Course Description

Prediction of the failure of engineering structure employing computational methods. Continuum models for material failure in brittle and ductile materials. Cohesive zone models for material failure. Material parameter determination strategies. Numerical implementation of constitutive models in finite element codes. Applications to engineering structures on the macro-micro and nanoscale.

Typically offered every other spring semester. 3 credit hours.

Learning Objective: Gain understanding of current methods to compute fracture and fatigue in engineering materials and structures.


Graduate student standing, Graduate level Mechanics of Materials (required), Finite Element Method (required), Fracture Mechanics (suggested but not required)

Schedule and Adminstration

Spring 2018 - Tuesday/Thursday 12:00PM - 1:15PM

Prof. Thomas Siegmund

ME 2186

Topics Covered

  1. Introduce concepts of computational methods for material damage fracture and fatigue.
  2. Learn continuum mechanics concepts for description of material failure.
  3. Learn about advanced constitutive equations for bulk and interface failure.
  4. Learn how model material failure processes.
  5. Learn how to develop and apply computational mechanics methods.
  6. Apply these concepts to analysis of failure of engineering components at the macro and microscale.


Bi-Weekly assignments


Two projects analyzing failure of load carrying structures, can be job related. Projects will be related to the computational failure analysis of engineering structures.


2 Midterm Exams and no final.


None, lecture notes will be provided, hand-outs from recent literature provided. References: J. Lemairte, A course on damage mechanics, 2nd ed., Springer, 1996. ABAQUS, Theory Manual. ABAQUS, Standard User Manual. T.L. Anderson, Fracture Mechanics: Fundamentals and Applications, 2nd ed., CRC. J. Lemaitre, Handbook of materials behavior models, Vol. 1-3, Academic Press.

Computer Requirements

ProEd Minimum Computer Requirements. ABAQUS FE software student edition, X11 on OS-X or Cygwin on WINDOWS.