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.
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.
For over five years, Itasca Chile SpA (Itasca) has developed and continuously updated, the 3D numerical groundwater flow model for this open pit mine in Chile. The model is primarily used to estimate pore pressure distributions for past, present, and predictive stages of the pit excavation. These are subsequently used for 3D slope stability analysis. With the new and updated model, new predictions for future stages were made, and new mining and drainage plans were evaluated from a hydrogeological point of view.
Itasca Chile SpA was retained to develop a numerical 3D groundwater flow model that would allow the assessment of potential environmental impacts over the aquifer due to the infiltration associated with the expansion of the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF). Additionally, it was requested to study the potential influence of infiltrations on the mine pit located about 3 km of the TSF.
Thermal and Dynamic Analysis of the RCC Dam for a Water Reservoir with a Geological Fault in the Foundation (2013)
This project involved the thermo-mechanical coupled, static, and dynamic analyses of the main dam of a water reservoir in a river in southern Chile.
The purpose of the study was to provide technical support to the blasting area of an open pit mine. The problem analyzed is related to the non-conformity of the design berms observed in the mine and the need to understand the relative contribution of the structural condition of the rock mass and the design of the blasts to the final situation of the affected benches.