Wind farm construction requires large cranes to lift massive wind turbine structures over 300 feet tall and exceeding 160 tons. Installing these structures requires many crane “walks”, moving the heavy cranes around 50 miles along soil surfaces of varying strengths. Moving the cranes quickly is critical to installation economics, but this must be done safely by ensuring soil strength stability to avoid sinking or toppling the crane. Conventional best practices require cone penetrometer tests (CPTs) and performing numerical modeling to establish a safe path for moving the cranes requires on the order of four to six weeks. Itasca developed a rapid bearing capacity prediction tool using Python scripts, FLAC3D, and machine learning to provide near real-time feedback on the soil bearing capacity at a location, allowing enhanced crane walk planning.
The open pit mine is part of a Greenfield exploration project. Itasca Consultants GmbH in cooperation with Itasca Chile were contracted to develop a stability design of the pit. The analysis has been performed using Itasca’s three-dimensional distinct element code, 3DEC (Itasca, 2016).
The road construction department of the district of Steinfurt, a district in the north of the coal mining area in the Ruhr region, is planning the construction of the new road K 24n. The road axis runs through an area partly affected by old mining operations.
The new connecting road K 24n is to be built in the most northern expanses of the coal mining area in the Ruhr region. The road axis runs through an area partly affected by old surface near mining operations. The coal is located in two seams, both dipping north with an angle of approx. 11°. These seams have been mined by three potential drifts, which have been identified by a geophysical field study.
Long-term storage of spent fuel is critical to the nuclear energy industry. The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) is developing an approach for the storage of spent nuclear fuel in an underground repository in competent crystalline rock. In order to better understand the spalling damage process, an in-situ test involving the drilling of two boreholes was performed in Äspö diorite at SKB’s underground hard rock laboratory in Äspö. Tests and monitoring were performed on the pillar that separated the boreholes. In order to further investigate the damage process, Itasca performed numerical modeling using PFC3D and FLAC3D.
SKB is interested in developing a 3D discrete model to predict spalling on the excavation boundaries of underground repositories for the long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel. This project provided a quantitative assessment of modeling spalling using PFC3D to study both lab- and tunnel-scale behavior.
The development and mining of a deeper seam in a coal mine, located in southern Siberia is planned. ITASCA was tasked with assessing the minimum support pressure and maximum unsupported distance between shield and coal face required to ensure stability of the roof. Also the stress state, displacement field and excavation damaged zone in the roof of the seam were analyzed.