Course Objectives

The course deals with the mechanical behaviour of engineering structures and components containing cracks. Elastic stresses around a crack are derived, and the stress intensity factor and its calculation methods are described in detail. For static loading, the linear elastic, small scale yielding and elasto-plastic concepts of fracture mechanics are elaborated and the methods of calculating the load-bearing capacity of cracked components are explained. Fatigue crack growth theories are also presented for practical applications where a cracked structure is subjected to cyclic loading. The allowable crack length and the total number of loading cycles to final failure are determined. The micro-mechanisms of crack extension in brittle fracture, in ductile rupture, and also in fatigue crack growth are described.

In addition to the theoretical models, the standard experimental procedures for determination of fracture mechanics related material parameters are elaborated. Several examples and case studies will be presented throughout the course.

The main objective of the course is to present fundamental and applied concepts which engineers, researchers and postgraduate students need for structural integrity assessment in practical industrial applications.

Course Programme

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

  • Introduction, Industrial applications, Fundamental definitions, Stress analysis of cracks, Stress intensity factors and T-stress

  • Methods of determining stress intensity factors (Analytical, experimental and computational methods), An overview of fracture mechanics subdivisions

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

  • Micromechanisms of crack growth, Linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM), Stress-based approach in brittle fracture, Fracture toughness, Energy-based approach, Energy release rate G, Mixed mode fracture mechanics (Introduction)

  • Mixed mode fracture theories, Max. tangential stress criterion, Min. strain energy density criterion, T-stress effects, Crack tip plastic zone, Irwin model, Dugdale model, Small scale yielding fracture

Thursday, 23 November 2017

  • Parameters affecting fracture toughness, Standard fracture toughness testing (ASTM E399), Elastic-plastic fracture mechanics, CTOD, J-integral, HRR solution, R-curve, Standard testing method for R-curve determination

  • Failure assessment diagrams (FAD), Leak before break, Fatigue crack growth (FCG), Parameters affecting Fatigue crack growth


Course Structure

Each day is subdivided into four sessions and will commence at 9.00 am and finish at 5.00 pm. Lunch break is from 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm. Coffee will be served during the breaks. Please note that the course will start at 9.15 am on the first day.

Course Materials

The course fee includes all working materials, lunch, coffee, tea and all computer facilities used, where applicable. The Institute reserves the right to make changes to the programme that may prove necessary.

Course Presenter

Dr Majid R AyatollahiDr Majid R Ayatollahi (PhD, University of Bristol, 1999) is professor and director of fatigue and fracture research laboratory in the school of mechanical engineering at Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST).

His research activities mainly concentrate on fracture and fatigue behaviour of different engineering materials such as polymers, metals, rocks, ceramics, and nano-composites. Having published more than 160 fully refereed journal papers and served as reviewer for 30 journals, he is currently a member of editorial boards in six international journals. Professor Ayatollahi is the author of a book published by Springer International in 2016 titled “Characterization of Carbon Nanotube-Based Composites Under Consideration of Defects”. He achieved the “National Distinguished Professor” award in 2014, a highly competitive award in Iran. In addition, he has been invited as keynote speaker in several international conferences and universities. Professor Ayatollahi has annually lectured the “Fracture Mechanics” course to postgraduate students in IUST since 2004. He was also the invited lecturer of the same course for Ph.D. students in Politecnico di Milano (2015) and University of Rome-Sapienza (2016).


To register online for this course please complete the registration form by clicking on the 'Register' button at the top of this page.


The New Forest is one of the UK's most popular tourist destinations and offers many attractions all year round, including picturesque forest villages as well as beautiful scenery. It is located in Southern England, spreading over 150 square miles of Hampshire. The New Forest was established as a royal hunting ground by King William I, and by the 14th century the land was being used to produce timber for the ship building on the south coast. Today, after nearly 1000 years, the forest is still Crown property and is administered by the Forestry Commission. Since the reign of King William I commoners have been given the right to graze their livestock, normally ponies, cattle and pigs, on Forest land where they wander freely. In the New Forest the well-being of the animals and the special needs of the countryside are a priority. The Forest is unarguably recognised as one of the most unique and important wilderness areas in Western Europe and, because of this, it is now a National Park.

Venue and Accommodation

The course will take place at the Wessex Institute of Technology at Ashurst Lodge located in the New Forest, an outstanding National Park that borders the SouthCoast. An ideal venue for conferences, courses and seminars, Ashurst Lodge comprises a newly-built conference centre with an excellent standard of accommodation in surroundings which are equally appealing to those who enjoy walking, horse riding, cycling, sailing and fine landscapes.

For more information on how to find Ashurst Lodge and to arrange accommodation during the course please use the information provided on the Contact Us page.