PFC3D (Particle Flow Code in 3 Dimensions) is a discontinuum code used in analysis, testing, and research in any field where the interaction of many discrete objects exhibiting large-strain and/or fracturing is required.

Because PFC3D is not designed to examine a particular type of problem, its range extends to any analysis that examines the dynamic behavior of a particulate system. In PFC3D, materials may be modeled as either bonded (cemented) or unbonded (granular) assemblies of particles.

Though the code uses spherical particles by default, particle shape may be defined in a PFC3D model through use of the built-in clump logic. The efficient contact detection scheme and the explicit solution method ensure that a wide variety of simulations — from rapid flow to brittle fracture of a stiff solid — are modeled accurately and rapidly. All the equations used in PFC3D are documented. The user has access (via the powerful built-in program-ming language, FISH) to almost all internal variables.

The codes are not “black boxes,” but open software that can be used with confidence. PFC3D uses an explicit solution scheme that gives stable solutions to unstable processes. It can describe non-linear behavior and localization with accuracy that cannot be matched by typical finite element programs. This makes PFC3D, along with its two-dimensional counterpart PFC2D, the only commercially available codes of their kind.