Newton Examples

Several example animation files are available to demonstrate the numerous capabilities of the Newton discrete element modeling software. These range from chute optimization, to apron feeder intergration, to silo discharge analysis, to bucket elevator simulations, and much more!

Material Cohesion Properties

This animation shows a wide range of material cohesion properties that can be applied in Newton. Users can manipulate the friction and cohesion of the particles as well as the friction and adhesion of each layer in the geometry.

Using Newton, any type of material from smooth, dry soybeans to wet, sloppy cement can be simulated.

Basic Animation

This is a basic animation that shows many of Newton’s post-processing features. The particles can be colored uniformly, or by cluster type, velocity, or elevation. The particles can also be set as translucent, except for one or more specific clusters, which is useful for tracking the flow of specific lumps through the chute. The particles can also be viewed using vector tracers, showing the path of each specific cluster.

The boundary geometry for the simulation can be set to show outline only, wireframe (which shows every specific triangle), transparent, or solid. Newton can seamlessly interpolate between different viewing angles and different geometry views.

Particle Style and Coloring

This is a basic animation that shows the different Particle Styles and Particle Color Modes in Newton. The particle style is what each cluster physically looks like, and the particle color mode is the coloring scheme that is used for the clusters.

Bucket Wheel – Medium Cohesion

This example simulates a bucket wheel reclaimer with medium cohesive material. To simulate the bucket wheel in Newton, the buckets are imported on a separate layer. In the pre-processing input file, you specify a point of rotation, axis of rotation, and rotation speed for the layer

Other objects like deflectors, hoods, and spoons can be rotated as well, using the same procedure.

Bucket Elevator – High Friction, High Cohesion

This example simulates a bucket elevator with especially cohesive material. To simulate a bucket elevator in Newton, you import a geometry file for the bucket and then specify the number of buckets, elevator pulley radii, distance between the top and bottom pulley, and elevator speed.

The particle-to-particle cohesion factors are set very high, while the particle-to-surface cohesion factors are set very low. This results in a mass of material that sticks to itself very strongly, while sliding around on the chute surfaces and buckets relatively easily.

Bucket Elevator – Medium Friction, Low Cohesion

This example simulates a bucket elevator with material that is only mildly cohesion and has medium internal friction.

The particle-to-particle cohesion factors are set fairly low. This results in material that flows much more easily than the high-cohesion case above. The material does not tend to stick to itself very very well, and slides out of the buckets very easily.

Particle Chains

Newton can also simulate chains of particles. The user can create chain links of any shape, link them together, and hang them either vertically or horizontally in the simulation.

Using the Material Properties page, the user can set a separate set of friction and cohesion properties for the chain itself (i.e. setting much lower coefficients of friction and cohesion to mimic a steel chain.

Layer Movement Profile

This animation shows Newton’s layer movement profile capabilities. This shows a drag bucket which scoops particles out of a box and dumps them.

In Newton, the user can specify up to 100 different linear and rotational movements to move a layer through the simulation. The layer movement profile can either be created directly in Newton, or imported via a CSV file.

Pellet Feeder

Newton can simulate conveyor belts with moving head pulleys. The user only has to specify the cycle distance and cycle time. This is useful for simulating pellet feeders like the one shown at left.

The simulation showed that the height between the feed belt and the apron feeder was not sufficient; the head pulley brushes against the material piling on the apron feeder.

This was a simple oversight that should have been spotted well before the design was even simulated. But again, the advantage of running a Newton simulation is that it can show both basic and complex chute problems before anything is manufactured.

Apron Feeder – Wet Fine Particles

Newton models wet, highly cohesive material very well.

Notice how the material does not pour off the apron steadily; rather, non-uniform clumps of material periodically drop off the end of the feeder, forming sticky messes of material on both ledges. This is how coheisve material actually behaves. Newton’s cohesive models do an excellent job modeling real particle behavior.

Apron Feeder – Dry Fine Particles

This is the same feeder geometry as the example above. For the dry free-flowing conditions, the material pours off the apron in a steady manner.

Hood Rotation

This animation shows just one of Newton’s layer movement capabilities. This shows an automated hood which rotates to divert the material flow from its primary path through a back-up chute.

The user need only specify the point of rotation, the rotation vector, the rate of rotation, and the time frame over which to rotate the object.

In addition to rotation, Newton allows for translational motion, and linear or elliptic cyclic motion.

Chute Optimization – Original Design

Newton’s primary function is the optimization of transfer chutes. Consider the example shown here. There are three major problems with this chute design:

1. As the material slides down the diagonal section of the chute, the material impacts the lower-left chute wall at an extremely high velocity. That section of the chute will quickly wear out and need to be replaced.

2. Another effect of the high impact velocity is that the material will be pulverized and generate a lot of dust.

3. As the material bounces off the lower chute wall, it lands very heavily on the right side of the receiving belt. This causes increased wear on that side of the belt as well as faster degradation of the idlers underneath that side of the belt.

Chute Optimization – Revised Design

Using Newton, AC-Tek revised the chute design to solve all three flow problems.

A double rock box was put in place of the long diagonal chute; this prevents the material from accelerating to such a high velocity. This also prevents the material from slamming into the lower-left chute wall.

The rock boxes in the lower section of the chute also slow the material as it lands on the belt and give it a forward velocity, reducing abrasive wear. This chute will require far less maintenance than the original design shown above.

Apron Feeder Pullout – Wet Material

Newton can be used to analyze material pullout using an apron feeder. This animation shows a sectioned view of an apron feeder that is feeding wet cohesive material at 0.25 m/s.

At time 10 seconds, the particles are colored according to their current elevation, and then those colors are retained for the duration of the simulation, showing how the material is predicted to pull out.

Apron Feeder Pullout – Dry Material

This animation shows a sectioned view of an apron feeder that is feeding dry free-flowing material at 0.25 m/s.

At time 10 seconds, the particles are colored according to their current elevation, and then those colors are retained for the duration of the simulation, showing how the material is predicted to pull out.

Note the differences in how the material pulls out between the wet cohesive case (video above) and this dry free-flowing case.

Chute Plug-Up 1

An advantage of using Newton DEM software is that problematic chutes can be identified quickly.

The highly-cohesive material quickly plugs up this narrow chute. This chute design was analyzed and corrected before the design ever left the drafting table.

Chute Plug-Up 2

This chute is also too narrow for its highly-cohesive material flow. In just a few seconds, the material builds up and completely blocks the chute.

It is often useful to simulate a “worst-case” scenario using Newton, in which the friction and cohesion levels are set slightly higher than is ever expected for the chute. Then, if the conservative simulation shows no plug-up problems, the user can be confident that the chute will perform well in actual operation.

Even if the conservative simulation does not plug up, but comes dangerously close to doing so, it is a good indication that the chute design should probably be carefully reviewed and possibly modified.

Dual Chute

Newton allows the user to quickly insert up to three feed conveyor belts for a simulation.

The simulation shown at left uses two feed conveyors. The client was concerned that the addition of the upper feed belt might interfere with the lower feed belt, or possibly clog the chute altogether. Newton allows an engineer to simulate almost any geometry and feed configuration to find the best transfer chute design.

Newton simulation revealed that the upper feed belt would not interfere, and in fact was an excellent design choice.

Silo – Dry Material

Newton can be used to model silo flow as well. This is more difficult though, because correct silo simulation depends heavily on precise knowledge of both the material properties and the silo wall friction and cohesive properties.

This simulation shows that the silo outflow is nearly ideal. The bottom layers exit the silo before the upper layers, so no large portions of material will remain stagnant in the bottom corners of the silo.

Silo – Wet Material

This example shows how the silo flow might change when wet, cohesive material is used. Note how the particles against the wall move much slower than in the dry silo.

Using the “Fixed Z-Elevation” particle view, the simulation shows how the different layers of material in the silo flow out simultaneously. In an ideal case, the bottom layer would completely flow out first, followed by the second layer, and so on, following the “First In-First Out” rule. Using Newton, the silo wall angle, diameter, and surface properties can be varied to determine how to achieve this flow regime.

Bean Auger

Newton can be used to model augers as well. As with silos, modeling an auger requires precise knowledge of the material properties, especially if highly cohesive materials are expected to be used in the auger. This simulation used over 2,000,000 spheres.