SE2139 Fracture Mechanics 6.0 credits


  • Education cycle

    Second cycle
  • Main field of study

    Mechanical Engineering
  • Grading scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Course offerings

Spring 19 Brott Mek for programme students

Spring 20 Fract Mech for programme students

Intended learning outcomes

The loss of functionality of engineering structures typically occurs by failure due to instabilities or to cracking. The latter case is controlled by growth of cracks that nucleate or by growth of existing cracks to a critical size. The critical size is governed by the toughness of the material and the type of loading, which increase in time. The strong development of both analytical and numerical methods now makes it possible for engineers to analyse structures with defects such as cracks and to predict critical loads. The course aims at giving a fundamental understanding of material failure by cracking and operational skills in to assess defect structures.

After the course, the participants should be able to

  • Identify and describe different failure mechanisms in materials and engineering structures.
  • Explain how a crack affects an engineering structure and describe the state of stress and strain that may arise in the vicinity of a crack front in different materials.
  • Apply different methods to calculate the crack driving force in linear and nonlinear materials and formulate appropriate fracture criteria for stationary and growing cracks in such materials.
  • Evaluate fracture toughness data for stationary and growing cracks from linear and nonlinear fracture tests.
  • Examine whether a crack will grow in a stable or unstable manner.
  • Describe and explain the theoretical background of linear and nonlinear fracture mechanics.
  • Analyse well defined fracture mechanics problems for both linear and nonlinear materials subjected to both monotonic loading.

Course main content

The course covers phenomenological theories for fracture in solids containing sharp cracks and how to apply this knowledge in the design of engineering structures.


The course requires the knowedge from a basic course such as SE1010, SE1020 or SE1055. The content corresponding to the course SE1025 FEM for engineering aplications is expected as known.

Recommended prerequisites

SE1010, SE1020 or SE1055 Basic course in solid mechanics and
SE1025 FEM for engineering applications


Nilsson, F. Fracture Mechanics from theory to applications, Hållfasthetslära, KTH, 1999.

Faleskog, J. and Nilsson, F., Examples in fracture mechanics, Hållfasthetslära, KTH, 2014.

Handbook of Solid Mechanics, Hållfasthetslära, 2010 (English Edition).

Intressant referensliteratur:

Ted L. Anderson, Fracture mechanics: Fundamentals and applications, 4th Ed., 2017, CRC Press.


  • HEM1 - Assignments, 3.0, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 3.0, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Requirements for final grade

HEM1 - Home Assignment, 3.0, grade scale: P, F
TEN1 - Examination, 3.0, grade scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Offered by

SCI/Solid Mechanics


Jonas Faleskog


Bo Alfredsson <>

Jonas Faleskog <>

Supplementary information

SE2139 Fracture mechanics replaces the fracture mechanics pars of SE2129 Fracture mechanics and fatigue. The course is first offered in spring 2019.


Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2019.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2019.