Dear clients,

Please be aware that our FLAC3D and FLAC software will be upgraded in the coming weeks. A pre-release of FLAC3D V7.0 is already available on our website whereas FLAC V8.1 will be online in mid-April.
The new FLAC3D version is faster, and it provides major enhancements in terms of modeling capabilities, updated graphics, and Itasca's transition towards more integrated software.

Both FLAC and FLAC3D new versions integrate new soil constitutive models, thus improving dynamic and time-dependent behaviour. As usual, users can pre-purchase and upgrade at a reduced price for a limited time.

To help you in using the new versions of FLAC and FLAC3D, all the Itasca offices will be offering in the second quarter training courses focused on the new features. It will be an opportunity to meet our team and share your experiences with our codes. So we hope to meet you there!

The European Itasca team


International competence a strength for Itasca - shaft project
How can one excavate stable shafts in difficult rock conditions at large depths? Itasca Consultants AB was tasked to seek the answer to this question and has used worldwide experience and knowledge! To excavate long shafts using raise boring in difficult rock conditions is challenging. Mining companies ask themselves how others deal with this issue. Itasca was given the assignment to solve this problem for Boliden!
– It is quite rare that companies present when projects with long shafts fail, and it is thus not easy to learn from other's mistakes, says Catrin Edelbro. She goes on to say that she and Jonny Sjöberg decided to look outside of Sweden and seek assistance from those best qualified!
– Itasca has the advantage that we have a worldwide presence. We seeked assistance from our competent collegues in Minneapolis and Sudbury. They have practical knowledge of the problems and collected data and information from their respective areas. I myself turned to Australia, where there is a long tradition of doing long shafts in difficult ground conditions. They also shared data from failed cases, says Catrin, and states that even though it is sensitive to tell about things gone wrong, one can learn a lot from this.
– The case studies that we have from Canada can be applied to Swedish conditions, as the rock is fairly similar. For the Australien cases, we have to "translate" some of their experiences (from much poorer ground) to Swedish conditions. We have found many cases where one reinforces the shafts in a different way than what is normally done in Sweden today, says Catrin, and states that she has learned a lot through this international cooperation.
Itasca is now on its way to find a solution to increase shaft stability during and after raise boring, even in the most difficult rock conditions.
– This shows how important it is for us in Sweden to keep an open mind, and how "little Luleå" becomes international, thanks to our international presence.


Distinct-Element Modelling of a Tunnel - Excavation Test with PFC2D

GRL has called on Itasca Consultants S.A.S. to develop a parametrized PFC2D model to simulate laboratory experiments of tunnel excavation. A two-dimensional plane-stress tunnel experiment was developed in a laboratory: the circular hole representing the tunnel is created with by means of an inflated vinyl air bag, whereas the soil consists of laid aluminum bars with two kinds of diameters. Tunnel excavation is then mimicked by performing stepwise reduction of the inflation pressure. Displacement of the material is monitored as the applied pressure is reduced at the end of each excavation step.

test disp
Figure 1 : Initial state of the numerical simulation (larger particles in green, smaller in blue)
Figure 2 : Ball displacement contour at the end of the simulation
An innovative method has been proposed and developed by Itasca Consultants S.A.S. to model the air bag membrane as a deformable wall in PFC: the air bag membrane is modeled as a deformable wall in PFC2D which is composed of a collection of linear segments, connected by vertices. Each segment behaves as a Kelvin-Voigt element, and the vertices motion is updated in response to inflation pressure, contact forces acting on the membrane, and forces developing in the membrane segments. This method allows to model the viscoelastic behavior of the membrane, which can even fold back onto itself. Many post-processing and result analysis are proposed to analyze and visualize the mechanical behavior of the soil according to the pressure applied to the air bag: settlement of tunnel crown along different axes, radial displacement of the aluminum bars at different distances from the tunnel, ground reaction curve, displacement contours, …


  • 5th Itasca International Symposium (17-21 Feb. 2020)
The Organizing Committee is pleased to present the symposium keynote speakers : Peter Cundall, Caroline Darcel, José Lemos, Kurt Mair am Tinkhof, Nedim Radoncic and Martin Schöpfer will present a keynote at the start of each morning and afternoon session.

The Peter Cundall Award recipient will also be invited to be a keynote speaker.

You are all welcome to submit abstracts of your projects before May 15, 2019. More information on the event on our website.

  • FLAC3D is available as a pre-release!

FLAC3D is now available as a pre-release. A demonstration version is available for download on our website:

Contact us to prepurchase now and make significant savings.

The new capabilities below have been added to Version 7.0:

  • Much faster: all the parts of a model (mechanical, thermal, fluid calculations, even structural elements) have been optimized to run large models under many cores (up to 10 times faster, for thermal calculations). FISH is now multithreaded too.

  • Four new constitutive models: some of them improve the mechanical static behavior, some other the dynamic or creep behavior.

2 FLAC3D/PFC3D excavation coupling model 

  • Upcoming FLAC 8.1 pre-release

    The new version of FLAC 8.1 will be ready in the following weeks. Please check regularly your email and our website! You will be receiving a notification as soon as the pre-release in available!


Internal face control points added to the Building Blocks pane

Current Updates:








puceTraining & Seminars

Itasca will host introductory training courses in Europe:

PFC 6.0 Webinar Online April 10, 2019 Itasca France
FLAC3D 7.0 training course Gelsenkichen, Germany June 3-4, 2019 Itasca Germany
Griddle/Rhino training course Gelsenkichen, Germany June 5, 2019 Itasca Germany
PFC 6.0 training course Gelsenkichen, Germany June 6-7, 2019 Itasca Germany
FLAC3D 7.0 training course Ecully, France June 25-27, 2019 Itasca France
3DEC training course Geological Survey of Finland Spring 2019 RMCF (Finland)

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:

EGU 2019 April 7-12, 2019 Wien, Austria
First International Conference on Mining Geomechanical Risk & Ground support 2019 April 9-11, 2019 Perth, Australia
14th international conference underground construction Prague 2019 June 3-5, 2019 Praha, Czech Republic
DEM8 July 21-26, 2019 Twente, Netherlands
Ground Support 2019 October 23-25, 2019 Sudbury, Canada
16th IACMAG Torino 2020 July 1-4, 2020 Torino, Italy

puceRecent Publications

D.H. Andersen, F. Dedecker, S. Emam, M. Walderhaug (2019). "A Study of Elastic and Crack Resistance Properties of the Anode Carbon Material", Light Metals 2019, Springer International Publishing.

K. Mäkitaavola, B-M. Stöckel, T. Savilahti, J. Sjöberg, J. Dudley, MA. McParland & R. Morin (2018). "InSAR as a practical tool to monitor and understand large-scale mining-induced ground deformations in a caving environment". Proceedings Caving 2018 (Vancouver, October 15-17, 2018), Paper available on-line 

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,

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