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4 Credits
Fall term, even years

ENGR 322 or equivalent recommended
David Cann
303D Dearborn Hall

Course Description

Fracture mechanics will be used as a basis for predicting fracture and fatigue behavior and understanding failure mechanisms in materials. Course will include experimental demonstrations and analysis of real fracture and fatigue data.


  • Elasticity, stress concentrations
  • Griffith theory, strain energy release rate, stress analysis, stress intensity
  • Superposition, G vs. K, crack tip plasticity, plane stress/strain, plastic constraint, critical crack size
  • Critical crack size, CTODs, KIc testing, R-curves
  • R-curve testing, elastic-plastic fracture mechanics (EPFM), J- integral, JIc testing, fracture mechanisms
  • Ductile and brittle fracture, DBTT, toughening mechanisms, extrinsic vs. intrinsic toughening
  • Crack bridging, embrittlement, environmentally assisted cracking growth
  • Fatigue: (S/N) approach, crack initiation
  • Fatigue: damage tolerant approach, crack growth, life prediction, da/dN-ΔK testing, crack growth mechanisms, fatigue markings
  •  Fractography and failure analysis

Learning Outcomes

The student, upon successful completion of this course, will be able to:

  1. Correctly apply fracture mechanics to predict material failure.
  2. Identify and describe the basic fracture and fatigue mechanisms.
  3.  Correctly predict fatigue life using S/N and fracture mechanics based methods.
  4.  Correctly identify the cause of failure of a material based on fracture surface observations.
  5.  Correctly identify archival literature papers on a current topic in fracture or fatigue and compose a paper expressing individual ideas on that topic.