
17-18. Front & Back View – Rotate to front or back view (parallel to Y-axis).
19-22. Isometric Views – Rotate to the isometric views.
23. User Custom View – Allows you to save up to five custom views. Newton can also
import and export saved views to a file so the views can be shared between playback files.
3.4 Newton Playback Toolbar
The Newton playback toolbar contains commands that are used when view playback files and
creating playback frames and animation files. Figure 3.4.1 shows the buttons on the Newton
playback toolbar.

Figure 3.4.1 – Newton Playback Toolbar
24. Capture Screenshot: Captures a screenshot of the rendering window in PNG format.
25. Surface and Material Visualization (SMV): Opens the SMV window. (See Section 5.2)
26. AVI Creator: Opens the AVI Creator window. (See Section 6.4)
27. Results Window: Opens the Results Window. (See Section 6.5)
28. Go to First Frame: Rewinds the playback file to the first frame.
29. Rewind One Frame: Steps the playback file backward by one frame.
30. Play: Plays the playback file.
31. Stop: Stops playback of the playback file.
32. Advance One Frame: Steps the playback file forward by one frame
33. Go to Last Frame: Forwards the playback file to the final frame.
34. Go to Specific Time: Allows you to jump to a specific point in the playback file.
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3.5 Main Menus
The function of each command on each Newton dropdown menu is described in this section.
3.5.1 “File” Menu
Figure 3.5.1 shows a snapshot of the “File” dropdown menu. The File menu contains the ability
to create, open, and save Newton input and playback files.

Figure 3.5.1 – “File” dropdown menu
New Input File: Discards all current input file information and any current simulation
information, generating a new template for a Newton simulation. This action cannot be
undone, and any unsaved input file information will be lost.
Open Input File: Brings up a file prompt window, so you can open a newton input file (*.NWT).
Newton input files contain all pre-processing simulation parameters, chute geometry, and
generated particles. Input files do not contain simulation data.
Recent Files: Maintains a list of recently opened Newton input files for quick access.
Open File Queue: Opens the file queuing window, which can store up to 10 Newton input files
to run automatically. (See Section 4.8)
Save: Saves the current Newton input file.
Save As: Saves a copy of the current Newton input file to the specified location, and opens that
new copy for editing.
Open Playback File: Brings up a file prompt window, so you can open an uncompressed
Newton playback file (*.UCM), or a Newton playback frame (*.PBF). Playback files contain data
about the position and velocity of each particle for each frame of the simulation, and are
generally very large files (4-20 GB). Playback frame files contain positions and velocities of
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every particle for a single frame of the simulation; playback frames are usually smaller than 5
MB.
Save Playback Frame: If a Newton playback file is open, this command will save a Newton
playback frame for the current simulation frame.
Playback Tools: This submenu contains more commands for working with playback files.
Reduce Playback File: Opens a command window to modify and reduce the size of a
playback file. (See Section 6.1.3)
Merge Playback Files: Opens a command window to merge multiple playback files
together. (See Section 6.1.1)
Export Playback File to DXF: Exports the current playback frame to a .DXF CAD file. (See
Section 6.1.2)
Exit: Closes all files and exits Newton.
3.5.2 “Display” Menu
The Display menu contains commands for rendering frames and playback files. Figures 3.5.2
thru 3.5.6 show snapshots of the Display dropdown menu.
Screen Capture: Captures a screenshot of the rendering window in PNG format.
Window Size (Capture Area): When you use “Screen Capture” to create a snapshot, the
resolution of the screenshot is based on the size of the rendering window. This menu allows
you to quickly resize the rendering window to some common sizes.

Figure 3.5.2 – Display menu with “Window Size” submenu open
Background Color: Allows you to modify the background color of the rendering window.
Playback Speed: When you are viewing a Newton playback file, you can specify how quickly
you want to proceed through the simulation by choosing Fast, Normal, or Slow. Additionally,
you can enable frame skipping, which forces Newton to render only 1 frame out of every 2, 5,
10, or 25 frames.
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Figure 3.5.3 – Display menu with “Playback Speed” submenu open
Controls: This submenu contains commands identical to those in the Newton Playback Toolbar
(see Section 3.4)

Figure 3.5.4 – Display menu with “Controls” submenu open
Surfaces: This submenu contains commands for setting the global view settings for the layers
in the simulation. The layers can be rendered as solid, transparent, wireframe, or outer-lines-
only. This submenu is only visible in playback mode or when a simulation is running.

Figure 3.5.5 – Display menu with “Surfaces” submenu open
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Particles: This submenu contains commonly-used commands for setting the particle view
settings. This submenu is only visible in playback mode or when a simulation is running.

Figure 3.5.6 – Display menu with “Particles” submenu open
Visible: All particles will be visible in the rendering window.
Hidden: All particles will be hidden in the rendering window.
Hidden while Rotating: If you find that your computer takes a long time to render the
particles as you rotate the model, you can enable this option and Newton will wait to
render the particles until 1.5 seconds after you finish rotating the model.
Color by Velocity: Changes the particle coloring mode to “Color by Velocity”.
Color by Cluster Type: Changes the particle coloring mode to “Color by Cluster Type”.
Color by CPU Thread: Changes the particle coloring mode to “Color by CPU Thread”.
This option is only available when a simulation is running.
Show UCS Icon: Enables or disables the UCS icon (which is displayed at the origin of the
coordinate system) in the rendering window.
Anti-Aliasing: Enables or disables anti-aliasing (AA). AA is a graphics rendering feature that acts
to smooth and blend rendered corners and circles, making the picture look much better. By
default this option is enabled if your computer’s graphics card supports it.
3.3.3 “Solver” Menu
Figure 3.5.7 shows the Solver menu, which contains commands used during simulation runtime.
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Figure 3.5.7 – “Solver” Menu
Run: Starts running the current simulation. Once the simulation starts, the input parameters
cannot be accessed or modified.
Pause Simulation: Pauses a running simulation.
Stop: Stops a running simulation. If you have the simulation set to create restart files, then
Newton will automatically save a restart file at the current time when you stop a simulation.
Restart: This command does not restart the current simulation. It brings up a file prompt so
you can navigate to and open a Newton restart file (*.RST). After you select the restart file,
another window will display, shown in Figure 3.5.8.

Figure 3.5.8 – Newton Restart Popup Window
This window allows you to change a few of the input parameters. You can enter a new
simulation stop time. If you want to maintain the original simulation stop time, then leave the
input box at 0 seconds. You can also change the material sets that are being dropped. Click the
“Import Material” button and navigate to the MDF data file that contains the new material
information.
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If the directory or subdirectories to which the simulation information needs to be changed, you
can do that here as well. The critical time ratio can be changed as well, and you can change
whether Newton uses a variable or constant time step.
NOTE: When you load a restart file, the current input file is closed and all unsaved information
is lost.
Save Restart: This option is only available when a simulation is paused. Newton will save a
restart file at the current simulation time.
Material Generation Stop Time: Clicking this opens the window shown in Figure 3.5.9. You can
end the material generation earlier than was specified in the input file if you need to. The
window specifies the generation end time according to the input file as well as the current time
to end generation. There is an input box that allows you to change the end generation time.

Figure 3.5.9 – “Stop Material Generation Early” window
Calculate Solids Ratio: This opens a window that is used for calculate the solids ratio of a
particle set. (See Section 6.2.1)
Save Playback Frame: This saves a single-frame playback file (*.PBF) at the current simulation
time.
3.3.4 “Help” Menu
The help menu, shown in Figure 3.5.10, contains four commands.

Figure 3.5.10 – “Help” Menu
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User Manual: Opens Newton’s user manual in Adobe Acrobat Reader. You must have Adobe
installed to view the manual.
New Features: Opens a file that describes recent new features that have been added to
Newton. You must have Adobe installed to view this file as well.
Check for Updates: See Section 2.2
About: Opens a popup window that describes the Newton software and user information.
3.3.5 “Library” Menu
The library menu contains commands for opening and saving Newton particle library files
(*.PLF). Figure 3.5.11 shows the library menu.

Figure 3.5.11 – “Library” Menu
Open: Opens a saved particle library file.
Save As: Saves the current particle library file to the specified location.
Open User Library File: In addition to the default Newton library, Newton maintains a custom
user library file. This command opens the user library file.
Save as User Library File: Overwrites the user library file with the current particle library file.
Note that this action cannot be undone. You should maintain backup files to all your library
files.

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4 Pre-Processing
4.1 Setting General Simulation Parameters
Clicking the “Simulation Parameters” button on the Toolbar will open up the “Simulation
Parameters and Runtime Variables” window, shown in Figure 4.1.1. This window is where most
of the general parameters for the simulation will be input.

Figure 4.1.1 – Simulation Parameters and Runtime Variables Window
Simulation Time: Choose the length of time for the simulation.
Time Step: You can manually choose the time step that Newton uses when running the
simulation. Note that AC-Tek does NOT recommend using a custom time step unless you are
very familiar with DEM modeling. Choosing an improper time step will quickly cause the
simulation to become unstable or can result in much longer-than-necessary runtime.
Critical Time Ratio: When using a variable time step, this additional scaling factor reduces the
size of the time step to ensure that the simulation will be completely stable. Setting this value
above 0.20 may cause instability in the simulation in the form of the “popcorn effect.”
The figure below shows an example of the popcorn effect. Spherical clusters were dropped into
a cylinder and allowed to come to rest, which should have occurred after one or two seconds.
But because the critical time ratio was set at 0.75 (far above the recommended upper limit of
0.20), the particles did not reach a steady-state condition. Instead, they continuously bounced
off each other randomly, shooting up into the air in a manner similar to popping popcorn (see
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Figure 4.1.2). Note that the simulation below ran for over 17 seconds and never reached a
steady-state condition. The particles should have settled in the cylinder.
A critical time ratio of 0.17-0.19 should be sufficient in most cases. But if your simulation has a
significant number of stagnant or very slow moving particles, or you are recording wear on any
surfaces (see Section 6.4.5), it will help to lower this value to 0.15-0.16.

Figure 4.1.2 – Simulation instability in the form of the “popcorn effect”
Use Variable Timestep: Setting this to ‘YES’ allows Newton to periodically recalculate the size
of the time step. The variable time step is calculated based on the maximum current velocity of
any particle, the critical time ratio, and the maximum expected velocity (see below). Using a
variable time step results in a faster runtime than a constant time step, and AC-Tek
recommends always setting this to ‘YES’.
Multiprocessing Mode: This specifies how many processor threads Newton should use to run
the simulation. If your computer has multiple cores, you should set this to match the number
of cores of your machine to achieve the fastest runtime. Figure 4.1.3 shows a simulation
running with eight threads. Each processor core handles the particles in one thread. After the
calculations in the main threads are complete, seven of the eight cores handle each of the
seven groups of particles in the cleanup thread (the black particles), while the last core handles
any other simulation parameters, such as moving surfaces or calculating triangle or particle
force and work.
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Figure 4.1.3 – Newton simulation with 8-core multithreading
Maximum Allowable Particle Overlap: DEM modeling operates by allowing spheres to slightly
overlap each other in the simulation. This region specifies how much sphere overlap will be
allowed. AC-Tek recommends leaving this at 5.0 %.
Maximum Expected Velocity: Newton uses this value when calculating the size of the variable
time step. You should input an estimate of the maximum velocity that you expect the particles
to achieve as they fall through the transfer chute. If your simulation has particles moving at 5
m/s maximum, but you set this value at 10 m/s, then Newton will calculate time steps that are
smaller than necessary and your simulation will take much longer to run. If you are not sure
what the maximum velocity will be, you can run a short simulation using the default value of 5
m/s with just a handful of particles to observe the max velocity and then reset the simulation
using the observed value. It is sufficient to set this value to within +/- 1.0 m/s of the true
maximum velocity for the simulation.
Kill Particle Velocity: This specifies the maximum velocity any particle can achieve before
Newton removes it from the simulation. Occasionally a particle may become pinched between
two moving surfaces in the simulation. When the particle manages to wiggle free, it may
escape with a very high, unrealistic velocity. Newton will ‘kill’ any particle in the simulation
with a velocity above this criterion before it collides with other particles and disturbs the flow in
an unrealistic way.
Sphere Size Ratio: At every time step, the simulation checks to see which particles are in
contact with which other particles. It is obvious that a particle at the top of a transfer chute is
not going to be in contact with a particle at the bottom of the transfer chute. So ideally, the
simulation should not even bother to check if those two particles are in contact. The most
efficient way to reduce the number of checks the simulation must perform is to divide up the
simulation domain into cubic cells. A particle that is inside one of these cells is only compared
to other particles that are located inside that cell, or one of the 26 adjacent cells. The sphere
size ratio specifies how large to make the cells. A value of 1.1 means that the X, Y, and Z lengths
of the cell size will be set 10% larger than the size of the largest sphere in the simulation.
If this value is increased, the required memory to run the simulation will decrease, but runtime
will increase. This value should only be increased if you encounter system “out of memory”
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exceptions. In most cases, 3 to 4 GB of system RAM is sufficient to run Newton. AC-Tek
recommends using a value of 1.10.
Directional Collision Ratio: While a simulation is running, Newton maintains a list of “Nearest
Neighbor” particles that are in close proximity to each particle in the simulation. At every time
step, each particle is checked for contact against its nearest neighbors. This setting inversely
scales how often these nearest neighbor lists are updated. So Newton will update these lists
twice as often if this value is set to 2.0, compared to a value of 1.0.
Consider Case A: A particle is moving toward a stationary particle with some maximum velocity
V. After one time step, the distance between the particles has decreased by X.
Consider Case B: Two particles are moving directly toward each other, each with the same
maximum velocity V as in Case A. After one time step, the distance between those two
particles has decreased by 2*X, twice the distance as in Case A.
Case A represents a situation where the Directional Collision Ratio should be 1.0, because one
particle is stationary and the other is moving with maximum velocity.
Case B represents a situation where the Directional Collision Ratio should be 2.0, because the
distance between the two particles is decreasing twice as fast as in Case A. Therefore the list of
nearest neighbors should be updated twice as often to maintain simulation stability.
If complete simulation stability is desired, then the value of the directional collision ratio should
be set to 2.0, because this will ensure that any situation similar to Case B will always be stable.
But generally, when modeling conveyor belt transfer chutes, all material flows in approximately
the same direction, so it is very rare that two particles would travel directly toward each other
at maximum velocity. Therefore this value can usually be set in the range 1.25-1.75 and the
simulation will remain stable. AC-Tek recommends using a value between 1.25-1.50 for most
cases, and using values of 1.5-2.0 only if there are locations in the chute geometry where the
particles could travel toward each other at maximum velocity.
Moving Cell Triangle Update: For each triangle in each layer of the chute geometry, Newton
maintains a list of cells that each triangle of each layer occupies. You may choose to run a
simulation that uses moving layers, such as a rotating hood, or a vibrating screen. A layer that
has a surface velocity (like a belt) is NOT considered a moving layer, because the triangles that
compose the layer do not physically move in the simulation, they are simply denoted as having
the desired surface velocity.
If your simulation does use moving layers, like translation, rotation, or linear or rotational cyclic
motion, then Newton will periodically update the cells that the moving triangles occupy. This
value specifies the distance, in cell lengths, that any point on the triangle can move before
Newton updates the list of cells it occupies. This value cannot be set above 0.95, or particles
may push through surfaces, resulting in a nonsensical simulation. AC-Tek recommends leaving
this at the default value of 0.50.
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Preferred Thread Search Direction: If you are running a simulation using multiple processing
threads, then this setting specifies how to divide the particles between the threads. If the
Preferred Thread Search Direction is set to ‘AUTO’, then Newton will divide the particles along
the axis which will result in the fewest number of particles in the cleanup thread. Alternatively,
you can choose the axis along which you would like to divide the particles for processing.
Playback File Save Time Interval: This setting specifies how often to save simulation data for
the playback file and CSV file. With the default setting of 0.020 seconds, Newton will save 50
frames of data for each second of simulation. Lowering this value will result in a higher
playback frame rate, but also a much larger data file.
PNG File Save Time: At the specified interval, Newton will capture a screenshot of the running
simulation. These snapshots provide an easy way to view the history of the simulation without
having to open the uncompressed data file while the simulation is running. The snapshot is
taken based on the current view settings, so be sure to position the geometry properly at the
start of the simulation. If this interval is set to zero or left blank, then Newton will only capture
one screenshot at the start of the simulation.
Save Triangle Force & Work Data: Newton is capable of showing the force and work applied by
the particles to the chute geometry. If this setting is set to ‘YES’, then Newton will record this
force and work. Note that Newton will not display force and work information while the
simulation is running; the data is used when making animation files during post-processing.
It is difficult to calculate the real force and work that will be applied to the chute during actual
loading, but Newton can provide a rough estimate of these values. Primarily the force and
work data is used to qualitatively compare one chute design to another to see which will result
in higher force and work on the chute.
Note that when analyzing triangle wear, Newton does this for an entire layer. Therefore to get
the most detailed work information about a wear plate, for example, put the wear plate on its
own layer. If this information is not required, then this setting should be set to ‘NO’, because
recording this information will result in a longer runtime and a larger file size.
Save Particle Force & Work Data: Newton is also capable of showing the force and work on the
particles themselves. If this setting is set to ‘YES’, Newton will record the force and work. As
with Triangle Force & Work Data, this information will not display while the simulation is
running, and is primarily used for qualitative comparison of one chute design to another.
If this information is not required, then this setting should be set to ‘NO’, because recording this
information will result in a longer runtime and a larger file size.
Use Restart File: Newton can periodically save the current simulation information to a Newton
restart file (.RST). In the event of a power failure, this enables you to restart your simulation
close to where it was, rather than starting over from the beginning, saving hours or days of
computation time. AC-Tek recommends always setting this to ‘YES’.
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Restart Save Time Interval: This is where you specify how often to save a restart file. Note
that this value corresponds to seconds of simulation time, not seconds of computation time. If
your simulation runs very slow, taking hours of computation time to complete one second of
simulation time, then you may want to set this value to 0.5 seconds. Power failures are rare,
and using a value of 2.0 seconds is generally sufficient.
Overwrite Restart File: Newton can either overwrite the same restart file each time, or save a
new restart file at each restart save time interval. It is unnecessary to save multiple restart
files, because you essentially always want to restart the simulation using the most recent
restart file. Note that if you want to overwrite the restart file, you must change the settings of
your computers Recycle Bin so that Windows does not display the “delete confirmation dialog,”
or else Newton will pause and ask you to confirm the deletion of each restart file before
continuing with the simulation.

Figure 4.1.4 – Disable delete confirmation
Hard Drive Letter: This specifies the hard drive in your computer on which Newton will save
the simulation data.
Base Directory: This specifies the root directory on the specified hard drive to which Newton
will save the simulation data. To easily locate all your simulations, it is a good idea to use the
same base directory for all DEM simulations.
Client Name, Job ID, Chute ID, Revision Number, Friction Level: These five inputs specify the
subsequent folders in the Base Directory to which Newton will save the simulation data. There
is no reason that the folder designated as “Client Name” has to represent the name of the
client. The same is true for each of the other four folders. You need only remember that the
folder tree for these folders starts with the Base Directory, and each subsequent folder will be
placed inside the previous folder (so the ‘Friction Level’ folder will contain no other folders, only
the simulation data)
File Name: This specifies the base filename for each file that the simulation creates.
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Comments: These are for your own notes about the simulation. These comments are not
reprinted anywhere, they appear only in the ‘Comments’ box.
4.2 Setting Material Properties
Clicking the “Material Properties” button on the Toolbar will open up the Material Properties
window, shown in Figure 4.2.1. This window is where the friction, cohesion, and other material
properties are defined.

Figure 4.2.1 – Material Properties Window
Default Material Properties Scale: In the absence of specific material data, the Default
Material Properties slider bar can be used to approximate different levels of friction and
cohesion. There are four notches on the slider, and from left to right, they correspond to “Free
Flowing,” “Lightly Cohesive,” “Moderately Cohesive,” and “Very Cohesive.” After adjusting the
notch to the desired friction levels, each property can be adjusted individually, if necessary.
Material Internal Friction Factor: This specifies the coefficient of friction for particle-to-particle
friction forces.
Material to Surface Friction Factor: This specifies the coefficient of friction for particle-to-
surface friction forces
Coefficient of Restitution: The coefficient of restitution describes the ratio of the velocity of a
particle after it collides with a rigid wall to the velocity of the particle before it collides with the
wall. A coefficient of 1.0 would imply that a particle bouncing off a rigid surface would lose no
energy in the collision, and a coefficient of 0.0 would imply that the particle does not bounce of
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the wall; it stops, losing all its kinetic energy in the collision. AC-Tek recommends leaving this
value at 0.075 unless the coefficient for a specific material is known.
Rotational Dampening in Revolutions: If a spherical particle is rolling along a surface, this
value specifies how far it will roll (in revolutions about its center of gravity) before it comes to
rest. This is particularly useful for forcing spherical particles, which tend to roll for a long time,
to stop relatively quickly.
Use Liquid Bridge Forces: This setting specifies whether to use the same forces for the Ratchet
Effect that are used for the Liquid Bridge effect (see below for liquid bridge). If this is set to
‘NO’, then you can enter your own values for the Rock and Clay Springs. To avoid using the
Ratchet Effect (as when modeling free-flowing material with no cohesive effects), enter ‘NO’ in
this box, and set the next five input boxes to zero or null.
Ratchet Effect: The ratchet effect helps simulate cohesiveness in the material. Normally, when
two particles come into contact and overlap, Newton creates a virtual spring between the two
particles, forcing them apart. This force is directly proportional to how far the particles overlap.
With the ratchet effect, Newton will add a second, similar spring between these particles. This
spring actually pulls the particles together, helping them stick to each other. The magnitude of
the force of this ratchet spring is scaled according to the values of the next four input boxes
(Rock-to-Rock Spring, Rock-to-Boundary Spring, Clay-to-Clay Spring, and Clay-to-Boundary
Spring).
The ratchet effect breaks the material into two different groups, Rock and Clay. The Rock
simulates hard rock, which usually has much less cohesion than clay, which tends to be very
sticky. If the ratchet effect is enabled, and the Clay-to-Clay spring settings are not blank and are
set to a different value than the Rock-to-Rock spring settings, then Newton will define “Clay” as
being all cluster types in the particle set that are composed of 1 sphere (see Section 4.6 for
information about particle sets). All cluster types with more than 1 sphere will be defined as
“Rock.”
Rock to Rock Spring: This value defines the ratchet spring force that pulls together particles
that are defined as Rock. It takes a value from 0-0.25, which scales the ratchet spring force as a
function of the normal spring force (the normal spring is the spring which acts to force apart
particles that are in contact). If this value is set to zero, then the ratchet effect will not be
applied between particles defined as Rock.
Rock to Boundary Spring: This value defines the ratchet spring force that pulls together Rocks
and chute surfaces. Like the Rock-to-Rock Spring, it takes a value from 0-0.25, and scales the
ratchet spring as a function of the normal spring force. If this value is set to zero, then the
ratchet effect will not be applied between particles defined as Rock and chute surfaces.
Clay to Clay Spring: This value defines the ratchet spring force that pulls together particles that
are defined as Clay. Like the Rock-to-Rock Spring, it takes a value from 0-0.25, and scales the
ratchet spring force as a function of the normal spring force. If this value is set to zero, then the
ratchet effect will not be applied between particles defined as Clay.
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Clay to Boundary Spring: This value defines the ratchet spring force that pulls together Clay
and chute surfaces. Like the Rock-to-Rock Spring, it takes a value from 0-0.25, and scales the
ratchet spring force as a function of the normal spring force. If this value is set to zero, then the
ratchet effect will not be applied between particles defined as Clay and chute surfaces.
Rock to Clay Ratio: If a particle defined as Rock collides with a particle defined as Clay, then
this ratio defines how to scale the force applied by the ratchet spring. If this value is set to zero,
then Newton will use the Rock-to-Rock Spring value defined earlier. If this value is set to 1,
then Newton will use the Clay-to-Clay Spring value defined earlier. If this value is set to 0.5,
then Newton will use the average of the Rock-to-Rock and Clay-to-Clay values. This value can
be set anywhere from 0-1.
Use Liquid Bridge: This setting specifies whether to use liquid bridge effects. A liquid bridge is
a physical bridge of moisture that forms between two particles with high water content. When
two particles come into contact, the bridge forms between them. The bridge applies a small
force, pulling the particles toward each other. After the particles move apart and become
separated by a specific distance, the bridge collapses, eliminating the pulling force. Figure 4.2.2
shows a liquid bridge between two particles of different sizes.

Figure 4.2.2 – A liquid bridge pulling two particles together
Auto Cell Size: Earlier it was noted that when determining which particles are in contact with
which other particles, Newton creates a 3-dimensional grid of the transfer chute domain.
Generally, the size of each cell is taken to be 10% larger than the size of the largest particle in
the simulation; this will result in the fewest number of required calculations per time step.
When Liquid Bridge forces are used, the size of this cell must be increased slightly to account
for the fact that two particles which contacted and then separated will still have a pulling force
between them until they are separated by a specific distance. If Liquid Bridge forces are used,
and this setting is set to ‘NO’, then when Newton searches for particles that are in contact or
have connecting forces, it could miss some of the particles which have liquid bridge forces
between them, because the cell size is too small.
If this setting is set to ‘YES’, then Newton will always find all liquid bridge forces, but the
computation time of the simulation will increase slightly. If this setting is set to ‘NO’, then
Newton might miss some of the liquid bridge forces (i.e. a slightly less accurate simulation), but
the computation time of the simulation will decrease slightly.
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Surface Tensions: This value defines the surface energy of the liquid that forms the liquid
bridge between particles (usually water). The surface energy of water is 0.0725 J/m
2
. If
desired, this value can be set higher in order to simulate stronger liquid bridge forces.
Water Content: This is the percent moisture content of the material.
Boundary Surface Tension Multiplier: This scales the value of the Liquid Bridge force when it is
applied between particles and chute surfaces.
Equivalent Sphere Size Ratio: The effects of surface tension are insignificant for particles that
are larger than approximately 5 mm. But Newton cannot model particles of this size because it
would require billions of particles for a single simulation, and would take years to complete a
single simulation. Instead, Newton uses larger particles (15 – 100 mm) and applies properties
to these particles as though they were much smaller.
This value increases the surface tension on a particle by calculating the forces on the particle as
though it were much smaller, because surface tension forces are much more significant for
smaller particles. Essentially, the surface tension force that is applied to a particle is scaled by
the square of this input value. So if the Equivalent Sphere Size Ratio is set to 8, then the surface
tension force applied to the particle will be multiplied by 64.
Initial Cell Size: If Liquid Bridge is enabled, then this specifies the minimum value for the cell
size relative to the size of the largest particle. Earlier we stated that the cell size is usually taken
to be 10% larger than the largest particle, but when Liquid Bridge forces are used, the cell size
must be increased. Using the default value of 1.25, this specifies that the cell size must be at
least 25% larger than the largest particle.
4.3 Importing Geometry and Setting Layer Parameters
The next step in creating a simulation is to import the chute geometry and set its parameters.
Clicking the “Geometry Input” button on the toolbar will open the geometry input page.
Newton is capable of importing DXF and STL file types. Each layer in the file can be customized;
layers can be given surface velocities, movement, and individual friction and cohesion effects.
Additionally, Newton can create and insert up to 3 belts, which can be positioned anywhere in
the domain. The belt width, speed, trough angle, and many other properties can be specified
for each belt. Newton is also capable of modeling apron feeders.
The top of the geometry input page contains 4 radio buttons, which contain the information for
the chute geometry, and each of the 3 belts that Newton can create. The first radio button,
“Geometry”, is where the imported chute geometry is controlled. The other radio buttons,
“Belt #1”, “Belt #2”, and “Belt #3” contain identical input boxes for each belt that Newton can
create. Figure 4.3.1 shows the layout of the geometry input page.
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Figure 4.3.1 – Geometry Input Page
4.3.1 Layer Control
The second section of the Geometry Input page contains the layer controls. The “Data File”
button allows you to import your chute geometry. Clicking this button brings up an input
window, shown in Figure 4.3.2

Figure 4.3.2 – Chute Geometry Input Box
Overwriting Geometry and Adding to Current Geometry: Click “Browse” and navigate to your
chute geometry. Note that Newton currently only supports import of DXF and STL files. By
default, Newton will overwrite any current geometry with the new geometry. If you want to
add the imported geometry to the current geometry, select the “Add to Current Geometry”
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radio button. Newton will only import layers that contain triangles; all other layers will be
ignored.
Overwriting a Single Layer (DXF files only): If the file you are importing is a DXF file type, then
you also have the option to overwrite the current geometry layer. To do this, make sure that
on the main “Geometry” input page you have selected the layer you wish to overwrite in the
“Select Layer” dropdown box. Newton will erase all surfaces on the designated layer, and then
scan the DXF file and import only surfaces that have the same layer name as the designated
layer. Therefore you must ensure that the layer name in the DXF file matches the name of the
layer you wish to overwrite.
Ignoring Hidden and Frozen Layers (DXF files only): If the file you are importing is a DXF file
type, you can choose to ignore hidden and/or frozen layers in the geometry. This allows you to
import only the sections of a DXF file you want, without having to erase all the other geometry
from the file. Note that these options also apply when you have selected the “Add to Current
Geometry” or “Overwrite Current Layer (DXF only)” radio buttons.
Importing STL File Types: STL file types are available in both Binary and ASCII format, and
Newton can import both types. STL files do not include information about “Visible” or “Frozen”
layers, so those checkboxes do not affect anything when importing an STL file. STL files also do
not include layer names, so there is an input box that allows you to give a custom layer name to
the imported geometry. If you neglect to enter a layer name in the box, then Newton will
assign a numeric name according to the layer number.
Scaling the Geometry: Newton assumes the input file has been dimensioned in millimeters.
There is a scaling factor that allows you to easily convert from a different set of units. For
instance, if your chute is drawn in inches, enter 25.4 in the “Import Scale Factor” text box, and
Newton will scale the entire model by 25.4 about the origin, converting your model to
millimeters.
Minimum Triangle Area: If your model contains a large number of very small, insignificant
triangles, Newton can ignore these triangles when importing the geometry (Simulations with
thousands of triangles have longer computation times than those with fewer triangles). Enter a
value for the “Minimum Triangle Area” (in mm
2
), and Newton will ignore any triangles with area
smaller than this.
Changing the Direction of the Z-axis: Newton also allows you to change the definition of the Z-
axis in your model as you import it. Newton assumes the Z-axis to be the vertical direction (i.e.
the direction in which gravity acts), but many CAD users prefer to use the Y-axis as the vertical
direction. If this is the case for you, then select the “Y” radio button and Newton will reorient
the model.
It should also be noted that when using Apron Feeders in Newton, the apron feeder must be
oriented such that its velocity is in the Y-direction. The apron feeder can be inclined or declined
about the X-axis, but the velocity vector for the apron feeder must be in the Y-Z plane.
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Clear Layer Velocities, CSV Movement Profiles, Cycle Information, and Friction Settings:
When you overwrite or add to the geometry, Newton compares the layer names of the new
geometry to those of the old geometry. For matching layer names, Newton will copy the layer
information (velocity and velocity time information, movements, etc.). Checking this checkbox
will force Newton to erase all layer data when the new geometry is imported.
Layer Selection: On the main “Geometry” input page in the “Layer Control” section is a combo
box which allows you to select each layer to modify its properties If you have created kill-boxes
(see Section 4.3.8) in your geometry, they will not be shown in the combo box control, because
they have no adjustable properties.
Layer Color: There is a “Layer Color” selector which allows you to modify the color of each
layer. By default, Newton assigns random colors to each layer.
4.3.2 Layer Surface Velocity Control
Inputs for layer surface velocity are shown in Figure 4.3.1 under the heading “Velocity Control.”
When a layer is given a surface velocity in Newton, the triangles that compose the layer do not
physically move. Rather, Newton denotes all the triangles in that layer as having the given
surface velocity.
Velocity: The steady-state surface velocity of the layer, in meters per second.
Start Time: The time in seconds at which the layer surface velocity will start. Prior to the start
time, the layer surface velocity will be zero.
Acceleration Time: The length of time over which the layer surface velocity will accelerate
from zero to full velocity. The acceleration period starts as soon as “Start Time” is reached,
therefore the belt will reach full velocity at time “Start Time” + “Acceleration Time”.
Stop Time: The time at which the surface velocity of the layer will stop. If a “Deceleration
Time” has been input, then the “Stop Time” represents the time at which the deceleration will
begin. Therefore the layer will come to a complete stop at “Stop Time” + “Deceleration Time”.
Deceleration Time: The length of time over which the surface velocity will decelerate from full
velocity to zero. Deceleration of the layer will start as soon as the “Stop Time” has been
reached.
Restart Time: The time at which the layer surface velocity will be restarted. If a “Restart
Acceleration Time” has been input, then the restart time is the time at which the layer will
begin to acceleration.
Restart Acceleration Time: The length of time over which the layer surface velocity accelerates
from zero to full speed. The restart acceleration period starts as soon as “Restart Time” is
reached, therefore the belt will reach full velocity at time “Restart Time” + “Restart
Acceleration Time”.
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4.3.3 Layer Deactivation
The control for layer deactivation is shown in Figure 4.3.1 under the heading “Layer
Deactivation.” When a layer is deactivated, it is completely removed from the simulation. It is
no longer shown in the rendering window, and particles can pass through the space it formerly
occupied.
Deactivation Time: The time at which the layer will be deactivated. A layer cannot be re-
activated at a later time.
4.3.4 Layer Movement and Cyclic Motion Control
The controls for layer movement are shown in Figure 4.3.1 under the heading “Layer
Movement.” When a layer has movement, the triangles that compose the layer physically move
in the simulation, and this movement is shown in the rendering window while the simulation is
running. Layers can be given translational and rotational movement at the same time.
Alternatively, layers can be given a linear cyclic motion, or a rotational cyclic motion.
Begin Movement Time: The time at which layer movement will start.
Moving Time: The length of time over which the layer will move. At the end of the moving
time, all movement for the layer will cease.
Linear Velocity: Enter the X, Y, and Z components of translational movement for the layer.
When layer motion stops, the layer will freeze position for the rest of the simulation. Leave the
input boxes blank if no translation is desired.
Rotation Rate: This is the rate in degrees per second at which the layer will rotate around a
specific point/vector combination. This value can be positive or negative.
When Newton is determining layer rotation, it looks specifically at this input box to determine if
rotation is present. If this input box is blank or set to zero, Newton will ignore “Rotation Point”
and “Rotation Axis” input boxes. So if you intend to use layer rotation in a future simulation,
you can input the rotation point and rotation axis information, just be sure to leave the rotation
rate blank.
Rotation Point: This specifies the point to which the rotation vector is attached. If any input
box is left blank, it is taken to be zero. If all three input boxes are left blank, the rotation point
is assumed to be the origin.
Rotation Axis: This is the vector about which the layer will be rotated; the base of the vector is
attached to the Rotation Point. Layer rotation follows the right-hand rule. So if the rotation
vector is 〈

〉 (i.e. the Z-axis), then when observing the geometry from above, the layer
will rotate counter-clockwise if the rotation rate is positive, and clockwise if the rotation rate is
negative.
If you have input a custom CSV layer movement profile (see Section 4.9), and this layer includes
rotational motion, but the rotation axis is identical for all rotational movements, then you can
input that vector here and omit the vector in the CSV file.
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Cycle Time: If cyclic motion is desired, then the time for one complete cycle is entered here. If
using linear cyclic motion, the cycle time is defined as the time for one complete back-and-forth
motion. If using rotational cyclic motion, the cycle time is defined as the time for one complete
circle (or ellipse).
*NOTE: Cyclic motion will override both linear translational motion and rotational motion. If
this input box is not blank or zero, Newton will assume there is cyclic motion and will ignore
“Linear Velocity” and “Rotation Rate”
*NOTE: Rotational cyclic motion will override linear cyclic motion; it is not possible to use both
types of cyclic motion simultaneously.
Cyclic Displacement: Enter the X, Y, and Z components of the cyclic displacement. The layer
will displace from its initial position by the values specified in these input boxes and then back
to its initial position over the cycle time.
If the “Moving Time” is not a multiple of the “Cycle Time”, then on the last cycle, the layer will
stop moving mid-cycle and freeze position for the rest of the simulation.
Cyclic Radius: This is used primarily for simulating a vibrating screen. The layer will maintain
constant orientation, but the entire layer will orbit its initial position. The shape of the orbit
can be circular or elliptic.
To create circular cyclic motion in the X-Y plane, specify the radius of orbit in both the X and Y
input boxes. To create elliptic cyclic motion in the X-Y plane with the semi-major axis in the Y
direction, specify the length of the semi-major axis in the Y input box and the length of the
semi-minor axis in the X input box.
To create circular or elliptic motion in the X-Z, or Y-Z planes, follow the same procedure
described above.
*NOTE: If only 1 radius is entered in any of the three input box, the rotational cyclic motion has
been under-defined. In this case, Newton will assume circular orbit in the X-Y plane with the
given radius (even if the radius is entered in the Z input box)
*NOTE: If radii are entered into all three input boxes, the rotational cyclic motion has been
over-defined. In this case, Newton will use only the X and Y input values to create elliptic
motion in the X-Y plane. The Z input value will be ignored.
4.3.5 Layer Frictional Properties
The controls for layer friction are shown in Figure 4.3.1 under the heading “Frictional
Properties.”
Surface Friction: This input allows you to control the surface friction coefficient for each
individual layer. It overrides the general particle-to-surface coefficient of friction that was input
in the Material Properties page (See Section 4.2)
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Surface Liquid Bridge Multiplier: This input allows you scale the Liquid Bridge effects for each
individual layer. This increases or decreases the effects of the liquid bridge for particle-to-
surface contact.
4.3.6 Layer Triangle Control
The layer triangle controls are shown at the bottom of Figure 4.3.1. This section contains a few
commands for controlling the triangles of each layer.
Set Velocity Vector: This button allows you to easily calculate the velocity vector for any of the
layers in your simulation. It is normally used when you have drawn in a custom belt, rather
than creating a belt through Newton. Input the belt velocity in the text box next to the button.
When you click the button, Newton will analyze the layer and attempt to find the longest length
of the layer. It will then calculate the X, Y, and Z components of the velocity vector. You should
always check to make sure that the vector points in the right direction though, because Newton
will usually calculate the correct magnitude, but occasionally the vector will point in the
opposite direction.
If you intend to divide or equalize the triangles in the layer (See below), then you should always
set the velocity vector first, because Newton uses the largest triangle to determine the
direction of velocity. If you equalize and divide the triangles first and then set the velocity
vector, Newton will be more likely to calculate the wrong velocity vector.
Show Velocity Vectors: This checkbox allows you to verify the velocity vector for each layer.
Newton will draw a line at the center of each triangle, pointing in the direction of velocity. The
line will be colored according to the velocity of the layer. You should always use this checkbox
to verify that your velocity vector is correct before running a simulation
Equalize Triangles: When recording and analyzing surface wear (See Section 6.5), the results
will be more accurate if the layer is composed of equilateral triangles, rather than very long,
irregularly shaped triangles. When you click the “Equalize Triangles” button, Newton will
attempt to analyze the layer and break any long, skinny triangles into shorter, approximately
equilateral triangles.
If the text box to the right of the button is left at “0”, then Newton will break each triangle into
as many smaller triangles as is necessary to create triangles with approximately equal side
lengths. Alternatively, you can enter any integer larger than 1, and Newton will divide each
triangle in the specified number of smaller triangles. Usually, this is unnecessary, and you can
simply leave the input box at “0”.
Note that this feature depends on the order in which the triangles were drawn in the original
CAD file, so it is not guaranteed to work with all geometries.
Divide Triangles: This button is used primarily when you are recording and analyzing surface
wear (See Section 6.5). Newton calculates the wear on each triangle in a layer, so the more
triangles that compose the layer, the better the wear resolution. Input the smallest sized
triangle you want (specify the average side length of the triangle in millimeters) in the input box
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next to the button. Each time you click the button, Newton will divide each triangle into 4
smaller triangles; you may need to click the button three or four times to shrink all triangles to
this smallest size.
Note that although smaller triangles will give better resolution, it is unnecessary to mesh the
layer into triangles with average side lengths less than 50 mm, because the belt wear resolution
will be sufficient at this size (the default setting for this button is 100 mm). Also keep in mind
that as you increase the number of triangles, computation time for the simulation will increase
slightly as well, especially if those triangles are on moving layers (See above).
Consider the belt shown in Figure 4.3.3, which is composed of three faces (six triangles).

Figure 4.3.3 – A simple belt, consisting of six triangles
If we want to analyze the wear on this belt, first we have to equalize these triangles, so we first
click “Equalize Squares.” The result is shown in Figure 4.3.4

Figure 4.3.4 – The belt after its triangles have been equalized
Having equalized the triangles, we can now click the Divide Triangles button three or four times,
until we see that the triangles stop dividing. We’ll leave the smallest size of the triangles at the
default value of 100 mm. The resulting meshed belt is shown in Figure 4.3.5. This belt will
record wear much more accurately than would the unadjusted belt in Figure 4.3.3.
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Figure 4.3.5 – The belt is now ready for wear calculations
Killboxes: Clicking this button opens the killboxes window, allowing you to input and edit
killboxes for the simulation. (See Section 4.3.8)
Movement Profile: Clicking this button opens the layer movement profile window, where you
can import custom movement profiles for each layer in the form of CSV files. (See Section 4.9)
4.3.7 Graphics Rendering Window
The right-hand side of the Geometry Input page contains the rendering window. This is where
the chute and belt geometry are rendered, allowing you to pan, zoom, rotate, and change views
to verify your geometry before running a simulation. Figure 4.3.6 shows the right-click context
menu for the rendering window. This menu and the outlined toolbar buttons are how you
control the rendering window. The Newton toolbar buttons were described in Section 3.3. The
context menu items are described below.

Figure 4.3.6 – Graphics Rendering Window right-click context menu
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Pan: Changes mouse control to panning mode, allowing you to click and drag the model. You
can also hold SHIFT and then click and drag the mouse to pan the model from any mode.
Orbit: Changes mouse control to orbit mode, allowing you to rotate the model. You can also
hold CTRL and then click and drag the mouse to orbit the model from any mode.
Zoom: Changes mouse control to zoom mode, allowing you to zoom in and out by clicking and
dragging the mouse. You can also use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
Zoom Window: Click and drag with your mouse to create a window, and Newton will zoom in
on this section of the geometry.
None: This turns off Pan, Orbit, and Zoom modes, so that clicking and dragging will not reorient
the model.
Preset Views: This submenu contains commands identical to those on the menu button bar.
Additionally, this menu contains commands to set an orthogonal or perspective view mode.
Reset View: Returns the rendering window to the default isometric model view.
Show UCS Icon: This enables or disables rendering of the UCS icon, which is rendered at the
origin of the model.
Surfaces – Solid: Renders the model using solid surfaces.
Surfaces – Wireframe: Renders the model using wireframe outlines.
Surfaces – Transparent: Renders the model using transparent surfaces.
4.3.8 Killboxes
Newton allows you to draw killboxes into the simulation. When a particle in the simulation
enters the bounds of a killbox, Newton will remove it from the simulation permanently.
Killboxes can be used to keep a simulation looking clean. If there are a few scattered particles
that fall off the conveyor belt (so few that they are not a cause for concern and can be ignored),
then you could draw a killbox on both sides of the belt to remove any particles that fall off.
There are two ways to implement killboxes in Newton:
1. Input the killbox in Newton in the “Killboxes” window, shown in Figure 4.3.7. Specify a
minimum and maximum X, Y, and Z value to create a rectangular prism. You may also
enter an activation time and deactivation time for the killbox. If these are left blank,
then the killbox will be active for the entire simulation.
2. Draw the killbox into the geometry of the CAD file, and it must be on a layer named,
KILL1, KILL2, KILL3, up to KILL10 for each successive killbox. Newton recognizes the layer
name and creates a killbox from the layer.
Killboxes must be rectangular prisms. Newton looks at the minimum and maximum
boundary in the X, Y, and Z directions, so complex shapes cannot be killboxes. You can,
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however, use multiple rectangular boxes, each on a different kill layer, to create a
killbox with a complex shape.
Note that if you import a killbox from the geometry, Newton will overwrite the existing
killbox data for that killbox. For example, importing a layer named “KILL8” will overwrite
the data for Killbox 8 in the “Killboxes” window.

Figure 4.3.7 – Killboxes window

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4.4 Belt Geometry Input
The belt geometry input page is shown in Figure 4.4.1. This input page is only used if you are
creating conveyor belts in Newton for your simulation. Most of the input boxes are optional
and can be left blank. If you have drawn your own belts into your model, you can ignore this
page and use the layer controls to give your belt a velocity (See Section 4.3.6).

Figure 4.4.1 – Belt Geometry Input Page
4.4.1 Required Belt Input
These parameters are the most commonly controlled belt parameters. Only the belt width and
belt speed are absolutely required for the simulation, but the other three parameters in this
section are usually specified as well.
Belt Width: The total width of the feed belt.
Belt Speed: The speed of the belt.
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Troughing Angle: The troughing angle of the belt. If no troughing angle is input, Newton will
assume a default angle of 35 degrees.
5 Roll Troughing Angle: If you belt uses five idler rolls, specify the troughing angle of the
outermost rolls here. Leave this box blank if your belt uses three rolls.
Belt Center Width: Specify the width of the center section of the belt here. If the center
section is exactly 1/3 the width of the belt, this box can be left blank and Newton will assume
1/3. For 5-roll belts, Newton always assumes a center width of 1/5 of the total belt width.
4.4.2 Head Pulley Position and Rotation
These controls relate to the position and orientation of the head pulley.
Incline Angle: The incline angle of the belt. If left blank, Newton will assume no incline.
Rotation Angle: The rotation of the belt about the vertical (Z) axis. If left blank, Newton will
assume no rotation angle.
Position X: The X-position of the head pulley in meters. If left blank, Newton will assume 0.
Position Y: The Y-position of the head pulley in meters. If left blank, Newton will assume 0.
Position Z: The Z-position of the head pulley in meters. If left blank, Newton will assume 0.
4.4.3 Pulley Input
This section includes head, tail, and snub pulley information.
Head Pulley Diameter: The diameter of the head pulley in millimeters. If left blank, Newton
will not create a head pulley.
Head Pulley Face Width: The face width of the head pulley in millimeters. If left blank, Newton
will assume that head pulley face width is identical to belt width.
Head Pulley Elevation: The elevation of the head pulley in meters. If left blank, Newton will
assume no head pulley elevation.
Sub Pulley Diameter: The diameter of the snub pulley in millimeters. If left blank, Newton will
not create a snub pulley. Note that the snub pulley is created only for appearance, and does
not actually serve a purpose in the simulation.
Snub Pulley Y Position: The Y-position of the snub pulley in meters. If left blank, Newton will
assume 0. Note that the X position of the snub pulley is not an input because Newton positions
the snub pulley directly in line with the belt and head pulley.
Snub Pulley Z Position: The Z-position of the snub pulley in meters. If left blank, Newton will
assume 0.
Snub Pulley Extension Length: The length of belt that is created behind the snub pulley. If left
blank, Newton will create 2 meters of extension.
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Tail Pulley Diameter: The diameter of the tail pulley in meters. If left blank, Newton will not
create a tail pulley.
4.4.4 Optional Input
Create Dropbox: A dropbox is the primary means of delivering material to the feed belt in the
simulation. Material is created in layers, and these layers are dropped one at a time into the
dropbox. Figure 4.4.2 shows a typical dropbox.

Figure 4.4.2 – Standard material dropbox
By default, Newton will create a dropbox for the belt. If you do not want to use a dropbox, set
this value to 1 and Newton won’t create a dropbox. If you want to create a split dropbox, enter
any value between 0 and 1, and Newton will partition the dropbox into two sections. The
length of the backmost section will be set according to that number, and the forward section
will occupy the remainder of the dropbox. For example, if we set this value to 0.60, as in Figure
4.4.3, Newton creates a dropbox in which 60% of the length is devoted to the back section, and
the other 40% of the length is devoted to the front section.

Figure 4.4.3 – Split dropbox with coarse material in back section and fines in front section
Splitting the dropbox is usually done when you want to drop two different material sets in the
same dropbox. For instance, if you wanted to drop coarse material in the back of the dropbox,
and then cover that coarse bed with a layer of fine material, as in Figure 4.4.3, you can do this
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by splitting the dropbox into two sections, and then generating a different material set for each
section.
Dropbox Length: The length of the dropbox, in meters, directed along the belt axis. If left
blank, Newton will use a default length of 1.5 times the belt width.
Dropbox Width: The width of the dropbox, in meters, directed transverse to the belt axis. If
left blank, Newton will use a default width of 1.5 times the belt width.
Skirtboard Length: The length of the skirtboard attached to the dropbox. If left blank, Newton
will use a default length equal to the belt width.
Open Length: The length of open belt between the dropbox skirtboard and the start of the belt
transition. If left blank, Newton will use a default open length equal to the belt width.
Discharge Transition Length: The length of belt, in meters, over which the belt transitions from
troughed to flat at the head pulley. The default value is 2 meters. If this box is left blank,
Newton will not create a transition length, and the troughed edges of the belt will persist all the
way to the head pulley.
Apron Feeder Elements: This setting specifies whether the belt is to be an Apron Feeder. Set
this value to match the number of plates on your apron feeder. If you use an apron feeder, you
will most likely want to set the “Create Dropbox” setting to 1, so you can manually set how the
material will drop onto the apron feeder.
4.4.5 Belt Speed
Belt Start Time: The time at which the velocity of the belt will start. If left blank, Newton will
initialize the simulation with the belt at full velocity.
Belt Acceleration Time: The length of time over which the belt accelerates from zero to full
speed. The belt begins accelerating as soon as “Belt Start Time” is reached, so the belt will
reach full speed at “Belt Start Time” + “Belt Acceleration Time”.
Belt Stop Time: The time at which the belt is stopped during the simulation. If a “Deceleration
Time” has been specified, then the belt will start to decelerate at “Belt Stop Time”, and the belt
will reach zero speed at “Belt Stop Time” + “Belt Deceleration Time”.
Belt Deceleration Time: The length of time over which the belt will decelerate from full speed
to zero.
Belt Restart Time: The time at which the belt speed will restart if the belt was stopped at some
point during the simulation.
Belt Restart Acceleration Time: The length of time over which the belt accelerates from zero
to full speed during restart. The belt begins accelerating as soon as “Belt Restart Time” is
reached, so the belt will reach full speed at “Belt Restart Time” + “Belt Restart Acceleration
Time”.
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Head Pulley Cycle Time: The belt can be given cyclic motion if desired. The cyclic motion is
linear, and points in the direction of the belt axis. The head pulley cycle time is the time for one
complete cycle (i.e. one full back-and-forth motion).
Head Pulley Cycle Distance: The displacement along the belt that the head pulley will cycle.
4.4.6 Friction
Belt Coefficient of Friction: Overrides the general particle-to-surface coefficient of friction for
the belt.
Skirtboard Coefficient of Friction: Overrides the general particle-to-surface coefficient of
friction for the skirtboard on the dropbox for the belt.
Liquid Bridge Ratio: This input allows you scale the Liquid Bridge effects for the belt. This
increases or decreases the effects of the liquid bridge for particle-to-surface contact.
Max Triangle Size: This allows you to specify the maximum triangle size for the belt. Enter the
maximum average side length in millimeters. Newton will break large triangles into smaller
triangles until this size has been reached. Figure 4.4.4 shows a top view of a belt with no
maximum triangle size, and a second view of the same belt with maximum triangle size of 100
mm.

Figure 4.4.4 – Top: Normal belt. Bottom: Belt with 100 mm max triangle size

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4.5 Particle Generation for Simulation
4.5.1 Newton Particles
Newton creates clusters of particles using spheres. A particle is defined as one sphere, and a
cluster is defined as a group of rigid particles that cannot move relative to each other. It’s
possible to create clusters of any size and shape. Figure 4.5.1 shows a few examples of clusters.

Figure 4.5.1 – Examples of Newton Clusters
Using many different types of clusters, hundreds of material sets of different sizes with unique
particles can be created. Figure 4.5.2 shows snapshots of three different Newton material sets.

Figure 4.5.2 – Three different Newton particle sets

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4.5.2 Particle Generation
When creating a simulation, all the clusters that will flow through the system are generated and
stored in the input file during pre-processing. While the simulation is running, Newton reads
the clusters from the input file and inserts them into the simulation. Figure 4.5.3 shows
Newton’s “Particle Creator” window.

Figure 4.5.3 – Particle Creator Window
Generation Point: Material can be generated at up to 5 different locations in one simulation.
The “Generation Point” radio buttons at the top of the window allow you to navigate between
these generation points. Each point allows you to control the material set, density, tonnage,
release time, and other factors.
Material Group Set: This combo box contains all the different material sets that are stored in
the current Particle Library File (.PLF). If you have other material sets, you can open the PLF file
in which they are stored (see Section 3.3.5). Select the material set you want to create for each
generation point.
Bulk Density: Enter the bulk density of the material, in kg/m
3
.
Generation Method: This combo box allows you to select from four different methods of
particle generation. The following four input boxes are defined by the material generation
method. Figure 4.5.4 shows the options that appear in these boxes for each method.
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Figure 4.5.4 – Material Generation options based on generation method
Layer: This method generates clusters in layers, and drops the layers one at a time. If
material is dropped in layers, then the tonnage (in metric tons per hour) and the
generation time must be specified as well.

Figure 4.5.5 – Material generated by layer
Block: This method generates a large volume of material all at once. If material is
generated as a block, then only the volume must be specified. Figure 4.5.6 shows
material generated as a block.

Figure 4.5.6 – Material generated as a block
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Clusters: This method generates material by cluster count. If material is generated by
cluster count, then the tonnage must be specified as well, because the material is still
dropped in layers, according to the specified tonnage.
Particles: This method generates material by particle count (Recall that a particle is a
single sphere, and several particles make up one cluster). If material is generated by
particle count, then the tonnage must be specified as well, because the material is still
dropped in layers, according to the specified tonnage.
Acceleration Period: If the generation method is set to “Layer”, Newton can linearly accelerate
the tonnage from zero to full tonnage. This input is the length of time over which the tonnage
is accelerated. The acceleration period begins as soon as “Release Time” is reached.
Deceleration Period: If the generation method is set to “Layer”, Newton can linearly
decelerate the tonnage from full tonnage to zero. This input is the length of time over which
the tonnage is decelerated. The deceleration period is timed such that the tonnage reaches
zero exactly as the material generation stops.
Release Time: If the generation method is Layer, Clusters, or Particles, then this time specifies
when the first layer of particles will be dropped. If the generation method is Block, then this
time specifies when the block of material will be released. If this input is left blank, the
particles will be released at the start of the simulation.
Release Velocity: The initial velocity of each particle is specified here. If these boxes are left
blank, the initial velocity of each particle will be zero. The X, Y, and Z input boxes do NOT
represent the X, Y, and Z components of the velocity. Instead:
X = Initial particle velocity in the transverse (across the belt) direction
Y = Initial particle velocity in the axial (along the belt) direction
Z = Initial particle velocity in the vertical (normal to the belt) direction
The velocities are specified in this manner because when the belt is rotated or inclined, these
velocities are rotated and inclined to match, so that the user does not have to manually
calculate the X, Y, and Z components.
Random Min Velocity: Each particle can be given a random initial velocity. The X, Y, and Z
input boxes specify the transverse, axial, and normal components of the minimum random
velocity in meters per second. (See “Release Velocity” above)
Random Max Velocity: The X, Y, and Z input boxes specify the transverse, axial, and normal
components of the maximum random velocity in meters per second. (See “Release Velocity”
above)
Random Rotation: Each particle can also be given an initial random rate of rotation. The rate
of rotation of each particle will be some random number between 0 degrees per second and
the specified value.
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Custom or Preset (Drop Location): This specifies where the material will be generated. If this is
set to Custom, then you must specify the center point where the material will be generated as
well as the Drop Shape (see next). If this is set to Belt 1, Belt 2, or Belt 3, you need only select
the drop shape.
Drop Shape: This specifies the shape of the material drop. If the drop location is Belt 1, Belt 2,
or Belt 3, then the center position and size do not need to be specified. If the drop location is
Custom, then you need to specify the drop center point for the material. The size of the drop
must also be input, depending on the drop shape. Figure 4.5.7 shows the input boxes for each
drop shape, as well as an example of each drop shape.

Figure 4.5.7 – Drop Shape options
Rectangle: Specify the X and Y sizes of the drop.
Circle (or Annulus): Newton can create a circle or annulus drop. To create a circle,
specify the diameter of the circle in the X box. If an annulus is desired, specify the outer
diameter in the X box and the inner diameter in the Y box.
Ellipse: To create an ellipse, specify the length of the major and minor axes in the X and
Y boxes.
Min Particle Gap: When using material with very high friction and cohesion levels, it is
necessary to put a small gap between clusters during generation. If this gap is omitted, then
the clusters will be in contact when they are generated, which will instantly create a liquid
bridge between the clusters. This value should never be set to less than 1 mm.
Recall that the primary method for generating material is by layer. Newton calculates how
often to drop a layer based on material density, simulation tonnage and layer drop size. The
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number of clusters in each layer is determined in part by the minimum particle gap. Figure
4.5.8 shows one layer of a generated material set with three different minimum particle gaps.
Note how the amount of material in each layer differs significantly based on the minimum
particle gap.

Figure 4.5.8 – Minimum particle gaps
When dropping layers of material in a simulation, it is best if the layers drop very quickly, one
after another. Consider a simulation with very low tonnage, 100 TPH. If material was
generated in layers with a small particle gap (3 mm), then each layer is will have a huge mass of
material, so Newton will drop layers slowly, with a lot of lag time between layers. This is
undesirable, because in a very extreme case, material could drop so sparsely that the feed belt
has gaps with no material on it, as shown in Figure 4.5.9.

Figure 4.5.9 – Using too small a minimum particle gap can result in uneven belt loading
When the minimum particle gap is increased from 3 mm to 75 mm, the material flow is much
more steady and realistic, as shown in Figure 4.5.10.

Figure 4.5.10 – Material generation with good minimum particle gap
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Note that this example does not imply that 75 mm is a good choice for minimum particle gap
for all simulations. The gap should be chosen such that the minimum distance between layers
is no more than the thickness of any layer. See Figures 4.5.16 and 4.5.17 for more information.
Bounding Box Gap: Specify the size of the gap between the edge of the material layer and the
sides of the dropbox. If the clusters are generated with a bounding box gap of zero, then the
particles will be contacting the walls of the dropbox when the layer is released. If the cohesion
levels are set high, then a liquid bridge will immediately form between the edge clusters and
the dropbox surface, disturbing these clusters as they drop. The bounding box gap should
always be at least 3 mm.
Pattern Distribution: Newton usually generates material to be distributed evenly throughout
each layer (like in Figure 4.5.8). Alternatively, Newton can generate material such that the
density of clusters in the layer varies in the X and/or Y direction.
Linear Gap Factor: Specifies the maximum distance between particles at the sparse side of the
layer. Figure 4.5.11 shows each type of pattern distribution.

Figure 4.5.11 – Layer Pattern Distributions
Mirror Layers: Newton employs a very complex algorithm to generate layers of clusters,
starting on one side of the layer and working toward the opposite side. One effect of this
algorithm is that the finishing side of the layer often has small gaps where material does not
quite fit. To counter this effect, Newton will reverse the direction of particle generation for
each layer so that these small gaps do not cause the material to be dropped heavier on one side
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of the belt than the other, as shown in Figure 4.5.12. To turn this effect off, set Mirror Layers to
‘NO’. There is no practical reason to turn off this effect; it should always be left at ‘YES’.

Figure 4.5.12 – Mirror Layers Effect
P-Count/Quick Gen: When Newton generates clusters, it uses a random generator to create
clusters according to the probability distribution in the material set library. By default, Newton
will generate however many layers is required to obtain 10,000 random clusters. After 10,000
clusters have been generated, Newton copies the layers that have been created thus far and
repeats them for all remaining clusters.
The idea is that after 10,000 clusters, there is sufficient randomness in the clusters and layers
that from a statistical point of view, it doesn’t matter whether the other hundreds of thousands
of remaining clusters are generated randomly (which takes time), or copied from the existing
layers (which is essentially instantaneous).
If the particle size is very small (such that each layer will contain close to 10,000 particles), then
it may be desirable to force Newton to generate more particles to get sufficient randomness
before copying and repeating the layers. Enter the number of particles to generate in the first
box to force Newton to do this.
If quick particle generation is desired, then Quick Gen can be enabled by selecting ‘YES’ for the
second input box. This will discard Newton’s complex cluster generation algorithm and simply
space the particles based on the space taken up by the largest particle in the particle set.
Enabling this option is almost always unnecessary, because the computation time for a
simulation is always orders of magnitude larger than the particle generation time. Figure 4.5.13
shows the difference between Newton’s cluster generation algorithm and the simple Quick Gen
method.
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Figure 4.5.13 – Quick Gen cluster generation
Force – Time/Count/Overlap: These options are rarely used, and AC-Tek does not recommend
using ANY of these options unless the user has a lot of experience working with Newton and
fully understands the implications of using these options. The first input box forces the time
spacing between dropping each layer. By default, Newton calculates the drop time for each
layer such that the desired tonnage is achieved. If this time is forced by entering a time in the
first input box, then the resulting layers will NOT follow the specified tonnage.
To force Newton to create a certain number of clusters in each layer, enter the desired number
of clusters in the second input box.
By default, Newton checks to see if particles from sequential layers will overlap each other. If
Newton finds any particles that overlap, it removes them from the simulation so they don’t
disturb the other particles. If the density, tonnage, and minimum particle gap are set correctly,
Newton should never find overlapping particles anyway. To allow overlapping particles during
material generation, set the third input box to ‘YES’. This is not ever recommended.
Generate Particles: After all options have been selected, click the “Generate Particles” button.
While the Newton is generating the material, the text on this button will show current
generation progress.
Recall that Newton generates 10,000 clusters and then copies those clusters and layers and
repeats them for the remaining material. While Newton is still generating these 10,000
clusters, the text on the “Generate Particles” button will display the percentage of these 10,000
clusters that have been created, as well as how many layers have been generated thus far. As
soon as random generation of 10,000 clusters is complete, Newton will begin copying and
repeating these layers. The text on the button will then display number of generated clusters
and layers. Figure 4.5.14 shows the “Generate Particles” button for each case.
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Figure 4.5.14 – “Generate Particles” button
If the particle generation results in more than 5,000 layers being generated, Newton will cancel
the generation and display the popup box shown in Figure 4.5.15. You should check your input
parameters and regenerate the material.

Figure 4.5.15 – Error shown when more than 5,000 layers are generated
When particle generation is complete, one of two popup windows will display. If all particles
were generated with no problems, the popup box in Figure 4.5.16 will display.

Figure 4.5.16 – Popup window shown for successful material generation
This popup box lists the total cluster, particle, and layer count for all five material generation
points. It also lists the minimum layer separation as well as the maximum cluster size (both in
meters). The minimum layer separation is the distance that one layer will have dropped after
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being released by the time the next layer is created and released. The minimum layer distance
should never be less than 0.020 meters, just to ensure that particles from different layers will
not overlap.
If there is particle overlap, Newton will display the popup box shown in Figure 4.5.17

Figure 4.5.17 – Popup window shown if there is layer overlap during material generation
This window displays the same information and warns that there is material overlap for one of
the material sets. The material is overlapping because Newton has calculated that in order to
achieve the desired tonnage, the layers must be dropped too close together. There are three
ways to remove the material overlap:
1. Increase the layer size: If material is being generated in a drop box on a belt, increase
the length and width of the drop box so that more material can be generated in each
layer. If material is being generated in a custom location, increase the size of the drop
shape.
2. Decrease the particle gap: Decrease the size of the Min Particle Gap so that more
particles can fit into each layer.
3. Reduce the tonnage: If it’s possible, reduce the tonnage of the simulation so less
material will be generated. Or use multiple drop locations.
After the material has been successfully generated, information about each material set can be
viewed by clicking the “Output” tab at the bottom of the particle generation window. This will
change the view to show the output information. Figure 4.5.18 shows the output window.
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Figure 4.5.18 – Particle Generation Output Window
The output window displays the number of clusters, particles, and layers for each of the five
material generation points. It also displays the maximum height of any layer (usually the same
as the maximum cluster size), and the displacement between layers.
Additionally, this window displays the birth time, number of clusters, and number of particles
for the current viewed layer. Two buttons at the bottom, “Show Next Layer,” and “Show
Previous Layer” allow you to cycle through and view each layer of material. The birth time,
number of clusters, and number of particles will be updated as you cycle through the layers.

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4.6 Material Set Library
Newton has several default particle sets that can be used to run simulations. Figure 4.6.1
shows a few of these particle sets, using the same size scale to represent each set.

Figure 4.6.1 – Six of the default Newton particle sets, shown at the same scale
Recall that the base unit of material in Newton is a sphere, and that spheres are grouped
together to form clusters. Material sets that use relatively large spheres (such as the “Spheres
Only 200 mm” set in Figure 4.6.1) can run as much as 100 times faster than particle sets using
very small particles (such as the “20-60 mm” set in Figure 4.6.1). There are two reasons for this.
When using very large particles, Newton can create far fewer particles to represent the same
tonnage of material. Additionally, the size of the time step that Newton calculates depends
greatly on the size of the particle, and larger particles will result in larger time steps, and
therefore decreased runtime.
Of course, the smaller the particles in the material set, the more realistic the simulation
becomes. You must balance the desired particle size against the realistic time constraints of the
simulation. For instance, a simulation that models material flow at 1000 TPH using spheres of
diameter 1 mm would require several years of run time, but the same simulation using spheres
of diameter 50 mm would run in a few hours.
By applying effects like Liquid Bridge and Ratchet (see Section 4.2), large particles can be given
the same global flow properties as very fine material, allowing you to create a realistic
simulation that will run in a few days and give reliable results.
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4.6.1 Size Distribution Curves
Figure 4.6.2 shows the Size Distribution Curves window. This window provides important
information about each particle set and allows you to quickly generate new particle sets by
inputting just a few parameters. The left side of the window contains commands for modifying
the current particle set. The lower left corner is the rendering area, showing the particle set.
You can zoom in and out, pan, and orbit the particle set. The right side of the window contains
the Rosin-Rammler curve and the cluster distribution bar graph.

Figure 4.6.2 – Size Distribution Curves window
Particle Set Selection Box: The combo box at the top left of the window allows you to select
the particle set you want to view or modify. Right-clicking inside this box brings up a context
menu with additional options.
New Set: Prompts you for a name and creates a new blank particle set with that name.
Remove: Deletes the currently-selected particle set.
Rename: Renames the currently-selected particle set.
Move to Top: Moves the currently-selected particle set to the top of the list.
Move Up: Moves the currently-selected particle set up by one position in the list.
Move Down: Moves the currently-selected particle set down by one position in the list.
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Move to End: Moves the currently-selected particle set to the end of the list.
Number of Groups: This specifies how many different types of clusters you want for the
particle set.
Maximum Size: The maximum cluster size for the particle set. Note that this is the maximum
size of an entire cluster, not a single sphere in that cluster.
Minimum Size: The minimum cluster size for the particle set.
Average Size: The average size of a cluster for the particle set.
Uniformity: The Rosin-Rammler curve is follows a Weibull statistical distribution. The
uniformity is the shape parameter k of this distribution. This parameter is used to determine
the percent of each cluster type that will appear in the particle set.
Size Distribution Factor: This specifies how to determine the size of each cluster type. Values
less than 1 will create a particle set where most of the cluster types are larger than the average
cluster size. A value of 1.0 will create a particle set with cluster sizes that take normally-spaced
values between the Minimum and Maximum Size. Values larger than 1.0 will create a particle
set where most of the cluster types are smaller than the average cluster size. Typical values for
this take the range of 0.5-4.0.
Size Ratio: This specifies the maximum ratio of sphere sizes among spheres that make up the
clusters. Note that this does not refer to the ratio of cluster sizes, but the spheres that make
the clusters.
The size ratio should be set as close to 1.0 as possible (it cannot be set lower than 1.0). When a
simulation has spheres that are vastly different sizes, the number of nearest neighbor particles
for each particle increases; this significantly increases the runtime for the simulation. It’s not
recommended that you use a size ratio any larger than 2.0, or else your simulation will have a
drastically longer runtime. Values in the range of 1.0-1.5 are typical.
Solid/Void Ratio: This is the ratio of solid material to total volume occupied by a mass of
particles. When 10,000 particles are dumped into a cylinder, there are gaps between the
particles, and the total volume occupied by the particles is larger than the sum of the volumes
of each individual particle because of the spaces between particles.
The solid/void ratio MUST be calculated carefully to ensure that Newton creates proper
material tonnages. For instance, consider a situation where this ratio should be 0.50 for a
material set, but it is set at 0.75 instead. When Newton generates 1,000 TPH of material for a
simulation, it will actually generate 1,500 TPH of material instead, because the solid/void ratio
incorrectly indicates that there is very little space between particles (50% less space, to be
exact). Proper calculation of the Solid/Void ratio is described in Section 6.2.
Plot Spacing: This value defines how Newton should display the particle set in the particle set
rendering area in the lower-left corner of Figure 4.6.2). Setting this to a larger value (such as 20)
will render the particles closer together, which is useful when analyzing very small particle sets.
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Typical values for this range from 5-20. Note that this input does not affect the material set in
any way, it is simply for rendering the particles in this window while you are viewing and
modifying the particle sets.
Reset Curve: After modifying the input parameters described above, click this button and
Newton will regenerate the particle set. The Rosin-Rammler curve and the distribution bar
graphs will be updated as well. Note that clicking this button will redefine the current particle
set and this action cannot be undone; if you accidentally delete a particle set, you have to re-
import your particle library file.
Rosin-Rammler Curve: This is a cumulative density function statistical curve which shows the
distribution of cluster sizes in the particle set. The red line represents the calculated curve
based on the input parameters, and each star on the curve represents a particle set. The
abscissa of the graph is the cluster size in millimeters, and the ordinate of the graph represents
the percentage of total clusters in the particle set.
The Rosin-Rammler curve is a form of a statistical distribution, the Weibull distribution. The
curve describes particle size distributions. The stars on the graph should fairly closely follow
the Rosin-Rammler curve.
Distribution Bar Graph: This bar graph displays information about the particle set. It shows the
size of each cluster along the abscissa. Three different bars can be displayed for each cluster,
they can be selected using the combo box at the top left of the bar graph. The bars show the
percentage by weight of each cluster, the percentage of total clusters for each cluster type, and
the percentage of total particles for each cluster type. This graph is useful for checking if any
cluster types occupy too much or too little of the total weight or total count of the particles.
4.6.2 Group List
After generating a basic particle set using the input parameters and the size distribution curves,
you can fine-tune the particle set by modifying the parameters for each cluster type in the
Group List. Figure 4.6.3 shows the group list window.
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Figure 4.6.3 – Particle Set Group List
The grid in the center of the window lists all the cluster types for the particle set. The columns
for the grid are described below. Note that only “Size” and “Cluster Count per 10,000” can be
modified by entering a new number in the input box. The rest of the columns are dependent
variables
ID #: This is the ranking number of the cluster type in the particle set list. It has no significance
other than to help differentiate each cluster type. This can be changed by re-ordering the
cluster types using the buttons at the top of the window.
Size: This is the size of the cluster, measured as the longest line that can be drawn through the
particle in any direction. This parameter can be directly modified by entering a new value in
the input box.
Radius: This is the radius of the largest sphere in the cluster type.
% By Weight: The percentage of the cluster type by mass of the total generated material for
the particle set.
Cluster Count per 10,000: The number of clusters of that cluster type that would be generated
if 10,000 clusters were generated using the particle set. This parameter can be directly
modified by entering a new value in the input box.
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Cluster Count per 10 m
3
: The number of cluster of that cluster type that would be generated if
10 m
3
of material was generated using the particle set. This parameter depends on the
solid/void ratio of the particle set and the cluster count per 10,000 for the cluster type.
Spheres in Group: The number of spheres that make up the cluster type.
Group Type: This is where you specify the cluster type. The input is a dropdown box from
which you can select any cluster from the particle and cluster library. When you click the
“Reset Curve” button, Newton automatically generates cluster types, ignoring the types in your
cluster library.
The buttons along the top of the window allow you to add and remove cluster types, and
reposition and sort them in the list. The function of each button is described below:
Add Row: Adds a new row for a new cluster directly below the currently selected row.
Remove Row: Removes the currently selected cluster from the particle set.
Move Up: Moves the currently selected cluster row up by one position.
Move Down: Moves the currently selected cluster row down by one position.
= Clusters: Sets the cluster count per 10m
3
for each cluster to the same number.
= Spheres: Sets the sphere count per 10m
3
for each cluster to the same number.
Sort: Sorts the rows according to Cluster Size, with the largest cluster at the top of the list and
the smallest cluster at the bottom of the list.
Scale: Scales the cluster size of all cluster types by the scale value in the adjacent input box.

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4.7 Particle and Cluster Library
Each cluster type that is used in each particle set (other than the Generated Groups) is
contained in Newton’s particle library. You can create new cluster types in the library. Figure
4.7.1 shows the particle and cluster library.

Figure 4.7.1 – Particle and Cluster Library
Group Name: This is where you select which cluster to edit and create new clusters. Right-
clicking on the combo box will bring up the context menu shown in Figure 4.7.1. The context
menu contains the following commands.
New Cluster: Creates a blank cluster template for you to create a new cluster.
Remove: Deletes the currently selected cluster.
Rename: Renames the currently selected cluster.
Move Up: Moves the currently selected cluster up by one position in the cluster list.
Move Down: Moves the currently selected cluster down by one position in the list.
Move to Position: Moves the currently selected cluster to the specified position in the
cluster list.
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Auto Cluster Creator: This option opens up a small window (shown in Figure 4.7.2) that
allows you to quickly create a cluster without having to manually set parameters for
each sphere. Enter the number of spheres in the X, Y, and Z directions, the spacing
between the spheres (as a percentage of the sphere diameter), and the tilt angle of the
cluster, which creates angled clusters, rather than simple cubic or rectangular clusters.

Figure 4.7.2 – Auto Cluster Creator
Export to CSV: Exports the selected cluster to a CSV file. The CSV file contains the
sphere number, radius, and X, Y, and Z position for each sphere in the cluster.
Export to DXF: Exports the selected cluster to a DXF CAD file.
Import CSV: Imports a CSV file and saves it as a cluster. The CSV file must contain the
sphere number, radius, and X, Y, and Z positions for each sphere in the cluster. In order
to get the formatting of the CSV file correct, you should export one of the other clusters
to a CSV file and use it as a template for creating your own CSV cluster file.
Import DXF: Imports a DXF file and saves it as a cluster. The DXF file must contain only
spheres. As with a CSV file, it is helpful to first export a cluster to a DXF file and use that
file as a template.
Number of Particles: In the adjacent input box, enter the number of spheres that will compose
the cluster.
The grid below “Number of Particles” contains the radius and X, Y, and Z information for each
sphere. Modify these values to create your cluster.
The box below the grid contains information about the cluster, including volume, center of
gravity, and moment of inertia about each axis.
Lock Rotation: Check this checkbox if you want Newton to prevent this cluster from rotating in
the simulation. This option is not usually needed. If you are using a material set that includes
multiple cluster types that are composed of a single sphere, then it might be helpful to lock the
rotation on one of those spherical cluster types so that the material doesn’t roll around quite so
much.
Show Cluster as Mesh: This is a rendering effect that helps make the clusters look less like
spheres and more like irregular particles. The effect does not alter the calculations in any way,
it is only a visual effect. Figure 4.7.3 shows a cluster with and without the mesh effect applied.
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Figure 4.7.3 – A cluster without (left) and with (right) the mesh effect
4.8 File Queuing
Newton can maintain a list of up to 10 files which will run in sequence automatically. To open
the file queuing window, open the “File” dropdown menu and click “Open File Queue.” The
window shown in Figure 4.8.1 will open.

Figure 4.8.1 – File Queuing window
Newton will run each file in the order it appears in the queue. To modify a file, click on the
status or file path and the file will be highlighted. Then you are free to modify its position in the
queue or remove it. You can only modify the position of files in the queue whose status is
“Queued.” Once a file is running, complete, or stopped due to an error, you can no longer
modify its position in the queue. You must remove the file and re-add it to the queue if you
want to run it again. You can clear the entire queue using the “Clear Queue” button, and
Newton will prompt to you make sure you didn’t click the button accidentally.
To the left of the file path is the status of the file. The following is a list of all statuses that
might appear in the file queue:
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- Queued: The file has been added to the queue and is awaiting simulation.
- Running: The file is currently being simulated. A running file cannot be removed from the
file queue.
- Complete: The simulation for the file has already completed.
- Stopped at 12.32 seconds: If you stop a file early using the “Skip to Next Simulation”
button, Newton will display the time at which you stopped the simulation.
- File Load Error: The file is corrupt and cannot be opened. The file was not simulated.
- License Error: The USB key is missing or another Newton simulation is currently using it.
The file was not simulated.
- No particles: The input file contained no generated clusters, so the file was not simulated.
- No Triangles: The input file contained no triangles, so the file was not simulated.
- File Version Error: If the Newton file is from a newer version of Newton, it cannot be
opened. Check that you have the most current version of Newton by navigating to the
“Help” menu and clicking “Check for Updates”
- Layer Move Profile Error: The file to be simulated has custom CSV movement profiles, but
there was a problem with one or more of the movement profiles. Make sure to check the
following (also see Section 4.9):
o If your movement profile contains rotation, but you have not specified any custom
rotation vectors, check that each layer using rotation has a non-zero rotation vector
specified in the “Geometry” input page.
o If your movement profile contains rotation and you have specified custom rotation
vectors in your CSV file, ensure that:
 Every movement section that has rotation has a non-zero rotation vector
 The first movement in the CSV file must have a rotation vector (if the first
movement in the CSV file has no rotation, then it is permissible to set the
rotation vector to (0, 0, 0).
When running simulations via the File Queuing window, you can still pause and stop the
simulations using the “Pause” and “Stop” commands in the “Solver” dropdown menu. Clicking
the “Stop” command in this dropdown menu is identical to clicking the “Skip to Next
Simulation” button in the file queuing window.

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4.9 Importing Custom Layer Movement Profiles
4.9.1 Importing a Layer Movement Profile
Clicking the “Movement Profile” button on the “Geometry” input page (See Figure 4.3.1) will
open up the layer movement profile window, shown in Figure 4.9.1.

Figure 4.9.1 – Layer Movement Profile window
Note that if you have not imported any geometry into your input file, then this window will not
open; instead you will see a message box asking you to import layers first. Layer movement
profiles cannot be imported for belts that are created in Newton, they can only be imported for
geometry that has been imported into Newton. Use the combo box at the top left of the
window to select the layer for which you want to import a movement profile.
Import Profile: This button allows you to import a movement profile in the form of a comma-
separated-values (CSV) file.
Clear Profile: Clears the movement profile for the currently selected layer.
Clear All Profiles: Clears all movement profiles for all layers
Three sample movement profiles are shown in Figure 4.9.2 below. Please note that Figure 4.9.2
shows three movement profiles, but each CSV file can only contain one movement profile. The
profile must include 4 columns of data, but can include up to 8 columns of data. In order from
left to right, the columns are interpreted as:
1) REQUIRED: Simulation time at which to start the movement section (sec).
2) REQUIRED: X-component of the layer’s linear velocity (m/s).
3) REQUIRED: Y-component of the layer’s linear velocity (m/s).
4) REQUIRED: Z-component of the layer’s linear velocity (m/s).
5) OPTIONAL: Rotation rate of the layer about its rotation point (degrees/sec).
6) OPTIONAL: X-component of the vector about which the layer will rotate.
7) OPTIONAL: Y-component of the vector about which the layer will rotate.
8) OPTIONAL: Z-component of the vector about which the layer will rotate.
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Also note that the first row of the CSV file can either directly start the movement profile data,
or it can be a row of labels for the columns, for convenience. If this row does not contain data,
Newton will ignore it and begin importing data starting from the second row.
A movement profile must contain the first 4 columns of data (time and linear velocity). If you
do not need rotation, then you can omit the last 4 columns of data. Or, if you need rotational
motion, but the rotation vector is identical for all rotational movements, you can just input the
5
th
column (rotation rate) and then you can specify the rotation vector in Newton on the
“Geometry” input page under “Rotation Axis” (see Section 4.3.4) and Newton will use that axis
for all rotational movements in the profile.
All three movement profiles shown in Figure 4.9.2 are valid profiles, and all three profiles
generate identical motion (the motion shown in Figure 4.9.1).
If your movement profile has rotation, you must specify a rotation rate for the first movement
section (even if you enter 0 degrees/sec). For each other movement section in the file, if the
rotation rate is zero, you can omit columns 5, 6, 7, and 8 for that section.
Similarly, if your movement profile uses custom rotation vectors for some or all of the
movement sections, you must specify a rotation vector for the first movement section; if that
first movement section has a rotation rate of zero, then you can specify a vector of (0, 0, 0) for
the first section. If sequential movement sections use the same rotation vector, you can specify
that vector for the first motion that uses it, and Newton will copy that vector for all the
following movement sections until you specify a different rotation vector. You cannot specify a
rotation vector of (0, 0, 0) for any movement section that has a non-zero rotation rate.
Once you have imported the movement profile for a layer, the layer movement profile window
will display that profile, along with labels at the top of each column specifying its function.
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Figure 4.9.2 – Three CSV layer movement profiles which generate IDENTICAL motion
Rotation Point: Recall from Section 4.3.4 that when specifying layer rotation, you must input a
rotation rate, a rotation axis/vector, and a rotation point that the rotation vector is attached to.
This applies to layer movement profiles as well. For custom layer movement profiles, you must
specify the rotation point under “Rotation Point” on the “Geometry” input window.
When the layer is translated during the simulation, the rotation point for the layer is moved
along with the layer. This means that if you want the layer to rotate about itself (i.e. change
orientation) then you need to specify the rotation point as the center of gravity for the layer.
4.9.2 Example Simulation using Custom CSV Movement Profile
The layer movement profile shown in Figure 4.9.1 and 4.9.2 belong to the simulation shown in
Figure 4.9.3. This shows a bucket that is being rotated and moved to scoop up particles, then
moved outside the box to dump the particles. For this simulation, the center of gravity for the
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bucket is exactly at the origin of the coordinate system, so the “Rotation Point” was specified as
(0, 0, 0) on the “Geometry” input window for the layer “Bucket.”
Move 1: At 0 seconds, there is no translation and no rotation. The bucket does not move while
particles are being dropped into the box.

Figure 4.9.3 – Bucket simulation using a custom movement profile (Time = 2.99 sec)
Move 2: At 3 seconds, the bucket moves in the Y-direction at 1.4 m/s, with no rotation. The
bucket begins moving along the length of the box to scoop up particles.

Figure 4.9.4 – Bucket moves along the box, filling with material (Time = 4.99 sec)
Move 3: At 5 seconds, there is no linear motion, and the bucket begins to rotate about the
vector (1, 0, 0) at +20 degrees per second. The bucket rotates upward to help contain the
material for when the bucket is lifted out of the box. Note that the rotation follows the right-
hand-rule.
The rotation point was specified as (0, 0, 0) at the start of the simulation. But during Move 2,
the bucket translated 2.8 meters along the Y-axis, so the rotation point was moved to (0, 2.8,
0), such that it remains at the center of gravity of the bucket.
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Figure 4.9.5 – Bucket rotates upward at 20 degrees per second. (Time = 5.99 sec)
Move 4: At 6 seconds, the bucket moves along the Z-axes at 1 m/s with no rotation. The
bucket lifts upward, out of the box.

Figure 4.9.6 – Bucket lifts upward at 1 m/s. (Time = 6.99 sec)
Move 5: At 7 seconds, the bucket moves along the Y-axis at 0.7 m/s with no rotation. The
bucket moves forward, away from the box, in preparation to dump its material.

Figure 4.9.7 – Bucket moves forward at 0.7 m/s. (Time = 8.99 sec)
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Move 6: At 9 seconds, the bucket has no linear movement and rotates at -45 degrees/sec
about the vector (1, 0, 0). The bucket rotates forward, dumping its material outside the box.
Note that during Moves 4 and 5, the bucket moved in the Z-direction by 1 meter, and in the Y-
direction by 1.4 meters. Therefore the rotation point of the bucket layer was moved from its
position after Move 2 of (0, 2.8, 0) to its final position of (0, 4.2, 1), so that the bucket still
rotates about its own center of gravity.

Figure 4.9.8 – Bucket rotates forward at 45 degrees to dump its material. (Time = 9.99 sec)
Move 7: The bucket has no linear movement and no rotation. NOTE that this final movement
is important. Because the CSV file does not include a “Move End Time” it assumes that each
movement proceeds until the next movement section. Therefore when you want all motion for
the layer to cease, you have to end with a move section that specifies no movement (unless of
course you never want the layer to stop moving during the simulation).
Also note that the layer can have periods of time where it does not move. Simply insert
movement sections in the CSV file that have zero linear motion and zero rotation and the layer
will stop moving at the specified time, and will start moving at the next movement section that
contains movement instructions.

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5 Running a Simulation
5.1 Starting the Simulation
5.1.1 General Simulation Information
After you have set the input parameters and material properties, imported the chute geometry,
created the belts, and generated the material, it is finally time to run a simulation. Save your
input file, and then go to the Solver menu and select Run.

Figure 5.1.1 – Click “Run” to start the simulation
After you click run, it may take a few minutes for Newton to begin the simulation. At this point,
Newton is loading hundreds of thousands of variables into memory and doing many pre-
simulation calculations. While these pre-simulation calculations are performed, Newton will
display “Preparing Simulation – Please Wait.”
It should also be noted that if your simulation has many triangles (over 20,000), then it may
take as long as 10 minutes for the simulation to begin. While Newton prepares the simulation,
you will not be able to click any buttons on the toolbar, nor will you be able to right-click to
bring up a context menu. If the words “(Not Responding)” appear in the title bar, this simply
indicates that Newton is doing calculations and is not responding to commands from the
Windows operating system, but Newton has not crashed.
Once the simulation starts, the rendering window will begin showing frames from the
simulation. Figure 5.1.2 shows a simulation in progress.
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Figure 5.1.2 – A simulation in progress
The top left corner of the rendering window displays simulation time in seconds, and in percent
of total simulation completed. Below that are the run time and the estimated time to
completion of the simulation (ETC). Finally, below the run time are the current cluster and
particle count.
If you are dropping material in layers, then when you generated material , Newton most likely
told you that you generated some 200,000 particles (for example). But when you run the
simulation, you will never see “Particles = 200,000” in the top left corner, because only a
fraction of those particles are moving through the simulation at one time. It would be very
inefficient to actually generate all 200,000 particles at once and throw them all into a hopper
above the feed belt.
The top right corner contains the Legend. In most cases, this legend will show material velocity,
but it will change based on the material view settings (see Section 5.2).
5.1.2 Rendering Window Context Menu
By default, Newton shows all layers as wireframe and colors the particles by velocity, with the
velocity scale ranging from 0-5 m/s. Right-clicking in the rendering window will bring up the
context menu shown in Figure 5.1.3. This context menu is very similar to the menus described
in Section 4.3.7 and Section 3.5.2, but it contains a few additional commands.
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Figure 5.1.3 – Rendering window context menu with “Velocity Scale” submenu open
Pan, Orbit, Zoom, Zoom Window, None, Preset Views, Show UCS Icon: See Section 4.3.7
Orbit C.G.: This allows you to choose the point about which the model will rotate. By default,
Newton rotates the model about the origin, but this can be changed to rotate about the center
of gravity of any layer.
Surfaces: See Section 3.5.2.
Particles: See Section 3.5.2.
Velocity Scale: This submenu allows you to quickly change the velocity scale for the particles
without having to open the “Surface and Material Visualization” window. Clicking one of the
scales in this submenu will also change the particle color mode to “Color by Velocity”.
Reset Wear Values: This resets the calculated particle and/or surface wear (see Section 6.5).
This is only used during post-processing.
Layer Properties: This brings up the same properties window as clicking the “Surface and
Material Visualization” toolbar button (see Section 5.2).
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5.2 Surface and Material Visualization
The Surface and Material Visualization (SMV) window can be accessed by clicking on the
associated toolbar button or right-clicking in the rendering window and selecting “Layer
Properties.” This window can only be accessed during a simulation or during post-processing
while you have a Newton playback file open. During the pre-processing stage, before running a
simulation, this window is unavailable. The SMV window is shown in Figure 5.2.1.

Figure 5.2.1 – SMV window with “General” tab open
5.2.1 Modifying Layer View Settings
The bottom half of the SMV window contains settings for each geometry layer in the
simulation, including any drop boxes or belts that were created in Newton. Each layer can have
a different view setting and a different color.
Hidden Surface: Completely hides the layer from view.
Solid Surface: Shows the layer as a solid surface of the chosen color.
Wire Frame: Shows a wireframe view of the surface. A wireframe view renders every single
triangle on the layer.
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Transparent: Shows the layer as transparent. The transparency level can be set with the slider
bar at the bottom of the “Change all Layers” section at the top left of of the SMV window.
Work: Show the work done on the surface. Note that in order to use this setting, you have to
have set “Save Triangle Force & Work Data” to ‘YES’ in the general simulation parameters
window. Note that this option is available while the simulation is running, it is used only during
post-processing.
Outer Line: Shows the major outer lines of the layer. This setting can be combined with any of
the other view settings. For instance, a layer can be set to transparent and then the outer lines
can be turned on to help give the layer clear definition.
Color: Allows you to choose the color for each layer.
The top left corner of the SMV window contains a section entitled “Change All Layers.” The
purpose of this section is to enable you to quickly set layer view settings for the entire model.
Each button in the section will apply the view effect to every layer. Additionally, this section
contains the transparency slider bar, which controls the level of transparency for the layers.
5.2.2 Material Coloring
The top middle of the SMV window contains a section entitled “Material Coloring.” This section
controls how the material will be displayed.
Velocity: By default, the radio button next to “Velocity” is checked. This will color each particle
based on the magnitude of its velocity. The three input boxes adjacent to the radio button
allow you to set the minimum and maximum velocity values, and the number of divisions to
display in the legend that is shown in the top right corner of the rendering window.
Uniform Color: Colors all particles the same color. Click the adjacent “Color” button to select
the color.
Cluster Type: Recall that a material set is made up of one or more cluster types. Selecting this
option will color the material based on the cluster type. The color of each cluster type can be
set using the adjacent “Color” button.
Fixed Z: When this radio button is selected, all particles in the simulation are immediately
colored according to their current elevation. As the simulation progresses, the color of each
particles remains the same despite changes in elevation. This allows you to see how the
material flows through the simulation. It is particularly useful if you are simulating bin or
hopper flow. Coloring the particles by Fixed Z allows us to see how the geometry in Figure 5.2.2
will empty and whether there will be patches of stagnant particles around the lower edges.
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Figure 5.2.2 – Fixed Z particle coloring at the instant it is enabled (left) and 3 seconds later (right)
Elevation: This setting will color all particles according to elevation. Unlike “Fixed Z”, this
setting uses a gradiated color scale, and the color of each particle will change as the elevation
of the particle changes.
Force: This colors each particle according to the force applied to it, in Newtons. Note that in
order to use this setting, you have to have set “Save Particle Force & Work Data” to ‘YES’ in the
general simulation parameters window.
Belt Vel: If a particle is on a feed or receiving belt, this setting will take each particle velocity
and subtract the belt velocity, showing the velocity of the particles relative to the belt, rather
than the absolute velocity.
X, Y, Z, Sum: This radio button allows you to select whether to display velocities and forces in
the X, Y, or Z directions, or by absolute the magnitude (sum).
Transparent: Sets some of the cluster types as transparent, and other types as solid color. This
feature is useful if you are trying to track the position of specific lumps in the material flow. For
instance, if you had a material set with mostly 40-100 mm, but also a few 300 mm lumps, you
could change all the 40-100 mm particles transparent, and set the 300 mm lumps to solid red,
as shown in Figure 5.2.3.
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Figure 5.2.3 – Transparent particle setting
Each cluster type for the material set is assigned an ID #. If you are not sure which cluster type
is which, you can start another instance of the Newton program and open the input file that
you used to run the simulation. Click on the “Material Size Distribution Library” and select the
material set from the dropdown box on that page. Then click the “Group List” tab at the
bottom of the window, and you can see the ID # for each cluster type.
There are two sets of input boxes below the “Transparent” radio button. Each set allows you to
choose a range of cluster ID’s that will appear as solid color. All other cluster types will be
transparent. So for instance, if you want the first two cluster types to be solid, and the last
cluster type (assume that cluster ID # is 10), then you would enter “1” and “2” in the first set of
input boxes, and “10” and “10” in the second set of input boxes. This will color cluster 1, 2 and
10 as solid color, and the rest will be transparent. You can choose the solid color using the
“Color” button adjacent to the “Transparent” radio button.
Particle Work: Displays the work done on each particle. As with work on chute surfaces, the
main reason for modeling particle work is not to determine the absolute work done on the
particle, but rather to determine the relative particle work from one chute design to another.
This option is disabled while the simulation is running. It is only used during post-processing.
5.2.3 Material Visualization, Outline Tolerance, Rotational C.G.
Newton contains several different display options for the particles. Figure 5.2.4 shows each
type of particle rendering method.
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Hidden: The particles will be hidden from view.
Lumpy: The particles will be rendered slightly lumpy, rather than smooth and spherical.
Smooth: The particles will be rendered smooth.
Specular: The particles will be rendered smooth and shiny.
Meshed: Clusters will be meshed, giving them an irregular appearance (see Section 4.7 and
Figure 4.7.3)
Position Traces: Newton will create a position trail for each particle. The color of the trail
represents the velocity of the particle.

Figure 5.2.4 – Particle Rendering Methods
Below the material visualization is a section entitled “Outline Tolerance.” This is to remove
extraneous lines from the wireframe view of the chute geometry. Set the outline tolerance
higher to remove more lines. Generally, this should be set between 0-20 degrees. Figure 5.2.5
shows chute geometry with and without the tolerance enabled.
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Figure 5.2.5 – Chute Geometry with and without outline tolerance
You can also choose one layer that will be excluded from the outline tolerance by entering the
number of that layer in the “Exclude Layer” input box. All other layers will use the outline
tolerance.
5.2.4 Clip Planes
The clip plane options are located in the top right corner of the SMV window. Clip planes
enable you to create sectioned views of the model, or hide unwanted particles and triangles
from view. Up to 5 clip planes can be inserted into the model. Each clip “plane” is actually a
rectangular prism for which you input the minimum and maximum X, Y, and Z dimensions.
In the first drop down box, select whether to turn the clip plane ‘Off’, to ‘Show Data in Box’, or
to ‘Hide Data in Box.’ In the second drop down box, select whether to apply the clip effect to
particles, triangles, lines, or all objects. Below the drop down boxes, select the minimum and
maximum X, Y, and Z values for the clip plane. The check box at the bottom allows you to show
or hide the outline of the clip plane box.
If two or more clip planes have intersecting spaces, then any clip plane which is designated to
‘Show Data in Box’ will trump any plane that is designated to ‘Hide Data in Box.’ Figure 5.2.6
shows two clip plane boxes inserted into a model. The first box is set to hide all data from -2.5
to +2.5 in the X, Y, and Z directions. The second box is set to show particles from -1.5 to +1.5 in
the X, Y, and Z directions.
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Figure 5.2.6 – Geometry with and without Clip Planes

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6 Post Processing
6.1 Opening and Modifying Playback Files
The data from each simulation is saved inside a Newton uncompressed playback (*.UCM) file.
All post-processing for each simulation is performed using these playback files. To open an
uncompressed file, open the “File” menu, and click on “Open Playback File.”
6.1.1 Merging Playback Files
If a simulation was interrupted or stopped, then when the simulation is restarted, Newton will
save the data to a new uncompressed data file. After the simulation is complete, these
separate data files should be merged together. To merge multiple data files together, open the
“File” menu, expand the “Playback Tools” submenu, and click on “Merge Playback Files.”
Newton will open a window like the one shown in Figure 6.1.1.

Figure 6.1.1 – Merge Playback Files window
Up to 5 files can be merged at one time. The number of files that are created during a
simulation is equal to 1 + the number of simulation restarts that occurred (due to power
outages or similar circumstances). Usually no more than 2 or 3 files will need to be merged
together. Clicking the “File #” button next to each file to merge will open a file prompt allowing
you to select the files to merge. Clicking “Clear” will remove the file from its adjacent text box.
Once you select the first file to merge, the text box “Merged File Location” will automatically
populate with a similar file name. Click the “Merge” button to begin merging the playback files.
While the playback files are merging, Newton will display the window shown in Figure 6.1.2.
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Figure 6.1.2 – Merge File Window
Newton will open and read each uncompressed data file, and then merge the files together.
Depending on the size of the uncompressed files, this process can take up to 30 minutes to
complete (so be patient). When the merging process is finished, Newton will display a popup
window confirming that the file was merged successfully and giving the merged file frame
count.
6.1.2 Exporting a Playback File to a DXF File
Any frame in a Newton playback file can be exported to a DXF CAD file. Open the “File” menu,
expand the “Playback Tools” submenu, and click on “Export Playback File to DXF.” Newton will
open a window giving you several export options, shown in Figure 6.1.3.

Figure 6.1.3 – DXF Export window
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What to Export
Choose whether to export the triangles (layers), clusters, or both. You can export the clusters
as spheres or as lines which show the position of each sphere. Exporting as spheres requires
about twice as much file space, but will look better when the file is opened in AutoCAD. Figure
6.1.4 shows a set of spheres exported both as spheres and as lines.
You can export position tracers as well. Newton uses the currently-visible tracers, so before
exporting, make sure you enable position tracers and skip forward a few frames so that Newton
generates the tracers.

Figure 6.1.4 – Clusters exported as lines (left) and as spheres (right)
How Many Clusters
If your playback file contains hundreds of thousands of clusters, you may only want to export
some of those clusters to save file space. You can choose to export all clusters, 10% of the
clusters, or only 1% of the clusters.
Export Bounds
By default, Newton will export triangles and spheres from the entire simulation domain. If you
only want to export a small section of the file, you can select X, Y, and Z bounds from which
Newton will export triangles and/or spheres. Additionally, you can choose whether to apply
these bounds to clusters, triangles, or both; this is useful if you want to export the entire
geometry for convenient reference, but you only want to export particles from one section of
the chute or belt.
When you click the “Specify region for export” radio button, Newton will automatically fill in
the minimum and maximum X, Y, and Z boxes with values from Clip Plane 1, if Clip Plane 1 has
been set (See Section 5.2.4). It doesn’t matter if Clip Plane 1 is set to show or hide the
information, it only matters that the minimum and maximum bounds have been specified.
Therefore, the easiest course of action is to select the desired export region using Clip Plane 1
so that you are sure of what region is being exported, and then to open the Export DXF window,
allowing Newton to automatically copy those values.
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6.1.3 Reducing and Repairing Playback Files
If the Newton simulation crashed before it was completed, then each time you open the
corresponding .UCM data file, Newton will always display the popup box shown in Figure 6.1.5.

Figure 6.1.5 – File Error popup that displays when opening an incomplete simulation
This occurs because Newton detects incomplete simulation data in the data file, and this can be
repaired. The tool that repairs playback files can also be used to reduce playback files. If a
playback file size is too large, or if for any other reason you want to reduce a playback file,
Newton allows you to do this.
Open the “File” menu, expand the “Playback Tools” submenu, and click on “Reduce Playback
File.” A window like the one shown in Figure 6.1.6 will be opened.

Figure 6.1.6 – Playback File Reduction/Repair
DEM Input File: Select the input file to be repaired or reduced. This can be either an
uncompressed file (*.UCM) or a single-frame playback file (*.PBF).
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Reduced Frame Interval: If you want to make the uncompressed file smaller by removing
frames, then enter an integer in this box. Entering 0 will retain all frames and will simply fix any
file errors that Newton finds. Entering 1 will remove every other frame, entering 2 will remove
2 out of 3 frames, etc.
Start Time: If you want to remove frames from the start or end of the uncompressed file, then
enter the desired starting time for the new uncompressed file in this input box.
End Time: In order to keep all frames after the “Start Time,” leave this box blank. Otherwise,
enter the simulation time for the last frame of the new file.
Specifically Exclude Work Information: During the pre-processing for the simulation, you may
have set “Save Triangle Force & Work Data” or “Save Particle Force & Work Data” to ‘YES’. This
would result in a much larger uncompressed file size. If this information is not necessary, then
you can check this box and Newton will remove that data from the file, decreasing the file size.
Compress Crunched File: Select whether Newton should compress the file to save space.
Newton playback files are always compressed by default, so we recommend leaving this option
checked.
Reduce: When you have entered all the information, click this button and Newton will reduce
or repair the data file.
Batch Reduce: If you want to create a file queue to reduce multiple files, Newton allows you to
do this. Create a text file, and enter the complete file path for each file, one per line, as shown
in Figure 6.1.7. Once you have created this text file, click the “Batch Reduce” button and open
that text file. Newton will reduce/repair each file using same specified input parameters.

Figure 6.1.7 – Batch Text File
Cancel: Click this button to cancel all playback file operations and return to the Newton
interface.

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6.2 Calculating the Solids Ratio for a Particle Set
6.2.1 Calculating Solids Ratio
When creating a particle set, one of the most important parameters to set is the solid/void
ratio. This ratio specifies the ratio of solid material to total space occupied. Figure 6.2.1 shows
two cylinders filled with material from the same particle set. Newton was set to generate the
same volume of material for each cylinder.

Figure 6.2.1 – Same particle set, different solids ratios
For the left cylinder, the solids ratio was set at 0.500, and for the right cylinder, the solids ratio
was set at 0.623. The difference in the amount of material generated is exactly proportional to
the difference in the solids ratio. The question is, what is the proper solids ratio for a particle
set?
If we know the volume of the cylinder into which we will drop the material, and we set Newton
to generate the same volume of material, then when we drop the material into the cylinder, we
should see that the material completely fills the cylinder. If the material is slightly below the
top of the cylinder, then the solid/void ratio is set too low. Similarly, if the material overflows,
spilling out of the cylinder, then the solids ratio is set too high.
Newton is able to automatically calculate the solids ratio for a material set. In order to do this,
you will use one of the example Newton input files that was installed on your computer. Open
the “File” menu, and click “Open Input File.” Navigate to the Newton install directory, open the
“Examples” directory, and open up one of the three following Newton input files:
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“Material_Density_400mm_Cylinder.nwt”
“Material_Density_600mm_Cylinder.nwt”
“Material_Density_1200mm_Cylinder.nwt”
These input files contain cylinders with the specified radius. The size of the cylinder you use
depends on the size of the particles in your particle set. The goal is to have a simulation that
uses 50,000 to 200,000 particles. In order to accurately calculate the solids ratio, the simulation
must use a large number of particles.
Once the input file is opened, navigate to the “Material Size Distribution Library.” If your
particle set is saved in the default Newton particle library file, then select it from the drop down
menu. Otherwise, open the library file containing your particle set, then select your particle set
from the drop down menu.

Figure 6.2.2 – Set the solids ratio for the particle set to 0.550
Confirm all the parameters for your particle set, and then make sure that solids ratio is set to
0.55. Next, open “Particle Creator” window, where the material is generated for the
simulation. Select your particle set from the “Material Group Set” drop down box and click the
“Generate Particles” button. For more information about generating material for simulations,
see Section 4.5.
After Newton has generated the particles, make sure that about 50,000 to 200,000 particles
were generated. If less than 50,000 particles were generated, then you should use a larger
cylinder. If more than 200,000 particles were generated, you may use a smaller cylinder to save
computation time. But the more particles that are dropped into the cylinder, the more
accurate the calculated solids ratio will be.
After the material has been generated, check the simulation input parameters in the
“Simulation Parameters and Runtime Variables” window. The default settings should work fine,
but you may want to change the file name and file save location. For more information about
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setting the parameters in this window, see Section 4.1. Save a copy of the input file, and then
run the simulation by opening the “Solver” menu, and clicking “Run.”

Figure 6.2.3 – Solids ratio simulation in progress
Allow the simulation to run completely. After about 1 second, it will look like all the material
has dropped into the material and settled, but it can take much longer for all the material to
completely settle. Run the simulation for at least 3 full seconds, and do not stop the simulation
early.
When the simulation is complete, do not close Newton. Open the “File” menu, and click on
“Calculate Solids Ratio.” A popup window will appear, asking for the radius of the cylinder.
Enter the cylinder radius in meters and click “OK.”

Figure 6.2.4 – Enter the cylinder radius in the input box
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Newton will calculate the height of the material in the cylinder, and use the input cylinder
radius to calculate the volume of material. Newton will then display a popup window similar to
the one in Figure 6.2.5. This window outputs the height of material in the cylinder (for
reference only), as well as the solids ratio.

Figure 6.2.5 – Solids Ratio popup box
Finally, go back to the “Material Size Distribution Library,” select your particle set from the drop
down box, and set the solids ratio according to the popup box from Figure 6.2.5. Be sure to
save the library file after making this change. Now your material set is properly calibrated and
it can be used for simulations.
6.2.2 Setting Material Properties Parameters
The three cylinder input files discussed in Section 6.2.1 for calibrating particle sets have the
friction settings set to free-flowing, with no cohesion. Some users might want to set the friction
and cohesion levels to relatively high settings when calculating solids ratios for particle sets
when the particle sets correspond to high friction, highly cohesive material. AC-Tek
recommends using free-flowing settings when calibrating particle sets for the reasons described
below.
When generating material, it is important that the proper volume of material is generated on
the belt. A common method for checking this volume of material is to estimate the area of a
cross-section of particles on the belt, and multiply that value by the belt speed. Newton can
export the surfaces of a model, including the belts and the particles, to do this analysis (see
Section 6.1.2).
Figure 6.2.6 shows several belt sections loaded with particles, and the approximate cross-
sectional areas for each of those sections.
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Figure 6.2.6 – Estimating cross-sectional area on a belt
Depending on the thickness of the slice used for estimation, the estimated area can differ quite
significantly (The areas of largest and smallest sections in Figure 6.2.6 differ by over 20%).
Ideally, of course, the slice would be 1 particle thick and would be integrated along the entire
length of the belt, giving the exact volume of material on the belt. It should also be noted that
when the slice thickness becomes very small (<= 200 mm), the gaps between the particles on
the belt are clearly visible. On a real conveyor, these “gaps” would be mostly filled in with
fines. However, Newton does not model the finest of particles, rather it gives the entire
material set the same “global flow properties” as very fine material has. The presence of these
gaps under high friction conditions leads to the area calculation being artificially high. This is
one reason why AC-Tek recommends calculating the solids ratio using low friction settings.
Consider Figures 6.2.7 through 6.2.10. These figures were exported from four Newton
simulations in which material was dropped onto a belt under two different friction settings,
using Solid/Void ratios that were calculated using free-flowing and high friction settings. The
goal of these simulations was to compare the estimated cross-sectional area of material on the
belt in each case. In these figures, the yellow area line represents the approximate cross-
sectional area of material on the belt. The white area line represents the theoretical cross-
sectional area for the given tonnage and belt speed.

Figure 6.2.7 – Free-Flowing simulation using an SV ratio calculated under high friction conditions
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Figure 6.2.8 – High friction simulation us an SV ratio calculated under high friction conditions

Figure 6.2.9 – Free-flowing simulation using an SV ratio calculated under low friction conditions

Figure 6.2.10 – High friction simulation using an SV ratio calculated under low friction conditions
It should be noted that although the percent-error calculation is +7.9% for the simulation in
Figure 6.2.8, when the white and yellow area lines are compared, they are so close together
that the case could even be made that they are essentially the same line. And when analyzing
Figure 6.2.10, when the gaps between the particles (particularly near the top of the material,
i.e. the empty space) are considered, the experimental and theoretical areas are not very
different.
Additionally, for high-friction cases, there are large gaps between the particles due to the high
coefficient of friction between the particles. On a real conveyor, these gaps would be at least
partially filled by fine material, which Newton does not model. Newton gives the entire flow
the same “global flow properties” to compensate for this. In the DEM simulation, when the
high-friction material flows into a chute and piles up, the particles are squeezed together and a
lot of that space is eliminated. It is at this point in the simulation that that it is imperative that
there is enough material on the belt. When in doubt, being slightly conservative is better,
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because if a certain transfer chute does not plug up under a conservative case, then it shouldn’t
plug up using a smaller solid/void ratio either (i.e. a solids ratio that had been calculated using
high friction settings, rather than AC-Tek’s recommend low friction settings). And if the chute
does plug up under a slightly conservative case, then it’s probably a good indication that the
chute needs to be adjusted in some way in any case.
Furthermore, in real conveyor engineering, there is often be a significant variability in the
“calculated” value of the bulk density (and in some case even the tonnage) that is used
(possibly as much as 10-15%). And the consistency and material properties of the ore on the
belt can vary over the course of a day due to weather as well (temperature, sunshine, relative
humidity, etc.).
With all this in mind, whether the solids ratio is calculated using low friction or high friction
settings is left to the discretion of the user. AC-Tek recommends using low friction settings for
the reasons stated above.
6.3 Creating Playback Frames
One great tool that Newton has is the ability to create playback files which contain all the
simulation data for a single frame. These files are very small (no more than 5 MB), so they can
easily be passed around via email. You can pan, zoom, and rotate the model, as well as modify
all the view settings using the Surface and Material Visualization window (see Section 5.2).
Playback files are vastly more informative than screen shots.
Playback frames can be created while the simulation is running, or after you have opened an
uncompressed playback file for post-processing. To create a frame while the simulation is
running, open the “Solver” menu and click “Save Current Frame.”

Figure 6.3.1 – Saving a playback frame during a simulation
To save a playback frame during post-processing (while a playback file is open), open the “File”
menu, and click “Save Playback Frame.”
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Figure 6.3.2 – Saving a playback frame during post-processing
To view playback files on computers that do not have Newton installed, Newton Viewer must
be installed. To obtain a copy of Newton Viewer, email a request to AC-Tek at info@actek.com.
Newton Viewer can be used to open UCM and PBF playback files. Input files cannot be opened
with Newton Viewer.
6.4 Creating Animations
Even more powerful than creating playback frames is Newton’s ability to create animations
using the simulation data. The animations can include as much or as little of the simulation as
you want. The files are compressed using the Xvid codec, resulting in a reasonable 50-250 MB
file size.
6.4.1 AVI Creator Window
To begin creating an animation, open up the desired playback file for which you want an
animation, and then click the “AVI Creator” button on the playback toolbar. The window
shown in Figure 6.4.1 will open. A few key frames have already been added to the window in
Figure 6.4.1.
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Figure 6.4.1 – AVI Creator window
You will also want to open the Surface and Material Visualization (SMV) window, because this
window is how you will modify the camera view, layer properties, and material settings.
Information about using the SMV window to modify the view settings was described in Section
5.2. The general settings for the AVI Creator Window are described below. Information about
key frames is discussed in Section 6.4.3
Open File: This button allows you to open a saved key frames file (*.KFF). Key frames files can
be used across different simulations, but the view settings for the layers apply to the specific
order of the layers. So if in one simulation, the Receive Belt is the first layer, but on a second
simulation, the Receive Belt is the second layer, then when applying a key frames file from the
first simulation to the second simulation, the Receive Belt settings will be applied to whatever
the first layer is for the second simulation. For this reason, it is best to use a few layers as
possible for the simulation, and to use identical numbers of layers, and identical layer names
for each revision of a given transfer chute. That way, you only have to create a key frames file
once, and it can be used to create animations for all simulations using that chute.
Save File: Saves the animation settings to a Newton key frames file (*.KFF). You should always
save a key frames file when you create an animation. If you made a small error in the key
frames, it could ruin the animation; instead of having to recreate the entire animation, you can
open the key frames file, make the small correction, and re-encode the animation.
Create AVI: This button creates the animation file. Clicking this button will open a file prompt,
so you can choose where to save the animation. After this prompt, another window will open,
prompting you which codec to select. This window is shown in Figure 6.4.2.
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Figure 6.4.2 – AVI Codec window
You may use any codec on the list to encode your animation file. Or you can choose “Full
Frames (Uncompressed), which will not compress the file at all. The file size will be huge (10x
larger or more, than Xvid Codec), and the picture quality will only be slightly better than using
any other codec. If you installed the Xvid codec from the Newton CD-ROM (see Section 2) you
can use this codec to encode the file.
Click “OK” after selecting a codec and Newton will create the animation. Note that Newton
renders the animation in the Newton rendering window as the file is created. Do not use
Newton while the animation file is being encoded.
Quick View: This button provides a convenient way to check the layer and view options of the
animation before creating it. The particles will be hidden from view, and Newton will play the
animation quickly, showing interpolation between key frames.
Resync Times: Consider a key frames file you created for some Simulation A. Let’s say you run
some other Simulation B, and you would like to use the key frames file that you saved from
Simulation A to create an animation for Simulation B, but the problem is that Simulation B is
much longer than Simulation A, so the key frames file would only cover a small portion of
Simulation B. If you open the playback file for Simulation B, and then open the key frames file
anyway, you can click “Resync Times.” Newton will change the time stamp and frame number
on each key frame so that the Percent on the key frame is the same as it was for Simulation A.
Time Shift: Enter a time in seconds in the adjacent input box. Then click this button and
Newton will shift the time stamp on all key frames by that amount.
Screen Size: Use the drop down box to select the desired screen size for the animation. Or you
can set the drop down box to “Custom” and manually enter a screen size in the input boxes
below. You can also drag and resize the screen while the drop down box is set to “Custom” and
Newton will automatically change the size in the input boxes (See Section 6.4.2).
Frame Rate: Enter the desired frame rate (in frames per second) in the adjacent input box.
Frame Skipping: This feature allows you to skip frames in the video, creating an animation with
fewer frames, and therefore smaller file size. If you enter “1”, Newton will skip 1 frame, render
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1 frame, skip 1 frame, render 1 frame, etc. If you enter “2”, Newton will skip 2 frames, render 1
frame, skip 2 frames, render 1 frame, etc.
Show Particle Count: Check this box to have Newton display the number of particles and
clusters in the animation file. Note that if this box is checked, then the particle and cluster
count will override the sub comment for any key frames. I.e. the sub comments will not be
displayed, and the cluster and particle count will be displayed in its place.
Copy Layer Settings to all Key Frames: This button allows you to quickly copy all the current
layer settings to all key frames. Note that this action cannot be undone, so use it with caution.
Main Comments: This text box allows you to enter comments which will be displayed for the
entire duration of the animation. Usually the company and chute name, as well as the revision
number, friction settings, or other important information is entered here.
Time and Comment Position: The section below the Main Comments section allows you to
choose the position of the Time stamp, Main Comment, Sub Comment, and Color Scale. The
numbers in the adjacent input boxes specify the percentage across the rendering window. 0 in
the horizontal box will place the comment at the left side of the window, and 100 will place the
comment at the right side of the window. Entering 0 or 100 in the vertical input box will place
the comment at the top or bottom of the rendering window. Note that this number specifies
where the start of the comment will be placed, so if you enter 100 in the horizontal box, then
the comment will start at the right edge of the screen, and the entire comment will actually be
outside the rendering window, so it will not be seen. Similarly, you do not want to enter 100 in
the vertical box either.
Logo Position: This section specifies where to position the AC-Tek logo.
Text Color/Background Color: These buttons allow you to specify the color of the screen text
and the background for the animation file.
6.4.2 Choosing an Animation Resolution
The first thing you should do once you have opened the AVI Creator window is choose the
resolution for the animation. Use the drop down box under “Screen Size” to choose the size.
The resolution is taken from the size of the rendering window, so you can manually drag the
borders of the Newton window to create whatever resolution animation you like.
If you have already created key frames that contain specific views and then you change the
animation resolution, Newton will attempt to preserve the views for each key frame, but the
views may become slightly distorted if the aspect ratio is changed. This is why you should
always choose the resolution first.
It is important to remember that larger resolutions will result in larger file sizes. If we were to
keep all options the same, but modify the resolution of the output animation, the relative file
sizes for each resolution would be approximately as follows.
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(4:3) 640 x 480: 1.00
(4:3) 800 x 600: 1.56
(4:3) 1024 x 768: 2.56
(4:3) 1280 x 1024: 4.27
(16:9) 854 x 480: 1.33
(16:9) 1027 x 576: 1.92
(16:9) 1280 x 1024: 3.00
This means that using a resolution of 1280x1024 will create a file that is about 4.27 times larger
than a file with resolution 640x480, but it will look much better. For most animations, using
either 800x600 or 1024x768 resolution is sufficient.
6.4.3 Creating and Removing Key Frames
Key frames form the base of the animation file. A key frame is a single frame of the animation
file for which you specify the camera view, the layer properties, and the material display and
coloring. A typical animation file will incorporate 15-30 key frames, but it is possible to create
an animation file with as few as 2 key frames. Newton will automatically interpolate between
key frames. That is, if a key frame has one camera view, and the next key frame has a
completely different camera view, Newton will automatically rotate, pan, and zoom the model
in the time between those two key frames, resulting in a smooth animation. If you do not want
Newton to perform this interpolation, it can be turned off for each key frame. Uncheck the
“Interpolate” check box for the key frames for which you do not want Newton to interpolate.
When using the interpolation function to switch between two completely different views, make
sure you allow 2-5 seconds of transition time between key frames or else the transition will be
too fast and garbled.
Figure 6.4.3 shows three key frames for an animation file.

Figure 6.4.3 – Key frames for an animation
ID: This is just the ID number for the key frame, showing its order in the animation.
Time: This is the time at which the key frame will appear. You can modify the key frame by
entering a new time in this input box. This is usually necessary because it is difficult to slide the
frame slider bar to an exact frame.
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Percent: This is the percent through the simulation at which the key frame appears. You can
modify the key frame by entering a new percent in this box. The corresponding time and frame
number will be updated as well.
Frame Number: This is the frame number for the key frame. You can modify the key frame by
entering a new frame number in this box. The corresponding time and percent will be updated
as well.
To create the first key frame, navigate to the frame that you want to be the first frame of the
animation using the slider bar near the bottom of the window. Then click “Add/Update Key
Frame.”
Interpolate: Specifies whether Newton will attempt to interpolate the view settings between
that key frame and the next key frame. I.e. if the first key frame has one camera view, and the
second key frame has another camera setting, Newton will pan, orbit, and zoom accordingly in
between the key frames to create a smooth transition.
Sub Comment: Creates a comment that will be displayed in the animation file. The sub
comment will start at the key frame and will be displayed until the next key frame is reached. If
the same sub comment is entered for adjacent key frames, the comment will be displayed
uninterrupted in the animation file for those key frames.
Frame Slider Bar: The frame slider bar is used to quickly navigate around the playback file.
Add/Update Key Frame: The function of this button depends on the position of the frame
slider bar. If the slider bar is positioned at a frame number for which there is no key frame,
then clicking this button will insert a new key frame that that location. If there is a key frame
that the slider bar’s location, then clicking this button will update that key frame with the
current view information.
Remove Current Key Frame: This button removes the current highlighted key frame. Unlike
the “Add/Update Key Frame” button, this button does not depend on the location of the slider
bar. This button will simply remove whichever key frame is currently highlighted in yellow.
After you set the view settings for the current key frame, click the “Add/Update Key Frame”
button to save the changes. Then advance the slider bar to the position for the next key frame
and click the “Add/Update Key Frame” button to create the next key frame.
6.4.4 Modifying View Settings for Key Frames
The settings for each Key Frame are set using the Surface and Material Visualization (SMV)
Window. Descriptions of each of the options in this window were given in Section 5.2.
When a new key frame is added to the key frames list, it will not necessarily inherit its view
settings from the key frame directly above it in the list. Rather, it will inherit its view settings
from the last key frame that was highlighted; so if you create all key frames in order, then it will
inherit its view settings from the key frame directly above it. This makes creating animations
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convenient, so long as you add the key frames in order. For each new key frame, simply change
the view settings from the last frame and click the “Update Key Frame” button.
Almost all the Newton view settings are specific to a key frame, but some of the settings are
global, and cannot be changed between key frames. The settings that are global are
highlighted in red in Figure 6.4.4. The chosen material coloring for “Uniform Color”, “Cluster
Type”, and “Transparent” is the same for all key frames. And the outline tolerance, rotational
center of gravity, and the option to show or hide clip planes apply to all key frames as well.

Figure 6.4.4 – Global View Settings
Transparency Interpolation: One great feature of the AVI Creator is the ability to interpolate
the transparency of layers. Newton can transition smoothly from solid to transparent layers.
To use this function, create two key frames. The desired transparent layers for both key frames
must have the “Transparent” check box checked. For the first key frame, slide the
“Transparency Level” slider bar in the SMV Window all the way to the right. This will create
layers that are technically transparent, but the transparency setting is so low that the layers
appear to be solid. On the second key frame, slide the slider bar to the desired transparency
setting. Make sure that the “Interpolate” check box is checked for both key frames in the AVI
Creator Window (it is enabled by default for all key frames). Each of the two key frames can
have different camera settings, material coloring, clip planes, etc.
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6.4.5 Analyzing Work on Particles and Chute Surfaces
A popular feature of Newton is the ability to estimate work on particles and chute surfaces. It
should be noted that Newton cannot give exact values of work on particles and chute surfaces.
The way that work is calculated in Newton is different than in traditional impact and fracture
mechanics. Therefore,
The estimated values of work on particles and chute surfaces in Newton is intended to be
used for relative comparison purposes between chute designs and revisions only.
That is, these work values are best used to compare the wear that one chute design would
experience compared to another design. For instance, if Newton calculates 2,000 J of work on a
wear plate using chute design A, and only 1,200 J of work on the same wear plate using design
B, then the user could reasonable assume that chute design B, would reduce the wear on that
wear plate by approximately 40%. The user should not assume that the exact values of work on
the wear plates for chute designs A and B are 200 kJ and 120 kJ, respectively.
To analyze work on a chute surface, the setting “Save Triangle Force & Work Data” must have
been set to ‘YES’ before running the simulation. The work data is encoded into the
uncompressed data file, and if this setting was set to ‘NO’, then this data was not calculated or
saved, and cannot be estimated. The same applies for analyzing particle work; the setting
“Save Particle Force & Work Data” must have been set to ‘YES’ before running the simulation.
Open an uncompressed .UCM playback file for a simulation that saved triangle force and work
data and open the AVI Creator Window and the Surface and Material Visualization (SMV)
Window.
Please also note that when recording wear on a surface, lowering the “Critical Time Ratio” in
the “Simulation Parameters and Runtime Variables” window (see Section 4.1) from 0.20 to
0.16. This will increase the simulation time slightly, but it will help increase the accuracy of the
wear calculations as well.
In the SMV window (shown previously in Figure 5.2.1), check the “Work” checkbox next to each
layer for which you would like to see work calculations. Once you click “Work” for a specific
layer, the layer should immediately turn blue, and the scale in the top right corner that
previously said “Material Velocity” should now say “Impact Work.” Next, select the “Work” tab
in the middle of the SMV window; this will bring up more options for analyzing triangle work.
This window is shown in Figure 6.4.5.
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Figure 6.4.5 – SMV Window with “Work” tab open
Show/Work Type to Show: The first column of sections allows you to modify the general work
settings. Select whether to show Triangle Work or Particle Work, and whether to show Impact
or Abrasion work.
Checking the “Show Max Work” and “Show Total Work” will display a line of text in the
rendering window. The text that this line displays depends on whether triangle work or particle
work is being shown. If triangle work is being shown, then this text will display the maximum
work on any single triangle that is currently set to show work, as well as the total work done all
triangles that are currently set to show work. If particle work is being shown, then this line will
display the maximum work on any single particle, as well as the total work done on all particles.
If the radio button “J” is selected, then this text line will display work in Joules, and if “J/sec” is
selected, then the text line will display the work averaged over time. The position of this line of
text can be set in the AVI Creator Window. Note that this line of text will override any Sub
Comment for that key frame, and it will also override the Cluster and Particle count, if they are
being shown. To set the location for this line of text, refer to Section 6.4.1 for positioning the
Sub Comment.
Triangle Impact and Abrasion: The middle column of sections contains options for displaying
triangle work. Use the “Impact Max” and “Abrasion Max” input boxes to set the maximum
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values for the Work Scale that appears in the upper right corner of the rendering window.
Impact Max only applies if triangle impact work is being shown, and Abrasion Max only applies
if triangle abrasion work is being shown. If these input boxes are set to zero or blank, then
Newton will automatically calculate the maximum values.
Render Mode: This option determines how Newton will render triangle work. If “Triangular” is
selected, then Newton will add up the work from each particle according to the triangle that it
impacts. All the work from that particle will be attributed to that triangle.
Each triangle contains 3 vertices; these are the A, B, and C “points” of the triangle. Each vertex
is shared by multiple triangles, so it is called a “node” rather than a vertex. If “Nodal” is
selected, then Newton will take the work done by a particle on a triangle, and divide that work
between the 3 nodes of that triangle. The work done by other triangles attached to the same
nodes is also added to those nodes. Nodal rendering mode is more accurate than Triangular,
and we recommend always using Nodal. Figure 6.4.6 shows the difference between Nodal and
Triangular rendering modes.

Figure 6.4.6 – Triangular versus Nodal Work Rendering
Note that when work is rendered as Nodal, it appears that less total work is calculated but this
is not true. The work is being divided between the nodes of the triangle, so the work is just
more evenly distributed, but the same total work is being calculated regardless of the rendering
mode. Nodal rendering mode also presents a much more even, cleaner rendering.
Work vs. Work/Area vs. Work/Area-Sec: This setting applies to both Triangle Work and
Particle Work. If triangle work is being shown, then this setting specifies whether to render
triangle work in Joules, Joules/mm
2
, or Joules/mm
2
-sec. It is best to show work as J/mm
2
-sec,
because this averages the work over both area and time, which allows for the easiest
comparison between chute designs and revisions.
If particle work is being shown, then this setting specifies whether to render particle work in
Joules, Joules/kg, or Joules/kg-sec. Again, it is best to use J/kg-sec because this averages the
particle work over both mass and time, allowing for a straightforward comparison between
chute designs and revisions.
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Wear Summary: This quickly creates a wear summary for Triangle Work. Select the start and
end times and click “Calculate,” and Newton will render the work done in that time frame.
Particle Impact and Abrasion: If particle work is being rendered, then use this section to set
the maximum impact and abrasion values for the scale that is displayed in the top right corner
of the rendering window. If these values are set to zero or blank, Newton will automatically
calculate the max values for the scale.
NOTE about Work: Newton calculates work in real-time, as the particles fall onto the triangles.
So if you are interested in the amount of work done on a layer from 0-10 seconds, you must set
the slider bar to 0 seconds, and then click the “Play” button to render the work. (Or you can
use the “Wear Summary” input boxes). But if the slider bar is set to, say, 2.5 seconds, and then
you click “Play,” Newton will only render the work that is done from 2.5 seconds onward.
Also, if you change any of the work settings, or you skip to a different part of the playback file
and you want to render the work there, you must right-click in the rendering window to open
the context menu, and select “Reset Wear Values,” or else Newton will continue to add the
work done to the values that were already calculated.
If you forget to do this, Newton should display a text message in the rendering window that
says “Warning: Work summation not reset!” To be safe, any time you change any work setting,
click the “Reset Wear Values” context menu item.
Integrating Work into an Animation File: Integrating work into an animation file is easy. For
the key frames that you want to show particle or layer work, simply select “Particle Work” in
the SMV Window or check the “Work” checkbox next to each layer to show the work. While
creating the animation file, when Newton reaches the key frames where work is shown,
Newton will automatically calculate the wear summary for that time frame and integrate it into
the animation file. You just need to ensure that you’ve selected the desired settings under the
“Work” tab of the SMV Window for those key frames.
Each of the work settings described in this section applies to a specific key frames, so be careful
to maintain the same settings across multiple key frames. For instance, if for one key frame
you have selected to show “Work/Area-sec”, make sure that you select “Work/Area-sec” for all
other key frames in that same work section of the animation. And make sure that the “Nodal”
versus “Triangular” rendering setting is the same for all the key frames, or else the rendering
type will jump from one to the other in between those key frames.

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6.5 Output Results Window
When viewing an uncompressed playback file, click the “Results” button on the main toolbar to
open the Output Results Window. This window contains features for analyzing the simulation
results.
6.5.1 Simulation Tonnage
The first tab on the Output Results Window allows you to calculate tonnages in the simulation
at up to 5 different locations. The tab is shown in Figure 6.5.1.

Figure 6.5.1 – Output results window with “Tonnage” tab open
To use this feature, you must first set up at least one data box. Like killboxes, data boxes must
be rectangular prisms aligned with the X, Y, and Z axes.
Data Boxes: Up to 5 data boxes can be used simultaneously. Click the radio button below each
data box to specify its bounds. The check box at the bottom of the section allows you to see
the data boxes in the rendering window as you create them.
Time Settings: After you input the data boxes, use the time settings section to designate the
window or time over which to record data. Newton uses a moving average the record the mass
of particles in each data box and divides that by the elapsed time. If the playback file has one
frame of data at each 0.01 second of simulation, then averaging the data over 20 points will
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average the flow rate over 0.20 seconds of simulation. The more data points that are used to
create the moving average, the smoother the tonnage line will be.
Axis Control: Newton automatically sets the X and Y axes on the chart as the data is plotted,
but you can override the minimum and maximum values for either axis.
Data Labels: In the top right corner of the Output Results window are the data labels
corresponding to each data box. As the data is plotted, the labels list the following three
things:
Total number of clusters that have entered the data box
Total mass of material that has entered the data box
Instantaneous rate of tonnage flow through the data box
From top to bottom, the data labels represent data boxes 1 through 5, respectively. The colors
on the plot correspond to the data labels/boxes of the same color.
Saving Data from the Graph: If you right-click on the graph, you can copy the graph image, or
you can copy the data arrays for all 5 data boxes to the Windows clipboard.
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7 Reference Papers

1
Kruse, D., Lemmon R. (2005), “Using the Discrete Element Method as an Everyday Design
Tool”, Bulk Solids Handling, 6/2005 pg. 358-367

2
David J. Kruse (2000), Applications and Advances of the Discrete Element Method in the
Material Handling Industry, Bulk Material Handling by Conveyor Belts III – 2000 SME
Conference

3
Xiangjun Qiu & David J. Kruse (1997), Analysis of Flow of Ore Materials in a Conveyor Transfer
Chute Using the Discrete Element Method, Fourth U.S. National Congress on Computational
Mechanics.