Fracture mechanics

Nuclear Engineering, Second Cycle
1 ali 2 year
Course director:
Hours per week – 1. semester:

Enrolment into the program. Knowledge of subjects of the Reactor Engineering & Energy Technology course and of the Structural Mechanics in Nuclear Engineering course.
Positive result from colloquia or written exam is necessary to enter the oral exam.

Content (Syllabus outline)

Fracture mechanics and crack propagation.
Brittle fracture
Ductile fracture
Fatigue cracks
Impact of aggressive environments
Stress fields at the crack tip.
Stress intensity factor
T stress
J-integral and similar (energy) concepts
Techniques for numerical solving
Crack propagation and arrest.
Basic methods measuring the crack growth rate
Basic mechanisms of crack arrest
Basic models of crack propagation
Crack resistant design
Basics of non-destructive testing
Probabilistic fracture mechanics.
Probability of failure
Methods estimating the probability of failure
Sensitivity of probability of failure to variability in the input data

  1. David Broek, Elementary Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 4th Ed., Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1987.
  2. A.S.Krausz, K. Krausz, Fracture Kinetics of Crack Growth, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1987.
  3. Dominique P. Miannay, Fracture Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering Series, Springer, 1998.
  4. Theo Fett, Dietrich Munz, Stress Intensity Factors and Weight Functions, Computational Mechanics Publications, 1997
  5. James W. Provan (ed.) Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics and Reliability, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1987.
Objectives and competences

Understand the basic processes of initiation and growth of cracks in structural materials. Get to know the basic methods and tools to predict the load carrying capability or alternatively, the remaining safe life of components with cracks.
Solve numerical example to get acquainted with modern numerical tools.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Acquire knowledge of basic methods and tools for prediction of load capacity and remaining safe life of components with cracks.
Understand the basic processes of initiation and growth of cracks.
Acquired knowledge allows independent analysis of simple cases.
Role of initiation and growth of cracks in decision making about repair and replacement of components.
Opportunities for further development of numerical tools.
Transferable skills:
Skills to successfully find and use domestic or foreign literature and other sources, to successfully collect and interpret data, use numerical tools and to master written as well as oral reporting.
Acquired knowledge is related to subjects of heat transfer, structural mechanics in nuclear engineering, safety and security of nuclear installations.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures, exercises, seminars, homework, consultations. Some content will be given in the form of e-teaching, the use of internet and with active participation in scientific research projects.


written exam
oral exam
grading: 5 (fail), 6-10 (pass) (according to the Statute of UL)

Lecturer's references

Leon Cizelj
1. SIMONOVSKI, Igor, CIZELJ, Leon. Cohesive element approach to grain level modelling of intergranular cracking. Engineering fracture mechanics, ISSN 0013-7944. [Print ed.], sep. 2013, vol. 110, str. 364-377, doi: 10.1016/j.engfracmech.2013.05.011 [COBISS-SI-ID 26794279]
2. SIMONOVSKI, Igor, NILSSON, Karl-Fredrik, CIZELJ, Leon. The influence of crystallographic orientation on crack tip displacements of microstructurally small, kinked crack crossing the grain boundary. Computational materials science, ISSN 0927-0256. [Print ed.], 2007, vol. 39, no. 4, str. 817-828 [COBISS-SI-ID 20743207]
3. CIZELJ, Leon, SIMONOVSKI, Igor. Microstructurally short cracks in polycrystals described by crystal plasticity, (Materials science and technologies). New York: Nova Science Publishers, cop. 2010. XII, 77 str., ilustr. (nekaj barv.). ISBN 978-1-61668-811-0. ISBN 1-61668-811-4 [COBISS-SI-ID 24131367]