Dear clients,

The end of 2018 is full in terms of software releases: PFC 6.0 and UDEC 7.0 are going to be released this quarter.
We are excited to announce that the PFC 6.0 pre-release is available now. Current PFC  users can pre-purchase the version 6.0 upgrade right now with substantial savings. This option provides access to the PFC 6.0 pre-release version.
With PFC3D 6, Itasca has expanded its capabilities:  you can work with discrete particles, clumps, convex rigid blocks and walls with finite-difference zones, interfaces, and structural elements all in one program.

The new versions of UDEC and PFC provide major enhancements for modeling capabilities, updated graphics, and Itasca's transition towards more integrated software: they provide a user interface similar to latest software and an access to projects and a common command syntax.
Interested users are invited to check our website for the latest information including a feature list and a demonstration version.

The European Itasca team


3D modeling of line 3 of the Guadalajara metro (Mexico)

Itasca Consultores S.L. participated along with its client SENER in the development of 3D models to analyze Line 3 of the Guadalajara Metro (Mexico). One of the most critical points was the tunnel excavation close to the Cathedral, due to the historical importance of the building. FLAC3D models taking into account tunneling sequential construction were developed in order to validate protection measures and estimate settlements.

Different protection measures proposed were analyzed in order to compare which of them were more suitable and effective. The comparison of the results obtained in the 3D model with the data actually recorded on site confirmed the suitability of such models to estimate settlements generated by the construction of the models.

Other aspect obtained from the analysis was the relevance of the settlement assessment associated to the protection measures construction (protection walls in this case), facts that are not usually taken into account during project design stages and that could be high enough to affect the building to be protected, even before the tunnel construction.


Figure 1. FLAC3D model of the tunnel close to the Cathedral.

Figure 2. Settlement trough in the model compared to real measures
Comparison between measured and modelled settlements


Investigating the mechanical behavior of a surface repository for low and intermediate level short-lived radioactive waste

Andra operates a surface repository in Aube (“CSA”, North‐Eastern France), where some of the concrete canisters containing low and intermediate‐level short‐lived radioactive waste are stacked in concrete structures, then filled with gravel. ITASCA Consultants SAS, together with EGIS Industries, has studied the mechanical behavior of the assemblies, in the framework of design and safety demonstration programs.
Making use of progressive upscaling and downscaling methods, the project aims at understanding and quantifying the mechanical behavior of these assemblies at different scales.

The mechanical behavior is evaluated for each constituent: waste mixtures (Figure 1), canister concrete elements (Figure 2), gravel. The numerical model identifies the most critical elements at different scales and the effective mechanical behavior of the heterogeneous content of the structure is characterized so that it can be correctly represented in structure design.

fr1 fr2
Figure 1 : Minor principal stress in a canister without defect
Figure 2 : Major principal stress (tension) in a canister with defect


PFC 6.0 pre-release is now available!

Among the new features implemented in version 6.0:

  • Convex Rigid Blocks
  • Bonded Block Models
  • Integration with FLAC3D
    • Structural Element Coupling (1D)
    • Interface Coupling (2D)
    • Domain Bridging (3D)
  • Generic Adhesive Contact Model>
  • Soft Bond Contact Model
  • Results Files
  • And More...
Upcoming release of UDEC 7.0!

  • Discover all the improvements of UDEC 7.0: Factor of safety contours, 3D joint specification, Asymmetric Voronoi generator, Automatic brick generator, Adopt common
    framework base, ...

  • UDEC is going to be pre-released in the 4th quarter. All the UDEC users will receive a notification. If you are interested in receiving information about the version 7.0, please contact your local office.

Current Updates:








puceTraining & Seminars

Itasca will host introductory training courses in Europe:

FLAC3D 6.0 Training course Istanbul, Turkey November 7-9, 2018 Geogrup Insaat
PFC 6.0 training course France, Ecully November 20-22, 2018 Itasca France
UDEC training course France, Ecully 4th quarter 2018 Itasca France
FLAC3D/Griddle training course Gelsenkichen, Germany 4th quarter 2018 Itasca Germany
PFC 6.0 training course Gelsenkichen, Germany 1st Quarter 2019 Itasca Germany

Please visit for full details or contact directly the office responsible for the training.

For users who envisage the need for substantial amounts of assistance, consulting support or customized training course are available.
Feel free to contact us if you have specific needs: we adapt our offer to your needs.


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

17th National Congress on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering September 26-28, 2018 Istanbul, Turkey
Road 2 Tunnel Expo October 3-6, 2018 Ankara, Turkey
Caving 2018 October 15-17, 2018 Vancouver, Canada
Itasca Info Day November 2018 Freiberg, Germany
Rock Slope Stability November 13-15, 2018 Chambéry, France
First International Conference on Mining Geomechanical Risk April 9-11, 2019 Perth, Australia
Ground Support 2019 October 23-25, 2019 Sudbury, Canada

puceRecent Publications

P. Davy, C. Darcel, R. Le Goc, & D. Mas Ivars (2018). Elastic properties of fractured rock masses with frictional properties and power‐law fracture size distributions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.

F. Amann, Y. Le Gonidec, M. Senis, S. Gschwind, J. Wassermann, C. Nussbaum, J. Sarout (2018) “Analysis of acoustic emissions recorded during a mine-by experiment in an underground research laboratory in clay shales”, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences 106 (2018) pp. 51-59.

A. Navarro, J. Ramos, P. Velasco (2018) “Previsión y seguimiento de los asientos producidos por el túnel de la Línea 3 de metro en la Catedral de Guadalajara (Jalisco, Méjico)”. Revista de Obras Públicas ROP 3601, (September 2018 pp. 14-25).

M. Svartsjaern - (2018). "A Prognosis Methodology for Underground Infrastructure Damage in Sublevel Cave Mining".Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, Paper available on-line

J. Sjöberg, D. Lope Álvarez, P. Gómez, P-I. Marklund & S. Suikki (2018) "Analysis of Large-Scle Pit Slope Stability - The Aitik Mine Revisited". Keynote presentation at: Slope Stability 2018 (Seville, April 11-13, 2018) 

H. Vatcher, S.D. Mckinnon & J. Sjöberg - (2018) "Rock mass characteristics and tomographic data", Rock mechanics and rock engineering, 51(5), pp. 1615–1619,

D. Billaux, M. Camusso et A. Rollet - (2017) "Stockage de Wittelsheim (France) : modèles numériques pour la prédiction de l’état d’endommagement actuel dans le sel et l’évaluation des flux potentiels de saumure contaminée à long terme". Congrès International de l’Aftes, 2017, Paris.

L. Perez-Rey, R. Alejano, and P. Velasco (October 2017) "Comparison of observational, empirical and 3D discrete numerical methodes to estimate subsidence over longwall coal faces" In AfriRock 2017 Rock Mechanics for Africa-Cape Town - The Southern African Institue of Mininh and Metallurgy , 2-7 October 2017, pp 809-822.

I. Akinshin, C. Missal, L. te Kamp: "Simulation of Pressure and Time-Dependent Behavior of Backfill Material in Numerical Calculations – Simulation des druck- und zeitabhängigen Verhaltens von Versatzmaterial bei numerischen Berechnungen." In: Mining Report – Glückauf, Volume 153, Issue 2, p. 166-172. Bergbau-Verwaltungsgesllschaft mbH, Herne, 2017.

Y. Changping, J. Sjöberg & D. Johansson - (2017) "Numerical modelling for blast-induced fragmentation in sublevel caving mines". In Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 68, September 2017, pp. 167–173, Paper available on-line

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