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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
TME260 - Fatigue and fracture  
Utmattning och brott
Syllabus adopted 2020-02-10 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAME
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Mechanical Engineering, Shipping and Marine Technology

Teaching language: English
Application code: 03124
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: C

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0112 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   27 Oct 2020 am J   05 Jan 2021 am J,  20 Aug 2021 am J  

In programs

MPAME APPLIED MECHANICS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Anders Ekberg

  Go to Course Homepage


General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

The student should have a basic knowledge in strength of materials and finite element methods, equivalent to the basic courses given in the Batchelor programme in Mechanical Engineering (maskinteknikprogrammet). Recommended course: Mechanics of solids, TME235


The aim of the course is that the student should understand the mechanisms behind fracture and fatigue failures and be able to design and analyse structures and components subjected to various types of fatigue loading. Further, the student should be able to choose suitable fatigue design criteria depending on type of loading and application.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • Master the most common concepts of fracture mechanics, and fracture
  • Describe the physical background to initiation and growth of fatigue cracks in polycrystalline metals.
  • Identify and quantify fatigue loading for engineering components and structures
  • Select and apply different (stress based, strain based and fracture mechanics based) approaches to fatigue design of components and structures made of metallic materials
  • Describe limitations of different fatigue design methods and be able to employ more sophisticated approaches when applicable
  • Explain how approaches for fatigue design can be employed also for other materials and which limitations such adaptions have
  • Find, derive or estimate material parameters needed for a fatigue life prediction
  • Master fatigue design also under multi-axial loading situations
  • Carry out fatigue design according to European design codes, in particular for assemblies, and in particular for welded joints
  • Quantify how statistical uncertainties influences the reliability of predictions
  • Describe and discuss basic legal, ethical and ecological aspects of design against fatigue and fracture
  • Implement algorithms for fatigue design in numerical codes
  • Explain briefly how fatigue design is employed and utilized in the industry
In relation to UN's sustainable development goals, the course relates to reliable design and operation of structures (in a very broad sense) subjected
to dynamic loads. This relates to all goals either directly (e.g. goals 9 and 12), or as means to achieve the goal (e.g. goals 1 and 2).


  • Physical background to material fatigue 
  • Fatigue loads
  • Fatigue testing and evaluation of relevant material parameters 
  • Stress based approach to fatigue design
  • Damage accumulation
  • Plastic deformation
  • Strain based approach to fatigue design
  • Linear elastic fracture mechanics 
  • Fracture mechanics based fatigue crack growth analysis
  • Non-linear fracture mechanics
  • Multiaxial fatigue analysis
  • Effects of stress concentrations and residual stresses 
  • Code based fatigue design with focus on welds
  • Fatigue design in conjunction to finite element analysis
  • Fatigue analysis in industry
  • Fatigue of composites, polymers and ceramics
  • Statistical issues in fatigue design
  • Failure analysis and case studies
  • Legal issues related to fatigue design


The course includes some fourteen 4 hour lectures, four design assignments (covering fracture and fatigue design criteria) and visit to study equipment for fatigue testing


Norman E. Dowling, Mechanical Behavior of Materials, 5th Edition, Pearson, 2019, ISBN 9781292279350

Anders Ekberg, Multiaxial fatigue, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2019. 

Anders Ekberg & Lennart Josefson, Fatigue of composites, ceramics and polymers -- a very brief overview, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2019. 

Anders Ekberg & Hans Andersson, Non-linear fracture mechanics -- a brief overview, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2019. 

Additional material on fatigue design of welded components etc is handed out

Examination including compulsory elements

The examination is based on a written exam, grades TH. Further, approved assignments are a requirement to pass the course.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.