Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Fracture mechanics

Overall Course Objectives

To give thorough insight into the mechanics of materials under both monotonic and cyclic loading, and to enable the student of using modern principles for dimensioning structures, while accounting for fracture in both homogeneous materials and composites.

Learning Objectives

  • Use stress-functions to solve plane elastic problems.
  • Determine stress intensity factors for cracks.
  • Use linear elastic fracture mechanics (both stress and energy criteria) to predict crack initiation and growth in brittle materials.
  • Estimate the size of plastic zones at crack tips.
  • Establish the applicability of linear elastic fracture mechanics for a given problem.
  • Calculate the J-integral and crack opening displacement in elastic-plastic materials and use these to determine critical loads with respect to crack growth.
  • Determine the direction of crack propagation.
  • Determine critical load under fully plastic conditions
  • Analyze crack growth under cyclic loading.

Course Content

Stress functions (Airy’s and Westergaard’s), stress concentrations, stress singularities at crack tips, linear-elastic fracture mechanics, energy methods, plasticity at crack tips, the J-integral, the HRR-field, cohesive zone modeling, criteria for the direction of crack extension, fatigue during cyclic loading, Paris law.

Recommended prerequisites

41502/41534, Knowledge of beam theory as well as theory of elasticity including transformation of stresses and strains

Teaching Method

Lectures and problem solving


See course in the course database.





13 weeks


DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 41526
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 35
Semester end Week 48
Days Thurs 8-12

7.500,00 DKK