Itasca International, Inc

- Version 6.0 - General Purpose, Distinct-Element Modeling (DEM) Framework

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PFC (Particle Flow Code) is a general purpose, distinct-element modeling (DEM) framework that is available as two- and three-dimensional programs (PFC2D and PFC3D, respectively). PFC Suite includes both PFC2D and PFC3D. PFC2D can also be purchased separately.

PFC models synthetic materials composed of an assembly of variably-sized rigid particles that interact at contacts to represent both granular and solid materials. PFC models simulate the independent movement (translation and rotation) and interaction of many rigid particles that may interact at contacts based on an internal force and moment. Particle shapes can include disks in 2D, or spheres in 3D, rigidly connected “clumps” of disks in 2D, or spheres in 3D, and convex polygons in 2D or polyhedra in 3D. Contact mechanics obey particle-interaction laws that update internal forces and moments. PFC includes twelve built-in contact models with the facility to add custom C++ User-Defined Contact Models (UDMs).

Perpetual, monthly lease, and annual lease licenses are available, secured with either a local USB key (which is portable) or a multiple-seat network USB key. Qualified academic institutions qualify for special pricing discounts.

Thanks to its general design, PFC can be customized and applied to a very broad range of numerical investigations where the discrete nature of the systems is of interest. Since the release of the first version in 1994, PFC has been successfully used by many academic institutions and private companies around the world for geoscience investigations ranging from fundamental research on soil and rock behavior at the micro scale to many large scale applications, including: hydraulic fracturing, soil-tool interactions, brittle rock fracturing, slope stability, bulk material flow/mixing, and cave mining.

In addition, PFC has been used to simulated a wide range of other applications in the fields of carbon nanotubes, molecular dynamics, magnetic materials, and medicine.

PFC has no options and the following analysis tools are included with PFC.

Thermal Analysis: The thermal module of PFC allows simulation of transient heat conduction and storage in materials consisting of PFC particles, as well as development of thermally induced strains and forces. PFC supports both thermal-only and coupled thermal-mechanical analysis.

C++ Contact Models: Enables users to add new contact models (force-displacement response between particles) in PFC using C++ scripting. This component provides the flexibility to incorporate the physics relevant to particular problems into the distinct-element framework.

  • Parallel processing enabled
  • Powerful scripting included
  • Thermal-mechanical coupling
  • Create fast C++ functions
  • Add new physics using C++
  • Advanced post-processing
  • CFD tools work with any software
  • Available fluid dynamics add-on
  • Open data files, scripts & model records

  • Fastest time-to-solution
  • Best documented
  • Most cited
  • Premium support available
  • Lowest cost of ownership
  • CAD interoperability
  • Includes Rhinoceros^ solid modeling software
  • Flexible and customizable
  • Discounted academic pricing is available

POWERFUL

  • Numerical stability with large displacements, including collapse
  • 64-bit architecture allows very large models to be constructed; limited only by computer RAM
  • 12 built-in contact models
  • Thermal solution analysis comes standard
  • Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) commands and functions are available to connect PFC to third-party CFD software
  • C++ Plug-in allows FISH intrinsic functions and new contact (i.e., constitutive) C++ models
  • FISH scripting and Python scripting language enables you to access, monitor, and control nearly every model and solution parameter
  • Built-in FISH text editor
  • Convex Rigid Blocks can be used for simulating non-spherical objects (without requiring clumps) and Bonded Block Models (BBMs)
  • Clumps or Convex Rigid Blocks are easily generated from templates and can be visualized as particles or their surface description
  • Bubble pack automatically creates clump template particles for a specified triangulated surface (DXF or STL)
  • Socket utilities permit PFC3D or PFC2D models to be coupled to another instance of PFC3D or PFC2D, FLAC3D or FLAC, and 3DEC or UDEC and to 3rd-party software
  • PFC3D 5.0 is available as a module, permitting Distinct Element Method (DEM) objects (balls, clumps, and walls) to be used directly within the FLAC3D 6.0 framework (requires PFC3D 5 or later license)
  • FLAC3D 6.0 is now available as a module, permitting FiniteVolume Diffence zones and structural elements, to be used directly within the PFC3D 6.0 framework (requires FLAC3D 6 license)
  • Includes the Material-modeling support environment for calibrating and testing (compression, diametral-compression, and direct-tension tests) models (linear, bonded, flat-jointed, and smooth-jointed)
  • Includes the Pavement-design package environment for creation and triaxial testing of a synthetic unsaturated granular material containing geogrid
  • Every event that modifies the model state is recorded; allowing for undo, playback, or reuse of any or all previous modeling work

RELIABLE

  • Realistic physical solutions
  • Natural evolution of failure
  • Transparent methodology with all equations and algorithms fully documented
  • Built-in contact models are open-source; no black boxes
  • Live, person-to-person software support provided by experienced engineers and software developers
  • Extensive manuals and documentation
  • Automated software update notification in the event of any bug fixes

PROVEN

  • Tested and validated against analytical solutions
  • Sold commercially for over 24 years (since 1994)
  • Used by Itasca’s own consultant engineers and scientists on civil, manufacturing/processing, mining, oil & gas, and power generation projects
  • Large repository of examples and validations, with 1000’s of published articles and conference papers
  • Hundreds of licenses used worldwide by industry, universities, and government agencies

FLEXIBLE

  • General by design
  • Access to almost all internal variables via the embedded FISH or Python scripting languages
  • CAD interoperability (import DXF and STL geometry)
  • Import and export data using I/O functions
  • Human-readable data files (ASCII)
  • Users may create and run their own contact models using FISH scripting or the optional C++ Plug-in
  • The standard version is portable between users and computers
  • A multiple seat network version also is available
  • Licenses are available in-perpetuity or as a monthly or annual lease

ECONOMICAL

  • No CPU limits or additional CPU fees
  • No annual maintenance fee
  • Lower commercial license prices
  • Coupled or uncoupled steady-state and transient fluid flow is included
  • 12 contact models including Linear Parallel Bond, Hertz, Smooth Joint, Rolling Resistance, Adhesion, Soft Bond, and Burger's (creep)
  • Includes 64-bit version, parallel-processing optimization, and both FISH and Python scripting
  • Free standard technical support and software updates (see EULA)
  • Discounted pricing for qualified academic institutions
  • Two instances of either PFC2D or PFC3D can be run on a single computer with the standard version
  • The standard version is secured using a USB key which is portable between users and computers
  • Advance purchase of the next version (pre-purchase) at a discount is available any time prior to its release

PFC offers many features to help you with your work by simplifying the construction, solution and analysis of a particle simulation. PFC is designed to be general in nature and provides you with the flexibility to simulate any mechanical system that can be represented by an assembly of particles.

Thanks to its general design, PFC can be customized and applied to a very broad range of numerical investigations where the discrete nature of the systems is of interest. Since the release of the first version in 1994, PFC has been successfully used by many academic institutions and private companies around the world for geoscience investigations ranging from fundamental research on soil and rock behavior at the micro scale to many large scale applications, including:

  • slope stability analysis,
  • rockfall hazard mitigation,
  • cave mining,
  • salt dome deformation,
  • sink hole formation,
  • hydraulic fracturing,
  • wave propagation in solids,
  • volcanic dome emplacement,
  • structural geology,
  • mine backfill,
  • brittle rock fracturing,
  • concrete and asphalt modeling, and
  • soil-tool interactions.

PFC has also been used extensively for material process engineering problems such as:

  • bulk material flow mixing,
  • bulk material conveying,
  • compaction of aggregates and powders, and
  • blast furnace modeling.

Well beyond the geosciences and process engineering, PFC has also been utilized to simulate the:

  • mechanical response of carbon nanotubes,
  • molecular dynamics simulations of Lennard -Jones materials,
  • the collective behavior of heart cells contracting,
  • extrusion of adhesive materials through nozzles (i.e., 3D printing), and
  • the interactions of magnetic materials, amongst others.

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