Dear clients,

We are delighted to publish the 3rd quarter 2019 issue of the European Newsletter.
In this new edition, we highlight two studies recently carried out by the French office: a first study on the characterization of the baked anodes’ properties based on their discrete structure, and a second one on the Grand Paris, the largest transport project in Europe.

We also present the latest news about our Symposium 2020, our upcoming software training sessions and the conferences where we have the chance to meet you.

We hope you will enjoy reading this newsletter.

The European Itasca team


Electrical resistivity and air permeability of a model baked anode material - Itasca Consultants SAS (France)

A baked anode is a complex material, that results from the mixing and baking of different petrol coke grains, with different size distributions, with a pitch binder. A PFC2D model accounting for the microstructure of a baked anode, using the Bonded Particle Model (BPM) has been developed in our previous studies.

Itasca's role is :

  • Develop a numerical method to measure electrical resistivity based on the existing contact network in the discrete sample. The relation takes into a account the porosity of the sample and its volume as well as contact properties such as the thermal resistance of pipes, their length and their orientation.
  • Build a numerical method to calculate the permeability of the assembly based on the Kozeny Carman theory. 

Both approaches allow local measurements to be made and provide the ability to analyze the evolution of these properties during the simulation.
We conclude that:

  • Modifying the volume fraction of material (in the range value tested) only slightly modifies the electrical resistance of the sample (±2%).
  • Modifying the volume fraction of material and/or the pores/voids ratio does not change the permeability, since the grain distributions for all material are equal and porosity is randomly distributed in materials. The permeability of the medium will be influenced mainly by a difference in granulometry and porosities from one material to another.
Sample to calibrate electrical resistance of pipe (left) and map of electrical resistivity from 37 (blue) to 87 (red) (right)


Anode material modelled in PFC2D

Permeability contour (from 5e-15 to 2e-13)



Estimating settlements due to a complex excavation - Itasca Consultants SAS (France)

In the context of the Greater Paris works, the VINCI-SPIE group is currently building a future metro station underneath the CNIT centre in Paris, for the westward extension of the RER E (EOLE). The West Pre-Station is particularly complex due to its excavation phasing and the presence of many surrounding structures, including among others a tram and several foundations.

Given these constrains, a FLAC3D model has been developed to estimate the surface movements induced by the excavations, to validate the proposed work sequence and support system.

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Fig. 1: Layout and neighbouring structures of the West Pre-Station

Four main structures are modelled: the Carpeaux gallery, the T2 stairway, the West twin-tube and the Pre-Station itself. Many neighbouring structures are taken into account: the CNIT car park, the existing foundations as well as the tramway (Fig. 1, 2).The mesh is generated using the automatic mesher Griddle (Fig. 2). The soil is modelled by using the "Plastic-Hardening" (PH) model, allowing for a realistic predictions of the pre-failure behaviour.Thick support liners are represented by volumetric elements, whereas other tunnel supports (shotcrete, bolts, hangers, struts, frames, umbrella vaults) and foundation piles by using structural elements. More than 40 main stages are simulated.

Settlement evolutions along the tram way are obtained. More than 80% of the final movements are developed during the top-down excavation of the Carpeaux gallery. The maximum settlement is located near a large niche excavated to connect the gallery top slab to the existing pile foundations (Fig. 3).

Settlement above the stairway tunnel is more than 1 cm and is primary due to a surrounding heavily loaded foundation raft.The excavation of the remaining structures, as well as the groundwater rising, has only a limited influence on surface displacements, estimated in less than 0.5 cm.

fig2 fig3
Fig 2 : Mesh and loading surfaces
Fig 3 : Galleries displacements



  • Next Itasca International Symposium (17-21 Feb. 2020)

Registration is now open! We all invite you to register online via our website dedicated to the event. Places will be given on a first-come basis so do not wait to register!
Students benefit from a specific pricing.

  • Promotional offer!

You've missed the prepurchase offers?
Do not miss our new offer! 10% discount on any upgrade and prepurchase with the code: 10UPGRADE2019.
This offer is valid only until October 30th!
We invite you to contact us to benefit from this offer.


Current Updates:







puceTraining & Seminars

Itasca will host introductory training courses in Europe:

FLAC3D 7.0 training course Ecully, France October 1-3, 2019 Itasca France
FLAC3D 7.0 training course Shrewsbury, UK November 26-28, 2019 Itasca UK

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 courses 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:

Ground Support 2019 October 23-25, 2019 Sudbury, Canada
8th Hellenic Conference in Geotechnical Engineering November 6-8, 2019 Athens, Greece
Slope Stability 2020 May 14-20, 2020 Perth, Australia
Bergmekanikdagen March 17, 2020 Stockholm, Sweden
8th Clay Conference June 8-11, 2020 Nancy, France
JNGG 2020 June 30 - July 2, 2020 Lyon, France
16th IACMAG Torino 2020 July 1-4, 2020 Torino, Italy
AFTES 2020 September 21-23, 2020 Paris, France

puceRecent Publications

Edelbro, C., R. Brummer, M. Pier e, D. Sandström & J. Sjöberg. (2019) "Raiseboring in difficult rock conditions", Ground Support 2019 (Sudbury, October 23–35, 2019)Paper available on-line soon.

Perman, F., L. Jonsson, C. Andersson, M. Isaksson-Mettävainio, J. Sjöberg, U. Lindfors & M. Brantberger. (2019) "Bergmekaniska analyser för stationsutrymmen för ny tunnelbana Akalla-Barkarby", Bergmekanikdagen 2019 (Stockholm, March 19, 2019)Paper available on-line

Billaux, D., Ghazal, R., Soulat,P., Bonnet, S., Le Floch, M.: "Numerical modeling of Moreau dam stability in dynamic conditions", Colloque CFBR : « Justification des barrages : Etat de l’art et Perspectives», Chambéry, November 2019

N. Savalle, E. Vincens and F. Dedecker: « DEM modelling of dry stone retaining walls », in Congress on Numerical Methods in Engineering 2019

Al-Halbouni, D., Holohan, E. P., Taheri, A., Watson, R. A., Polom, U., Schöpfer, M. P. J., Emam, S., and Dahm, T.: "Distinct Element geomechanical modelling of the formation of sinkhole cluster within large-scale karstic depressions", Solid Earth Discuss.,, in review, 2019.

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

J. Molron, N. Linde, L. Baron, D. Doolaeghe, J. Ragvald, P. Andersson, J-O. Selroos, T. Le Borgne, C. Darcel, and P. Davy :"Identification of 3D fracture distribution and fracture connectivity by combined Ground Penetrating Radar imagery and tracer tests at the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, Sweden". Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 21, EGU2019.

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