ELFEN is a comprehensive Finite Element and Discrete Element software tool developed by Rockfield Software Ltd. It contains a wide range of features for solving multi-physics, multi-scale, highly non-linear problems for both continuum and discontinuum domains.

ELFEN comprises a pre & post processor for complete model build and results assessment, mesh generator for various element types, implicit & explicit analysis solver modules and a range of interfaces to 3rd party software.

Bench blasting courtesy of ORICA Explosives

Bench blasting courtesy of ORICA Explosives

Spud can installation during jack-up rig placement.

Spud can installation during jack-up rig placement.

Sensory feedback through FE Analysis of a finger

Sensory feedback through FE Analysis of a finger

Expandable Sand Screen

Expandable Sand Screen

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Sectors and uses

With such flexibility and modelling power, the software has been successfully utilised in a wide range of areas;


Deep level mining, rock-blasting, seismology, tunnelling & support design, quarrying and open cast mining, oil and gas resource recovery, radioactive waste storage (nuclear burial), slope stability, retaining walls, mining, spud can analysis, masonry structures.

Forming Processes

Bulk forming, sheet forming, drawing, extrusion, rolling.

Civil Engineering

Seismic structural integrity/resistance analysis, strength of masonry structures, ground water flow, performance of anchors, slope stability and retaining walls.


Glass container forming, can forming, container integrity testing – axial crush, panelling, dynamic impacts.


Dragline processes, blast operations, micro behaviour of materials.

General Continuum Problems

Integrity of mechanical components, impact analysis, deformation of multi-phase materials.


  • Multi-physics / Multi-scale
  • Mechanical and geomechanical continuum
  • Thermal field simulation
  • Seepage & Fluid field simulations
  • Multi-field coupling of different physical fields
    • Mechanical coupled with Thermal field
    • Mechanical coupled with Seepage field
    • Mechanical coupled with Seepage and Thermal fields

Constitutive laws for each field including

  • Hyperelastic, Elasto-plastic or Elasto-viscoplastic for incompressible plasticity (Mooney-Rivlin, Von Mises and others)
  • Porous Elastic and Elasto-plastic for compressible, critical state plasticity (Mohr Coulomb Drucker Prager Cam Clay Rockfield’s family of Soft Rock constitutive models and others)
  • Damage (Lemaitre, Rankine)
  • Fluid linear and non-linear viscous constitutive models (Herschel-Bulkley, Power Law and others)
  • Thermal field constitutive models
  • Isotropic and anisotropic representation of constitutive parameters

Multi-scale spatial and temporal modelling capabilities

  • Grain to kilometres/miles spatial scales
  • Seconds to millennia time scales

Multi-body Interaction

  • Discrete element and slideline multi-body interaction
  • Frictional contact with linear or non-linear compliances

Fracture & Fragmentation

  • Constitutive models for fracture initiaation based on damage and fracture mechanics
  • Fracture propagation without need of seeding

Advanced technology for solving complex modelling cases

  • Implicit & Explicit time integration solvers
  • Implicit solver using direct, sparse or iterative schemes
  • Explicit solver with automatic time step calculation
  • Parallel solver for explicit multi-field simulations

Loading functions, Initial and Boundary conditions

  • Gravitational, lithostatic and hydrostatic loading and boundary conditions
  • Pore pressure & temperature loading
  • Geostatic initial conditions
  • Geostatic initialisation

Automatic adaptive mesh update for large deformation

  • Prediction of new element sizes based on FE error estimation or element distortion
  • Generation of new mesh either on whole domain or locally in critical areas

Advanced Finite Element formulations

  • Strain enhanced and stabilised elements for both Implicit and Explicit codes
  • Finite strains description of large deformation (Lagrangian description of kinematics, Total and Updated formulations for stress)
  • Finite displacement description of large movements and large rotations