Since 2001, Itasca has been a member of the Hybrid Stress Blast Model (HSBM) project with the goal of developing a numerical model of the rock blasting process. The software created by Itasca, called Blo-Up, uses a unique combination of continuous and discontinuous numerical methods to represent the key processes occurring during blasting.

Blo-Up is a three-component coupled model of rock blasting. A coupled modeling approach was chosen because no single numerical technique was found to adequately describe all the physical phenomena occurring during blasting. The three components are (i) a continuum geomechanics model for the early-time detonation and near-field crushing; (ii) a brittle discrete element model for stress wave propagation, fracturing and burden movement; and (iii) a gas product model for burden acceleration by gas expansion, fracture flow, and atmospheric venting.

Furtney, J. K., P. A. Cundall, I. Onederra and E. Sellers. (2011) “Numerical Modeling of Rock Blasting: Validation Tests for Blo-Up 2.5,” in Continuum and Distinct Element Modeling in Geomechanics --- 2011 (Proceedings, 2nd International FLAC/DEM Symposium, Melbourne, February 2011), 359–367, D. Sainsbury, R. Hart, C. Detournay, and M. Nelson, Eds. Minneapolis: Itasca International Inc.

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