Modeling dozens of intersecting contact faces in FLAC3D

In a Concrete Face Rockfill Dam, the impermeable barrier consists of many slabs that rest on the upstream slope, and on the plinth at the toe, as well as between slabs in the dam-axis direction.

Modeling slip, separation and closure at these interaces is crucial for understanding the behavior of these structures.

A realistic dam may have on the order of 20-40 slabs, 15m wide, each featuring 5 orthogonal contacting surfaces, which open, slide, and compress with the dam deformation. We´ve previously modeled these using FE software with automatic detection of contact interfaces and quite robust handling of nonlinearity, separation, etc, but would like to use FLAC3D for the dynamic response. Would you consider this feasable given the contact algorithms in FLAC3D?

If only Itasca had a discontinuum-mechanics code, that would be perfect for your application. :sweat_smile:

But seriously, FLAC3D has basic interfaces, but if you are looking for contact detection and all that stuff, go for 3DEC.

Juan, as far as I am concerned, the interfaces in FLAC3D should be quite capable of handling the analysis that you refer to. Perhaps you could even explore using structural elements to represent the slabs in conjunction with interfaces.