2020-2021 / MECA0058-1

Fracture mechanics, damage and fatigue


30h Th, 10h Pr, 75h Proj.

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Aerospace Engineering, professional focus in turbomachinery aeromechanics (THRUST)5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Aerospace Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Mechanical Engineering (EMSHIP+, Erasmus Mundus)5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Engineering Physics5 crédits 


Ludovic Noels

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The class presents the basis of fracture mechanics. Failure of structures is explained by studying the physic of materials. This behavior is then modeled analytically. Finally numerical methods applied in fracture mechanics are presented.
Subjects covered by the lectures are

  • Linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM)
  • Non-linear fracture mechanics (NLFM)
  • Fatigue
  • Design approaches
  • Recent numerical approaches

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Through a deep understanding of the theory and the realization of a project, the student will be able to apply numerical tools to design structures and study crack propagation problems. In particular:

  • He will have a deep understanding of fracture mechanics theories and will be able to summary, compare and explain them.
  • He will have a deep understanding of the resolution methods of fracture mechanics problems, and will be able to summary, compare and explain them. He will also know their application range.
  • He will be able to apply the resolution methods to classical problems of fracture mechanics.
  • He will be able to analyse and to evaluate (justify and criticise) these methods.
  • He will be able to analyse new problems.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Good knowledge in

  • Solid mechanics
Basic knowledge in
  • Finite-element method

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Exercises and personal project.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-Face: default mode
In case of remote teaching is mandatory
1) Recorded classes that could not be given face to face will be available in myUliege on a weekly basis.
2) Questions on this recorded class can be asked on the etaching day on the forum created in eCampus https://www.ecampus.ulg.ac.be.

Organisational adjustments related to the current health context

Recommended or required readings

Assessment methods and criteria

Below you will find information on the evaluation methods planned for in-person and remote exams as well as those planned for hybrid sessions. Depending on how the health crisis evolves, the chosen method will be communicated to you no later than one month before the start of the exam session.

Any session :

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

- Remote

written exam ( open-ended questions )

- If evaluation in "hybrid"

preferred in-person

Additional information:

Evaluation is based on the realization of a project (30%) related to the use / development of numerical methods specific to fracture mechanics and on an written examination (70%). In case of a resit, if a grade of at least 10/20 has been given to the project, only the written examination will be redone.
The examination is based on the whole content of the class. Problems similar to the ones studied during the classes, and new problems will be part of the questions. Justification using the theoretical content is also asked.
Participation to the exam, to the guest lectures (if any), and achievement of the project are mandatory. The student who does not attend to compulsory sessions or who does not delivered the assignments on time will not be allowed to present the exam.
On site:
Written examination
In case of remote evaluation:
Same content. Exam will be given through eCampus. in particular:

  • Questions will be obtained by eCamput the day of the exam;
  • Students will have to answer to the questions on separated sheets of paper; scan them; and upload them on eCampus;
  • There will be a limited time for each question.

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks


L. Noels (L.Noels@ulg.ac.be)

Items online

Lecture notes