Dear clients,

The summer was an eventful period for Itasca since FLAC 8.0 is now feature complete. Python scripting is now integrated into PFC 5.0 and the new Plastic Hardening Model (available in FLAC 8.0) is offered for FLAC3D 5.0 users who pre-purchase FLAC3D 6.0. To be more accessible and more readable, the ICG website has been refreshed too. We invite you to visit our all-new website to give us your feedback. All news about software developments and consulting is available on the web site.

Enjoy surfing on it,
The European Itasca team

arrow Consulting

Itasca Consultants AB (Sweden) has conducted a study on optimal ore pass orientation, with respect to stress orientations, for the LKAB Malmberget Mine. A brittle (cohesion-weakening, friction-strengthening) material model was used, and a range of different parameters, including location, orientation and rock mass strength, was analyzed. All the modeling was conducted using FLAC with input stresses obtained from a mine-scale FLAC3D model.

The results are to be used as a basis for design decisions regarding the future new main haulage level at the Malmberget Mine. The initial part of this work involved calibrating the material model parameters against observed spalling failure in a ventilation shaft in Malmberget. Only the brittle material model could capture the shape and extent of observed spalling, as shown below. This work will be presented in detail in the upcoming symposium on Design Methods in Underground Mining, in Perth, Nov 17-19.

Observed spalling failure in ventilation shaft (left) and yielding in calibrated model (right)



Itasca Consultants, S.A.S. (France)

NAGRA is proposing to study siting regions for the disposal of L/ILW (Low- and Intermediate Level Waste) and of HLW (High-Level Waste). To make the better choice, they have to assess the evolution of the L/ILW and the HLW cavern near-fields, for various conditions.

In the framework of this study, Itasca France has developed a coupling method between FLAC and TOUGH2 to model the hydro-mechanical conditions in the repository near-field under partially saturated conditions, before and after waste emplacement in the Opalinus Clay formation.

The evolution of the system can be separated in two phases: the excavation phase which can be considered as an undrained system due to low clay permeability and EDZ development (figure 1) and the ventilation and filling phase during which ventilation variations and suction effects have a significant influence on the transient behavior and a strong positive effect on the stability of the gallery (figure 2)

Figure 1. Plastic zones around the gallery (end of excavation)

Figure 2. Pore pressure contours (after 50 years)

arrow Software

  • FLAC 8.0 release
    FLAC 8.0 is due to be released later this year and if you have pre-purchased FLAC 8.0, you are automatically entitled to download and try the FLAC 8.0 Beta software.
    To help our customers in using this new version, we offer a free introductory guide on the application of Itasca's FLAC software in geotechnical engineering. More than that we now propose « Software Examples » web page to help Itasca software users to become familiar with their software. These examples are intended to demonstrate the various classes of problems to which Itasca software may be applied.  A « Walk-through » document describes in detail each step of the modeling procedure.

    Pre-order FLAC 8.0 today from your regional sales representative and get the best price when upgrading from FLAC 7.0.

  • Recent Features in PFC
    In update 21, a rolling resistance model and a Burger’s model have been added to the list of built-in contact models, to widen the range of applications that can be investigated with PFC out of the box.
    From update 20, not only can you control PFC entirely via Python files and/or the IPython console, you can also make custom plots using matplotlib, undertake effiient computations using array expressions with NumPy, undertake a myriad of custom computations with SciPy and also create custom GUI panes directly within PFC using PySide. A presentation on using Python scripting in PFC is now available for you to on our website and on YouTube.

  • FLAC3D Plastic Hardening Model for Soils
    Remember that the new Plastic Hardening Model for Soils is already available for FLAC3D 5.0 users, upon request, when they pre-purchase FLAC3D 6.0. To pre-purchase FLAC3D 6.0 and obtain the PH model, please contact your regional software sales representative.

Current Updates:









arrow Training & Seminars

Itasca will host introductory training courses in Europe:

Itasca Info Days Austria and Poland 2nd and 3rd quarter 2015 Itasca Germany
3DEC Sweden October 20-22, 2015

Itasca Sweden

FLAC 8.0 Ecully, France November 23-25, 2015 Itasca France
InSite-Lab training course UK To be defined Itasca Consulting Ltd

ITASCA offices regularly organize customized training courses for their clients. The training courses are designed to fit individual user needs and experience. Instruction is available either at Itasca or at the client's location. If you are interested in planning and purchasing a customized software training course, please contact your local agent.

arrow Conferences

Itasca and/or representative will be attending the following conferences:

Conference Date Place
Eurock 2015 7-10 October, 2015 Salzburg, Austria
Slope Stability Symposium 12-14 October, 2015 Cape Town, South Africa
Finnish Rock Mechanics Day 29 October, 2015 Helsinki, Finland
Design Methods in Underground Mining 17-19 November, 2015 Perth, Australia
6th Geotechnical Symposium 26-27 November, 2015 Adana, Turkey
4th Itasca Symposium on Applied Numerical Modeling 7-9 March, 2016 Lima, Perú
7th International Symposium on In-Situ Rock Stress 10-12 May 2016 Tampere, Finland
8th International Symposium on Ground Support in Mining and Underground Construction 12-14 September 2016 Luleå, Sweden
Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 16th National Congress 13-15 October 2016 Erzurum, Turkey

arrow Recent Publications

Tran M. H., Sulem J., Subrin D. and Billaux D. (2015) - "Anisotropic Time-Dependent Modeling of Tunnel Excavation in Squeezing Ground", in Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, DOI: 10.1007/s00603-015-0717-y

Ghazal R., Mas Ivars D., Johansson F. and Batres-Estrada R. (2015) - "Back analysis of in situ stress at shallow depth using discontinuum numerical modeling - a case study at the Odenplan station in Stockholm". Proceedings of Eurock 2015, Salzburg, Austria (October 2015)

Vatcher, J., S. D. McKinnon and J. Sjöberg (2015) – "Developing 3-D mine-scale geomechanical models in complex geological environments, as applied to the Kiirunavaara Mine", in Engineering Geology (in press,

Moreno J., Senis M. and Olalla C. (2015) "Aspectos necesarios a introducir en la modelización numérica 3D de las presas de escollera con pantalla de hormigón para reproducir correctamente las tensiones en el elemento de impermeabilización ", In X Jornadas Españolas de Presas, Spancold, Sevilla (18-20 February 2015)

Graf F., te Kamp L., Auer M., Acharya M. and W. Wu (2015) – “Soil aggregate stability in eco-engineering: comparison of field and laboratory data with an outlook on a new modelling approach”, in Recent Advances in Modeling Land-slides and Debris Flows. Springer Series Geomechanics and Geoengineering, pp. 29-47.

Wu W., Switala BM., Acharya M., Tamagnini R., Auer M., Graf F., te Kamp L. and W. Xiang (2015) – “Effect of vegetation on stability of soil slopes: numerical aspects”, in Recent Advances in Modeling Landslides and Debris Flows. Springer Series Geomechanics and Geoengineering, pp. 163-177.

Amo A., Silvestre A., Prieto V. and P. Velasco (2014) - "Modelling in L.A.", in Tunnels and Tunnelling (October-November 2014), pp. 42-47.

Tran, V.H., Vincens E., Morel J.C., Dedecker F. and HH. Le (2014) – “2D-DEM modelling of the formwork removal of a rubble stone masonry bridge”, in Engineering Structures, 75, pp. 448-456.

Oetomo J., Vincens E., Dedecker F. and J.C. Morel (2014) – “Discrete Element Method to assess the 2D failure of dry stone retaining walls” in Proceedings, 9th IMC (7-9 July, 2014, Guimaraes, Portugal), paper 1432.

Maillot, J., P. Davy, R. Le Goc, C. Darcel and M. Stigsson. (2014) – “Comparison between Poissonian and mechanically-oriented DFN models for the prediction of permeability and flow channeling”, in Proceedings, Discrete Fracture Network Engineering(Vancouver, Canada, October 19-22, 2014).

Le Goc, R., C. Darcel, P. Davy, M. Pierce and M.A. Brossault. (2014) – “Effective elastic properties of 3D fractured systems”, in Proceedings, Discrete Fracture Network Engineering (Vancouver, Canada, October 19-22, 2014).

Davy, P., R. Le Goc and C. Darcel (2014) – “A non-Poissonian, likely-universal, fracture model for hardrock DFN”, in Proceedings, Discrete Fracture Network Engineering(Vancouver, Canada, October 19-22, 2014).

Darcel, C., R. Le Goc, P. Davy and I. Olofsson (2014) – “Including variability into a quantitative DFN modeling approach – application to SKB sites”, in Proceedings, Discrete Fracture Network Engineering(Vancouver, Canada, October 19-22, 2014).

Sjöberg, J. and T. Savilahti (2014) – “Caving in the Fabian Orebody - from Mining Stope to Cave Crater in Malmberget”, in Proceedings 8th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium. Rock Mechanics for Global Issues – Natural Disasters, Environment and Energy (14–16 October, 2014, Sapporo, Japan), Shimizu, N., Kaneko, K. Kodama, J. (eds.), pp. 1421–1430.

Vatcher, J., S. D. McKinnon and J. Sjöberg (2014) – “Mine-scale numerical modelling, seismicity and stresses at Kiirunavaara Mine, Sweden”, in Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Deep and High Stress Mining (16–18 Sept, 2014, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada), Hudyma, M., Potvin, Y,. (eds.), pp. 363–376.

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