New for Structural Elements in FLAC3D 6.0

An important aspect of geomechanical analysis and design is the use of structural support to stabilize a rock or soil mass. Structures of arbitrary geometry and properties, and their interaction with a rock or soil mass, can be modeled with FLAC3D. Structural-support members or structural elements (SEL) available in FLAC3D are beams, cables, piles, shells, geogrids, and liners. A primary goal for FLAC3D 6.0 is to make adding and managing ground support simpler, especially for complex geometries.

2D Structural Elements

You can now add shell, liner, and geogrid ground support easily using the Model Pane to visually select any surface. Then the "Create 2D Structural Element" command (and dialog, shown below left) may be used. For example, the curved tunnel walls (below right) were selected with a single click using the Model Pane's "Select Face Using Break-Angle" tool  .  Structural support characteristics and groups can be assigned via the dialog too. Assigning different support or supported-regions to groups makes property assignment and staging/sequencing of ground support installation easy. See the video below.


Internal Surfaces

In the same manner as with 2D structural support, liners can be embedded within a model along an internal face selection to represent mechanical or geological surfaces (interfaces).  This is done by checking the "Separate" option in the "Create 2D Structural Element" command. This setting permits the interface to separate and/or slip.

Use CAD Data

Structural elements (cables, rock bolts, beams, liners, etc.) can now be created directly from CAD data. Use Rhino3D (can be bundled with your Itasca software purchase) or another CAD program to lay out the rock support for your model as 3D lines or meshes using a few simple commands. Separate different CAD data into groups as you import it, making property assignment and ground support installation-staging easy.

For example, the following commands rapidly generate the rock bolt pattern and shotcrete liner shown below. Also, see the video below.

   geometry import 'rockbolts.dxf'
   struct cable import from-geometry 'rockbolts.dxf' group 'primary'
   struct liner import from-file 'shotcrete.dxf' group 'secondary'