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.

Integrated Analysis Tools

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.

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1 Dec
WEBINAR: What’s New in 3DEC Version 7
This webinar is for people who have used 3DEC before and are interested in the latest developments.... Read More
4 Dec
Analyses of Embankment Dams and Slopes Using FLAC
This hands-on, virtual training course is 16 hours total, spread over four days in a 1.5-week period, and covers the analysis of embank... Read More