MAE 543 Fracture Mechanics

Concept of elastic stress intensity factor, Griffith energy balance, determination of the elastic field at a sharp crack tip via eigenfunction expansion methods, J integrals analysis, experimental determination of fracture toughness, fatigue crack growth, elastic-plastic crack tip fields. Emphasis on modern numerical methods for determination of stress intensity factors, critical crack sizes and fatigue crack propagation rate predictions. 3 credit hours.


• Prerequisite

Introductory graduate level course in advanced strength of materials or theory of elastictity (MAE541) or consent of the instructor.

• Course Objectives

Students will:

  • Develop basic fundamental understanding of the effects of crack-like defects on the performance of aerospace, civil, and mechanical engineering structures.
  • Learn to select appropriate materials for engineering structures to insure damage tolerance.
  • Learn to employ modern numerical methods to determine critical crack sizes and fatigue crack propagation rates in engineering structures.
  • Gain an appreciation of the status of academic research in field of fracture mechanics.

• Course Requirements

HOMEWORK: Assignments will count 15% of final grade.

EXAMINATIONS: Midterm - 35% and Take Home Final Exam - 50%

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Basic graphing capability like Excel, symbol manipulation capability like MAPLE, and matrix manipulation like MATLAB. These are all available remotely thru the NC State computer system via the Virtual Computing Lab.


• Textbook

Fracture Mechanics, by Chin-Teh Sun and Ahihe Jin, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maine, Publisher: Elsevier, 1st edition. ISBN: 978012385001

• Computer and Internet Requirements

NCSU and Engineering Online have recommended minimum specifications for computers. For details, click here.

• Instructor
  Dr. Jeffrey W. Eischen, Associate Professor
North Carolina State University
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Engineering Building III (Eb3) 3290, Box 7910
Raleigh, NC 27695

Phone: (919) 515-5263
Instructor website: