Fracture mechanics deals with the mechanical behaviour of engineering structures and components containing cracks. It assists engineers to evaluate how much load can be applied to a component when a crack appears during its service life or what would be the allowable crack size in a structure under a fixed external load.
This part of the course starts with some fundamentals of fracture mechanics and its applications, continued by introducing elastic stresses around the crack tip. Basic and important parameters needed fracture assessment of cracked components are explained. An overview for different branches of fracture mechanics is then presented. For static loading, the linear elastic fracture mechanics and some of its associated fracture theories are described. Next, focus would be on fracture in brittle materials under mixed mode loading. Some of the criteria related to mixed mode fracture are introduced and the lecture would finish with some simple but interesting experiments by students inside the lecture room.