Synthetic Rock Mass

Obtaining accurate rock mass strengths requires an understanding of the intact rock and joint properties of each geotechnical unit and the in-situ stress state. To estimate rock mass strengths, Itasca uses the full gamut of engineering approaches, including analytical, empirical, and numerical modeling approaches.

Itasca has also pioneered innovative techniques such as synthetic rock mass (SRM) for primary fragmentation prediction and ReBop for secondary fragmentation prediction. SRM is uniquely capable of explicitly accounting for the impacts of existing fractures (joints or veins), as well as new fracture growth, on fragmentation. In this technique, discrete fracture networks (DFNs) are developed to describe the in-situ fracture network geometry based on available frequency, orientation, and trace length data. The properties of the fractures are established from laboratory testing and/or empirical relations for stiffness and strength (i.e., based on logged and/or mapped roughness, alteration and waviness). Simulated DFNs are then embedded within three-dimensional bonded particle/block models representing simulated intact rock specimens. These samples are strained to simulate the primary fragmentation process as a function of expected underground stresses. Such virtual tests can be done at scales much larger than actual laboratory tests—ranging from meters to hundreds of meters in scale. Virtual lab results are presented in the form of fragment size and volume distribution plots and three-dimensional block models of expected primary fragmentation.

Latest News
  • 2019 Sloan Outstanding Paper Award Dr. Mojtaba Bahaaddini (Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman), along with Associate Professor Glenn Sharrock (Itasca/UQ),...
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  • Itasca Awarded Prestigious Caving 2040 Research Grant Itasca’s research aims to answer the key industry question “how should block caves be designed...
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  • InSite V3.15 Now Available! Itasca Consulting Ltd (ICL) is pleased to announce the latest release of the InSite family...
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Upcoming Events
26 Jun
Discrete element modelling of dam foundations
Learn about modeling dam foundations using the discrete element method with UDEC and 3DEC software in the 26th ISRM Online Lecture.... Read More
1 Oct
FLAC3D 7.0 Introductory training course
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14 Oct
Focused Seismic and Liquefaction Training 2019
Itasca is offering a focused training session with instruction by experienced engineering consultants, hands-on modeling exercises, and... Read More