Monday, February 20, 2006


Teaching Fracture Mechanics

At a recent committee meeting it was decided that we should be helping each other as well as the broader fracture and failure mechanics community to teach fracture mechanics. One way to acomplish this is to begin an on-line discussion of which topics to teach, how to most effectively teach various topics, which books to use, etc. It is felt that the best way to initiate this discussion is by posting syllabi. At some point we might also decide to post notes.

At present, since this blog is hosted at, there does not appear to be a way to post files. As this discussion develops, we might look for a different way to host the blog. In the meantime, we could just cut and paste our syllabi into the posting. My syllabus is given below.

Engineering Fracture Mechanics
Winter Quarter 2005

[This is an introductory, graduate level course. There are typically also a few advanced undergraduates in the class. It is a 10 week class. In order to cover all the material listed below, notes are provided in PDF form and are projected during the lecture.]

Lecture: Tuesday & Thursday 10:30-11:48 PM

M. Walter, 292-6081,

Text: "Principles of Fracture Mechanics," by R.J. Sanford; Prentice Hall, 2002.

Homework: 30%
Lab: 15%
Mid-Term Exam: 25%
Final Exam: 30%

Course Objectives, Composition and Consultation: The objectives of this course are to introduce concepts of fracture mechanics for application to engineering problems. Fracture Mechanics is generally understood to be the study of the stress/strain response and the initiation and propagation of cracks in bodies that have an existing crack. Upon completing this course students will have been exposed to concepts listed on the syllabus below. Although working and studying in groups is encouraged, all work that is submitted for grading must be your own. Situations which call into question the originality of the work will be submitted to the Committee on Academic Misconduct.

Homework: Homework problems will be assigned at the discretion of the instructor. Expect 4-5 assignments throughout the quarter.

Laboratory: One or two labs will be arranged outside of class time. A lab write-up
will be assigned, collected, and graded.

Term and Final Exams: An open-notes term exam will be given 5-6 weeks into the
quarter. The final exam will be comprehensive exam. It may consist of a short in-class
portion and a take-home portion.

Jan. 4 Introduction to Fracture Mechanics and Linear Elasticity
Jan. 6 Linear Elasticity: 3-d Equations, 2-d Analysis
Jan. 11 Singular Stress Fields: Stress Intensity Factor; Williams Solution
Jan. 13 No Class
Jan. 18 Westergaard Solution and Applications
Jan. 20 Stress Intensity Factors for Various Geometries and Loadings (Analytical Methods)
Jan. 25 Numerical Determination of K
Jan. 27 Experimental Determination of K
Feb. 1 Stress Fields and Critical Stress Intensity Factors: specimen sizes, K-dominance
Feb. 3 Crack-Tip Plasticity: small-scale yielding
Feb. 8 Mid-Term
Feb. 10 Energy Approaches and Energy Equivalence
Feb. 15 R-Curves
Feb. 17 Fracture Toughness Testing Lab
Feb. 22 Elastic Plastic Fracture: the J-Integral and COD
Feb. 24 Elastic Plastic Fracture Mechanics Testing
Mar. 1 Micromechanisms of Fracture
Mar. 3 Fatigue Crack Growth
Mar. 8 Damage Tolerant Design
Mar. 10 Nondestructive Evaluation

As indicate in one of the other postings, I came across MIT's Fracture and Fatigue course. The course can be found (and downloaded) here:
Post a Comment

Back to the FFMTC Blog Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?