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1.1 Overview

FLAC 3D is a three-dimensional explicit finite-difference program for engineering mechanics com-

putation. The basis for this program is the well-established numerical formulation used by our
two-dimensional program, FLAC.* FLAC 3D extends the analysis capability of FLAC into three
dimensions, simulating the behavior of three-dimensional structures built of soil, rock or other
materials that undergo plastic flow when their yield limits are reached. Materials are represented
by polyhedral elements within a three-dimensional grid that is adjusted by the user to fit the shape
of the object to be modeled. Each element behaves according to a prescribed linear or nonlinear
stress/strain law in response to applied forces or boundary restraints. The material can yield and
flow, and the grid can deform (in large-strain mode) and move with the material that is represented.
The explicit, Lagrangian calculation scheme and the mixed-discretization zoning technique used
in FLAC 3D ensure that plastic collapse and flow are modeled very accurately. Because no matrices
are formed, large three-dimensional calculations can be made without excessive memory require-
ments. The drawbacks of the explicit formulation (i.e., small timestep limitation and the question of
required damping) are overcome by automatic inertia scaling and automatic damping that does not
influence the mode of failure. FLAC 3D offers an ideal analysis tool for solution of three-dimensional
problems in geotechnical engineering.
FLAC 3D is designed specifically to operate on Microsoft Windows systems, and is currently sup-
ported on Windows XP (including XP64), Windows Vista (including Vista 64) and Windows 7
(32- and 64-bit). Calculations on realistically sized three-dimensional models in geo-engineering
can be made in a reasonable time period. For example, a model containing 125,000 zones of a
Mohr-Coulomb material can be generated within 500 MB RAM. The runtime to perform 5000
calculation steps for a 10,000 zone model of Mohr-Coulomb material is roughly 1.25 minutes on
a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 CPU.† The number of calculation steps required to reach a solution state
with the explicit-calculation scheme can vary, but a solution typically can be reached within 3000 to
5000 steps for models containing up to 10,000 elements, regardless of material type. (The explicit-
solution scheme is explained in Section 1 in Theory and Background.) With the advancements
in floating-point operation speed, and the ability to install additional RAM at low cost, it should be
possible to solve increasingly larger three-dimensional problems with FLAC 3D.
FLAC 3D can be operated from either a command-driven mode or a graphics menu-driven mode. The
default command-driven mode is very similar to that used by other Itasca software products. You
will find that most of the commands are the same as, or three-dimensional extensions of, those in
FLAC. A menu-driven, graphical user interface is also available in FLAC 3D for performing plotting,
printing and file access.

* Itasca Consulting Group Inc. FLAC (Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua), Version 7.0, 2011.

† See Section 6 for a comparison of FLAC 3D runtimes on various computer systems.

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1-2 User’s Guide

With the graphics facilities built into FLAC 3D, high-resolution, color-rendered plots are generated
quite rapidly. We have developed a graphics screen-plotting facility that allows you to instantly
view the model during creation from either command-mode or graphics menu-mode. The model
can be translated, rotated and magnified on the screen for better viewing. Color-rendered plots
of surfaces showing vectors or contours can be made in 3D, and a two-dimensional plane can be
located at any orientation and location in the model for the purpose of viewing vector or contour
output on the plane. All output can be directed to a black-and-white or color hardcopy device, or
to a file.
You will find that FLAC 3D offers a facility for problem solving similar to the one in FLAC. A
comparison of FLAC 3D to other numerical methods, a description of general features and updates in
FLAC 3D Version 5.0, and a discussion of fields of application are provided in the following sections.
If you wish to try FLAC 3D right away, the program installation instructions and a simple tutorial
are provided in Section 2.

FLAC 3D Version 5.0


1.2 Comparison with Other Methods

How does FLAC 3D compare to the more common method of using finite elements for numerical
modeling? Both methods translate a set of differential equations into matrix equations for each
element, relating forces at nodes to displacements at nodes. Although FLAC 3D’s equations are
derived by the finite difference method, the resulting element matrices for an elastic material are
identical to those of the finite element method (for constant-strain tetrahedra). However, FLAC 3D
differs in the following respects:
1. The “mixed discretization” scheme (Marti and Cundall 1982) is used for ac-
curate modeling of plastic collapse loads and plastic flow. This scheme is be-
lieved to be physically more justifiable than the “reduced integration” scheme
commonly used with finite elements.
2. The full dynamic equations of motion are used, even when modeling systems
that are essentially static. This enables FLAC 3D to follow physically unstable
processes without numerical distress. The approach to provide a time-static
solution is discussed in the definition for “Static Solution” given in Section 2.3.
3. An “explicit” solution scheme is used (in contrast to the more usual implicit
methods). Explicit schemes can follow arbitrary nonlinearity in stress/strain
laws in almost the same computer time as linear laws, whereas implicit solu-
tions can take significantly longer to solve nonlinear problems. Furthermore,
it is not necessary to store any matrices, which means: (a) a large number
of elements may be modeled with a modest memory requirement; and (b) a
large-strain simulation is hardly more time-consuming than a small-strain run,
because there is no stiffness matrix to be updated.
4. FLAC 3D is robust in the sense that it can handle any constitutive model with no
adjustment to the solution algorithm; many finite element codes need different
solution techniques for different constitutive models.
These differences are mainly in FLAC 3D’s favor, but there are two disadvantages:
1. Linear simulations run more slowly with FLAC 3D than with equivalent finite
element programs. FLAC 3D is most effective when applied to nonlinear or
large-strain problems, or to situations in which physical instability may occur.
2. The solution time with FLAC 3D is determined by the ratio of the longest natural
period to the shortest natural period in the system being modeled. This point
is discussed in more detail in Section 1 in Theory and Background, but
certain problems are very inefficient to model (e.g., beams, represented by
solid elements rather than structural elements, or problems that contain large
disparities in elastic moduli or element sizes).

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1.3 General Features

1.3.1 Basic Features

FLAC 3D offers a wide range of capabilities to solve complex problems in mechanics, and espe-
cially in geomechanics. Like FLAC, FLAC 3D embodies special numerical representations for the
mechanical response of geologic materials. The program has fifteen basic built-in material models:
the “null” model; three elasticity models (isotropic, transversely isotropic and orthotropic elas-
ticity); and eleven plasticity models (Drucker-Prager, Mohr-Coulomb, strain-hardening/softening,
ubiquitous-joint, bilinear strain-hardening/softening ubiquitous-joint, double-yield, modified Cam-
clay, cap-yield, elastic plastic (hyperbolic type) for soils, Hoek-Brown and modified Hoek-Brown).
These models are described in detail in Section 1 in Constitutive Models. Each zone in a FLAC 3D
grid may have a different material model or property, and a continuous gradient or statistical distri-
bution of any property may be specified.
Additionally, an interface (or slip-plane) model is available to represent distinct interfaces between
two or more portions of the grid. The interfaces are planes upon which slip and/or separation are
allowed, thereby simulating the presence of faults, joints or frictional boundaries. The interface
model is described in Section 2 in Theory and Background.
FLAC 3D contains an automatic 3D grid generator in which grids are created by manipulating and
connecting predefined shapes.* The generator permits the creation of intersecting internal regions
(e.g., intersecting tunnels). The 3D grid is defined by a global x,y,z-coordinate system (rather than
in a row-and-column fashion as in FLAC). This provides more flexibility in model creation and
definition of parameters in a three-dimensional space. Grid generation procedures are described in
Section 1 in the Command Reference, under the GENERATE command.
Boundary conditions and initial conditions are specified in much the same way as in FLAC. Either
velocity (and displacement) boundary conditions or stress (and force) boundary conditions may
be specified at any boundary orientation. Initial stress conditions, including gravitational loading,
may also be given, and a water table may be defined for effective stress calculations. All conditions
may be specified with gradients. Boundary conditions are primarily assigned via the APPLY com-
mand, and initial conditions via the INITIAL command, as described in Section 1 in the Command
FLAC 3D incorporates the facility to model groundwater flow and pore-pressure dissipation, and the
full coupling between a deformable porous solid and a viscous fluid flowing within the pore space.
(The coupled interaction is described further in Section 1.3.3.) The fluid is assumed to obey either
the isotropic or anisotropic form of Darcy’s law. Both the fluid and the grains within the porous
solid are deformable. Nonsteady flow is modeled, with steady flow treated as an asymptotic case.
Fixed pore pressure and constant-flow boundary conditions may be used, and sources and sinks
(wells) may be modeled. The flow model can also be run independent of the mechanical calculation,

* An optional meshing preprocessor is also available (see Section 1.3.2).

FLAC 3D Version 5.0


and both confined and unconfined flow can be simulated, with automatic calculation of the phreatic
surface. The fluid-flow model is described in Section 1 in Fluid-Mechanical Interaction.
Structures that interact with the surrounding rock or soil, such as tunnel liners, piles, sheet piles,
cables, rock bolts or geotextiles, may be modeled with the structural element logic in FLAC 3D. It is
possible to either examine the stabilizing effects of supported excavations, or to study the effects of
soil or rock instability on surface structures. The different types of structural elements are described
in Section 1 in Structural Elements.
A factor of safety can be calculated automatically for any FLAC 3D model using a compatible
material model. The calculation is based on a “strength reduction technique” that performs a series
of simulations while changing the strength properties to determine the condition at which an unstable
state exists. A factor of safety that corresponds to the point of instability is found, and the critical
failure surface is located in the model. The factor-of-safety algorithm is described in Section 3.8.
FLAC 3D also contains a powerful built-in programming language, FISH, that enables the user to
define new variables and functions. FISH offers a unique capability to users who wish to tailor
analyses to suit their specific needs. For example, FISH permits the following:
• user-prescribed property variations in the grid (e.g., nonlinear increase in modulus with
• plotting and printing of user-defined variables (i.e., custom-designed plots);
• implementation of special grid generators;
• servo control of numerical tests;
• specification of unusual boundary conditions;
• variations in time and space; and
• automation of parameter studies.
An introduction to FISH is given in Section 4. See Section 2 in the FISH volume for a detailed
reference to the FISH language.
FLAC 3D contains extensive graphics facilities for generating plots of virtually any problem variable.
Three-dimensional graphics rendering is provided in high-resolution video modes. Plotting features
include hidden surface plots, surface contour plots and vector plots. Plotted variables can be
viewed in front of, behind or on an arbitrary cross-section plane through the model. Tools for
model visualization are described in the help section of the graphical user interface. Equivalent
commands are documented in Section 1 in the Plot Command Reference.

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1.3.2 Optional Features

Four optional features (for dynamic analysis, thermal analysis, modeling creep-material behavior,
and C++ plug-ins) are available as separate modules that can be included in FLAC 3D at an additional
cost per module.
Dynamic analysis can be performed with FLAC 3D, using the optional dynamic-calculation module.
User-specified acceleration, velocity or stress waves can be input directly to the model, as either
an exterior boundary condition or an interior excitation to the model. FLAC 3D contains absorbing
and free-field boundary conditions to simulate the effect of an infinite elastic medium surrounding
the model. The dynamic calculation can be coupled to the groundwater flow model; the level of
coupling, including dynamic pore-pressure generation (liquefaction), is discussed in Section 1.3.3.
The dynamic analysis capability is described in Section 1 in Dynamic Analysis.
There is a thermal analysis option available as a special module in FLAC 3D. This model simulates
the transient flux of heat in materials, and the subsequent development of thermally induced stresses.
The thermal model can be run independently, or coupled to the mechanical-stress calculation or
pore-pressure calculation, either static or dynamic. (The coupling interactions are described in
Section 1.3.3.) The thermal analysis capability is described in Section 1 in Thermal Analysis.
There are eight optional material models available that simulate time-dependent (creep) material
behavior (all creep models are described in Section 1 in Creep Material Models):
(1) the classical viscoelastic (Maxwell) model;
(2) a Burgers substance viscoelastic model;
(3) a two-component power law;
(4) a reference creep formulation (the WIPP model) implemented for nuclear waste isolation
(5) a Burgers-creep viscoplastic model combining the Burgers model and the Mohr-Coulomb
(6) a power-law viscoplastic model combining the two-component power law and the Mohr-
Coulomb model;
(7) a WIPP-creep viscoplastic model combining the reference creep formulation with the
Drucker-Prager plasticity model; and
(8) a “crushed-salt” model that simulates both volumetric and deviatoric creep compaction.
With the C++ plug-in feature, user-defined constitutive models and FISH intrinsics can be written
in C++ and compiled as DLL (dynamic link library) files that can be loaded whenever needed.
Microsoft Visual C++ Version 10.0 (Microsoft Visual Studio 2010) is used to compile the DLL
files. The procedure to write new constitutive models is described in Section 2 in Constitutive
Models. The procedure to write new FISH intrinsics is described in Section 4 in the FISH volume.

FLAC 3D Version 5.0


1.3.3 Modeling Physical Processes and Interactions

The default calculation mode in FLAC 3D is for static mechanical analysis. Alternatively, a ground-
water flow analysis or a heat-transfer analysis can be performed, independent of the mechanical
calculation. Both the groundwater flow and thermal models may be coupled to the mechanical stress
model and to each other. Because the full equations of motion are used in FLAC 3D, the coupling
mechanisms operate in dynamic analyses as well as static analyses.
The coupling mechanisms are divided into three types of interaction: mechanical and groundwater
flow; mechanical and thermal; and thermal and groundwater flow. The level of interaction modeled
in FLAC 3D for each type is described below.
Mechanical-Groundwater Flow Coupling – Several types of fluid/solid interaction can be specified
in FLAC 3D. One type of interaction is consolidation, in which the slow dissipation of pore pressure
causes displacements to occur in the solid (e.g., soil). Two mechanical effects are at work in this
case: (1) the fluid in a zone reacts to mechanical volume changes by a change in the pore pressure;
and (2) the pore-pressure change causes changes in the effective stress that affect the response of
the solid (e.g., a reduction in effective stress may induce plastic yield). Coupling between fluid and
solid due to deformable grains can also be specified.
FLAC 3D can calculate pore-pressure effects, with or without pore-pressure dissipation, simply by
setting the flow calculation on or off. Also, dynamic pore-pressure generation (e.g., related to
liquefaction) can be modeled by accounting for irreversible volume strain in the constitutive model.
This is done with two different built-in constitutive models: the “Finn” model, and the “Byrne”
model. Both models are provided with the dynamic option.
By default, porosity and permeability are assumed constant. However, these properties can be
made a function of volumetric strain via a FISH function. As a consequence, two-way coupling of
mechanical stress and groundwater flow can be modeled with FLAC 3D.
Other types of interaction, such as capillary, electrical or chemical forces between particles of a
partially saturated material, are not modeled directly by FLAC 3D. But some of the effects may be
included by providing suitable FISH functions. Similarly, a FISH function may be used to vary the
local fluid modulus as a function of other quantities such as pressure or time.
Thermal-Mechanical Coupling – The thermal-mechanical coupling in FLAC 3D is one-way: tem-
perature change may induce a mechanical stress change as a function of the thermal-expansion
coefficient. Mechanical changes in the body, however, do not result in temperature change or
changes to thermal properties. Additionally, mechanical properties can be made a function of
temperature change, since FISH permits access to both temperatures and properties.
Thermal-Groundwater Flow Coupling – The thermal calculation may be coupled to the ground-
water flow calculation by making pore pressure a function of temperature change. Volumetric strain
can arise from thermal expansion of both the fluid and the grains within a saturated matrix. Pore
pressure change results from this volumetric strain, as well as from mechanical volumetric strain.
Groundwater flow can also influence heat transfer; an advection model that takes the transport of
heat by convection into account is provided. The advection model can also simulate temperature-
dependent fluid density and thermal advection in the fluid.

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1-8 User’s Guide

As with mechanical properties, groundwater properties can be made a function of temperature

change by accessing temperature and property values via FISH.

FLAC 3D Version 5.0


1.4 Summary of Updates from Version 4.0

FLAC 3D 5.0 contains many improvements; the new features are summarized in the following sec-
tions. Existing data files created for Version 4.0 should still operate as before, with a few minor
exceptions. FLAC 3D 5.0 will not be able to restore files saved by previous versions.

1.4.1 Speed Increases

• up to 20% faster overall

• The structural element logic runs 30 times (or more) faster. An updated implementation
runs 10 times faster on a single thread, and the calculations have been made multithreaded
for an average speed-up of 3 times on a 4-core processor.

1.4.2 Model Creation Features

• interactive 2D extruder
• Interactively create a 2D section, then extrude it to create zones.
• Use an imported DXF or bitmap as a background, with snapping.
• parametrized edges including arcs, polylines and splines
• can specify FISH values for later scripting
• user-defined geometry
• Specify geometric data separate from the model.
• can be used with ranges and plotting, and has full FISH access
• import/export from DXF, STL and two Itasca-defined formats
• Multiple extra variables and groups can be assigned to nodes, edges and poly-
• Paint model data onto geometric surfaces, for contouring.
• built-in ability to assign groups based on counting projecting intersections
(available for zones, gridpoints, structural elements and user-defined values)
• built-in zone densification
• Increase discretization in any region of the model using an arbitrary range that
can include geometric data.

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• discrete fracture network support

• generation, import, export, plotting, etc.
• Zone properties can be assigned based on intersection with fractures.
• Zone field data can be plotted on fracture surfaces.
• Geometric-based range elements can now act on object extent as well as reference point.
• entire extent must fall inside the range element, to be accepted
• Select zones/group associated with an interface via a range element.
• Select zones/group on the surface of the model via a range element.
• Interface nodes/elements now have extra variable arrays.
• improved flexibility and speed of interface creation
• improved performance generating zones and searching for gridpoints and zones by loca-

1.4.3 Visualization Features

• improved mouse controls for view manipulation

• new plot export options: PostScript, VRML, SVG, Excel
• profile lines
• improved print output quality
• additional contour ramps
• improved interface to user-defined data (scalars, vectors, tensors, labels, etc.)
• additional tensor quantities available by default: second invariant, von Mises, octahedral,
norm, total measure
• Interfaces can be plotted as solid surfaces, colored by ID number.

FLAC 3D Version 5.0


1.4.4 System and Command Improvements

• command line UNDO

• model input record provides complete record of all input used to create a model state
• improved CALL command can start anywhere in a data file by line number or label
• improved support for group labels – more flexibility without needlessly using memory
• Group labels and extra variables can be applied to a wider variety of model objects: zone
faces (internal and external), gridpoints, structural nodes, structural elements, structural
links, all user-defined objects.
• warning dialog box: warnings sent during processing of a data file are saved where they
can be seen
• Pack/unpack bundle available in user interface. This places all files associated with the
project in a single file for archiving and support. .f3sav files are represented by their
record, to save space.
• full Unicode support
• optional energy calculations
• License updates can be done from the user interface.
• read-only model save files
• License options may have a lease time attached.

1.4.5 FISH Improvements

• inline FISH – execute a one-line FISH function as a parameter in a command

• Local variables can be created in a LOOP command.
• LOOP FOREACH to automatically iterate through all gridpoints, zones, etc.
• EXIT LOOP to break out of a loop prematurely.
• CONTINUE to skip to the end of the loop and move to the next case.
• better parsing of FISH functions within the command processor
• FISH access to the ATTACH logic
• FISH arrays and memory items reference count, deleting themselves automatically if

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1.5 Fields of Application

FLAC 3D was developed primarily for geotechnical engineering applications. Section 7 contains a
bibliography of publications on the application of FLAC 3D to geotechnical problems in the fields
of mining, underground engineering, rock mechanics and research.
Some possible applications of FLAC 3D are noted below. Because FLAC 3D now has essentially
the same capabilities as FLAC, many of the FLAC applications can now be extended into three
dimensions with FLAC 3D :
• mechanical loading capacity and deformations – in slope stability and foundation design;
• evolution of progressive failure and collapse – in hard rock mine and tunnel design;
• factor-of-safety calculation – in stability analyses for earth structures, embankments and
• evaluation of the influence of fault structures – in mine design;
• restraint provided by cable support on geologic materials – in rock-bolting, tiebacks and
soil nailing;
• fully and partially saturated fluid flow, and pore-pressure build-up and dissipation for
undrained and drained loading – in groundwater flow and consolidation studies of earth-
retaining structures;
• time-dependent creep behavior of viscous materials – in salt and potash mine design;
• dynamic loading on slip-prone geologic structures – in earthquake engineering and mine
rockburst studies;
• dynamic effects of explosive loading and vibrations – in tunnel driving or in mining
• seismic excitation of structures – in earth dam design;
• deformation and mechanical instability resulting from thermal-induced loads – in per-
formance assessment of underground repositories of high-level radioactive waste; and
• analysis of highly deformable materials – in bulk flow of materials in bins and mine

FLAC 3D Version 5.0


1.6 Guide to the FLAC 3D Manual

The FLAC 3D Version 5.0 manual consists of thirteen documents. This document, the User’s Guide,
is the main guide to using FLAC 3D and contains descriptions of the features and capabilities of the
program, along with recommendations on the best use of FLAC 3D for problem solving. The re-
maining documents cover various aspects of FLAC 3D, including theoretical background information,
verification testing and example applications. The complete manual is available in electronic for-
mat on the FLAC 3D CD-ROM (viewed with Acrobat Reader), as well as in paper format. Specific
topics or keywords can be found across all volumes by implementing the search facility available
in Acrobat.
The organization of the thirteen documents, and brief summaries of the contents of each section,
follows. Please note that if you are viewing the manual in the Acrobat Reader, double-clicking on
a section number given below will immediately open that section for viewing.
User’s Guide
Section 1 Introduction
This section introduces you to FLAC 3D and its capabilities and features. An overview
of the new features in the latest version of FLAC 3D is also provided.
Section 2 Getting Started
If you are just beginning to use FLAC 3D, or use it only occasionally, we recommend
that you read Section 2. This section provides instructions on installation and op-
eration of the program, as well as recommended procedures for running FLAC 3D
Section 3 Problem Solving with FLAC 3D
Section 3 is a guide to practical problem solving. Turn to this section once you are
familiar with the program operation. Each step in a FLAC 3D analysis is discussed in
detail, and advice is given on the most effective procedures to follow when creating,
solving and interpreting a FLAC 3D model simulation.
Section 4 FISH Beginner’s Guide
Section 4 provides the new user with an introduction to the FISH programming
language in FLAC 3D. This includes a tutorial on the use of the FISH language.
FISH is described in detail in Section 2 in the FISH volume.
Section 5 Using Geometric Data
Section 5 provides an introduction to and examples of the various ways FLAC 3D
has of interacting with complex geometric data. It also provides a brief guide for
those switching from SpaceRanger (provided with KUBRIX) to functionality now
included directly in FLAC 3D.

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Section 6 Miscellaneous
Various information is contained in this section, including the FLAC 3D runtime
benchmark and procedures for reporting errors and requesting technical support.
Descriptions of utility files to assist with FLAC 3D operation are also given.
Section 7 Bibliography
This section contains a bibliography of published papers describing some uses of

Command Reference
Section 1 Command Reference
All the commands that can be entered in the command-driven mode in FLAC 3D
(except the PLOT command, which has its own volume) are described in Section 1
in the Command Reference.

Plot Command Reference

Section 1 Plot Command Reference
The PLOT command is described in Section 1 in the Plot Command Reference.

Section 1 FISH Beginner’s Guide
Section 1 in the FISH volume provides the new user with an introduction to the
FISH programming language in FLAC 3D. This includes a tutorial on the use of the
FISH language.
Section 2 FISH Reference
Section 2 in the FISH volume contains a detailed reference to the FISH language.
All FISH statements, variables and functions are explained and examples given.
Section 3 Library of FISH Functions
A library of common and general purpose FISH functions is given in Section 3 in the
FISH volume. These functions can assist with various aspects of FLAC 3D model
generation and solution.
Section 4 C++ FISH Intrinsic Plug-ins
Instructions on how to compile and input custom FISH intrinsics written in C++ are
provided in Section 4 in the FISH volume.

FLAC 3D Version 5.0


Theory and Background

Section 1 Theoretical Background
The theoretical formulation for FLAC 3D is described in detail in Section 1 in Theory
and Background. This includes both the description of the mathematical model
that describes the mechanics of a system and the numerical implementation.
Section 2 Interfaces
The interface logic is described and example applications are given in Section 2 in
Theory and Background. A discussion on interface properties is also provided.
Section 3 Factor of Safety
FLAC 3D’s ability to automatically calculate the factor of safety for a variety of prob-
lems is discussed in Section 3 in Theory and Background. A number of examples
are also provided.

Constitutive Models
Section 1 Constitutive Models: Theory and Implementation
The theoretical formulation and implementation of the various built-in constitutive
models are described in Section 1 in Constitutive Models.
Section 2 Writing New Constitutive Models
Users can write their own constitutive models for incorporation into FLAC 3D. The
models are written in C++, and compiled as a DLL file (dynamic link library) that can
be loaded whenever it is needed. The procedure to create new models is described
in Section 2 in Constitutive Models.

Fluid-Mechanical Interaction
Section 1 Fluid-Mechanical Interaction – Single Phase Fluid
The formulation for the fluid-flow model is described, and the various ways to model
fluid flow, both with and without solid interaction, are illustrated in Section 1 in
Fluid-Mechanical Interaction.

Structural Elements
Section 1 Structural Elements
Section 1 in Structural Elements describes the various structural element models
available in FLAC 3D. These include beams, cables, piles, shells, liners and geogrids.

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Thermal Analysis
Section 1 Thermal Analysis
Section 1 in Thermal Analysis describes the thermal model option, and presents
several verification problems that illustrate its application both with and without
interaction with mechanical stress and pore pressure.
Section 2 Hydration
Section 2 in Thermal Analysis describes modeling the process of hydration (e.g.,
the setting of concrete). Two example problems are provided.

Creep Material Models

Section 1 Creep Material Models
The different creep material models available as an option in FLAC 3D are described,
and verification and example problems are provided in Section 1 in Creep Material

Dynamic Analysis
Section 1 Dynamic Analysis
The dynamic analysis option is described, and considerations for running a dynamic
model are provided in Section 1 in Dynamic Analysis. Several verification examples
are also included in this section.

Verification Problems
This volume contains a collection of FLAC 3D verification problems. These are tests
in which a FLAC 3D solution is compared directly to an analytical (i.e., closed-form)
solution. See Table 1 in the Verifications volume for a list of the verification

Example Applications
This volume contains example applications of FLAC 3D that demonstrate the various
classes of problems to which FLAC 3D may be applied. See Table 1 in the Examples
volume for a list of the example applications.

FLAC 3D Version 5.0


1.7 Itasca Consulting Group Inc.

Itasca Consulting Group Inc. is more than a developer and distributor of engineering software.
Itasca is a consulting and research firm consisting of a specialized team of civil, geotechnical and
mining engineers with an established record in solving problems in many areas:
Civil Engineering
Mining Engineering and Energy Resource Recovery
Nuclear Waste Isolation and Underground Space
Defense Research
Software Engineering
Seismic Engineering
Groundwater Analysis and Dewatering
Petroleum Engineering

Itasca was established in 1981 to provide advanced rock mechanics services to the mining indus-
try. Today, Itasca is a multidisciplinary geotechnical firm with over 100 professionals in offices
worldwide. The corporate headquarters for Itasca is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. World-
wide offices of Itasca are: Itasca Denver Inc. (Denver, Colorado); Itasca Consultants AB (Luleå,
Sweden); Itasca Consultants S.A.S. (Ecully, France); Itasca Consultants GmbH (Gelsenkirchen,
Germany); Itasca Consultores S.L. (Llanera, Spain); Itasca S.A. (Santiago, Chile); Itasca Consult-
ing Canada Inc. (Sudbury, Canada); Itasca Consulting China Ltd. (Wuhan, China); HydroChina –
Itasca R & D Center (Hangzou, China); Itasca Houston Inc. (Houston, Texas); Itasca Australia Pty.
Ltd. (Melbourne, Australia); ASC (Shrewsbury, United Kingdom); and Itasca India Consulting
Pvt. Ltd. (Nagpur, India).
Itasca’s staff members are internationally recognized for their accomplishments in geological, min-
ing, petroleum, seismology and civil engineering projects. Itasca staff consists of geological, min-
ing, hydrological, petroleum and civil engineers who provide a range of comprehensive services
such as (1) computational analysis in support of geo-engineering designs, (2) design and perfor-
mance of field experiments and demonstrations, (3) laboratory characterization of rock properties,
(4) data acquisition, analysis and system identification, (5) groundwater modeling, and (6) short
courses and instruction in the geomechanics application of computational methods. If you should
need assistance in any of these areas, we would be glad to offer our services.

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1.8 User Support

We believe that the support Itasca provides to code users is a major reason for the popularity of our
software. We encourage you to contact us when you have a modeling question. We will provide
a timely response via telephone, email or fax. General assistance in the installation of FLAC 3D
on your computer, plus answers to questions concerning capabilities of the various features of the
code, are provided free of charge. Technical assistance for specific user-defined problems can be
purchased on an as-needed basis.
If you have a question, or desire technical support, please contact us:

Itasca Consulting Group Inc.

Mill Place
111 Third Avenue South, Suite 450
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401 USA

Phone: (+1) 612-371-4711

Fax: (+1) 612·371·4717

We also have a worldwide network of code agents who provide local technical support. Details
may be obtained from Itasca.

FLAC 3D Version 5.0


1.9 References

Byrne, P. “A Cyclic Shear-Volume Coupling and Pore-Pressure Model for Sand,” in Proceedings:
Second International Conference on Recent Advances in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
and Soil Dynamics (St. Louis, Missouri, March, 1991), Paper No. 1.24, 47-55 (1991).
Marti, J., and P. A. Cundall. “Mixed Discretization Procedure for Accurate Solution of Plasticity
Problems,” Int. J. Num. Methods and Anal. Methods in Geomech., 6, 129-139 (1982).

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FLAC 3D Version 5.0