Course detail

Limit States of Materials and Structures

FSI-6MSAcad. year: 2023/2024

Designing machines, vehicles, and structures that are safe, reliable, and economical requires both efficient use of materials and assurance that structural failure will not occur. It is therefore appropriate for undergraduate engineering majors to study the mechanical behaviour of materials, specifically such topics as deformation, fracture, and fatigue. This course reviews also micromechanics and micromechanical aspects of brittle fracture, fatigue failure and creep rupture. Fracture mechanics. Application of fracture mechanics for integrity assessment of machine parts and structures with cracks under static, cyclic and creep loading. The influence of size effect and loading conditions on fracture toughness of materials.

Language of instruction


Number of ECTS credits


Mode of study

Not applicable.

Entry knowledge

Introductory university course in math, chemistry, physics and material science.

Rules for evaluation and completion of the course

The course-unit credit is awarded on condition of meeting the following requirements: participation in all exercises, elaborating protocols according the teacher’s instructions.
The graded course-unit credit is awarded upon the following conditions: participation on all exercises, elaboration of protocols according to the teacher’s instructions and passing through a test succesfuly. Test consists of two parts: (i)theoretical item, (ii) an examples solved during the exercises. In this part of the test is allowed to use the notes from the lectures, as well as protocols of exercises.
Examination: The exam consists of two parts: (i) written and (ii) oral. In the written part of the exam the student elaborates three questions: (i) theoretical item, (ii) an example solved during the exercises. In this part of the exam is allowed to use the notes from the lectures, as well as protocols of exercises. In the oral part the student explains the theoretical item and describes the way of solving the examples, including relationships and assumptions he/she has utilized.
The exercises are compulsory and the absence from these exercises must be properly excused. In case of absence the student is required to elaborate a protocol in order to prove that he/she understands the topic.


The course is focused on the methods for securing the integrity of mechanical equipment and design. Methods consist of two parts: (i) calculation as such, and (ii) the estimation the material resistance against failure. The aim of this course is to explain the principle of evaluation of material resistance against failure by means of basic material characteristics (yield stress, fracture toughness, or time to rupture curve).

This subject is included into study plan of 3rd year of general bachelor's study as a compulsory-optional one. It is recommended as a prerequisite of branches M-ADI, M-FLI, M-IMB, M-MTI, M-MET or M-PRI.
The course enables the students to get an overview of the principle, way of measurement, as well as practical application of mechanical characteristics of engineering materials.

Study aids

Not applicable.

Prerequisites and corequisites

Not applicable.

Basic literature

Anderson T.L:: Fracture Mechanics, Fundamentals and Applications, CRS Press 1995 (EN)
Ashby F.M.- Jones D.R.H.:: Engineering Materials I,II,Pergamon Press 1995 (EN)
Dowling E.N.: : Mechanical Behaviour of Materials,Prentice Hall International Editions 1993 (EN)

Recommended reading

Veles P.: Mechanické vlastnosti a skúšanie kovov, ALFA, SNTL 1985 (SK) (CS)
Strnadel B.: Řešené příklady a technické úlohy z materiálového inženýrství, skripta VŠB, dostupné v areálové knihovně (CS)

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme B-ZSI-P Bachelor's

    specialization STI , 3. year of study, winter semester, compulsory-optional

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


Historical perspective (the Liberty ships, the Comet aircraft, recent trends in fracture research)
Elastic deformation (bonding and structure in materials, trends in elastic modulus values)
Plastic deformation (discussion of plastic deformation)
Plastic deformation (engineering stress-strain properties)
Time-dependent behaviour (creep and damping)
Fracture of flawed bodies – fracture toughness values KIc and Gc
Extensions of fracture mechanics beyond linear elasticity – fracture toughness values JIc and CTOD
Brittle fracture of steel – transition temperatures approach
Brittle fracture of steel – fracture toughness approach
Fatigue of materials – introduction and stress-based approach
Fracture behaviour ceramic and polymers
Damage tolerance methodology

Laboratory exercise

26 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


1 Introduction, laboratories exkursion, Internet - search for standards, material characteristics and scientific papers
2 Elastic deformation – discussion and examples
3 and 4 Plastic deformation – discussion and examples
5 and 6 Transition fracture behaviour of steel – discussion and examples
7 and 8 Fracture mechanic – discussion and examples
9 Fatigue of metals – discussion and examples
10 Creep and creep fracture – discussion and examples
11 Case studies - metals
12 Case studies - plasts, ceramics
13 Case studies and credit