Course detail

Physical Base of Materials Fracture

FSI-9FZMAcad. year: 2023/2024

Diffences between processes of deformation and fracture, and between resulting mechanical properties of metals, ceramics and polymers, come from their different microstructure. The course includes passages dealing with the microstructure of basic material types and describing individual damage stages leading to the fracture under various external conditions. The emphasize is given on the understanding of physics of micromechanisms operating in the individual fracture processes and on relationships between microstructure and mechanical characteristics of materials. It enables us to make qualified decisions about the suitabillity of a given structural material based on its microstructural and mechanical characteristics and, in particular, to assess the risk of fracture of structural components during their exploitation.
Presentation is made by combination of computer animation and classical methods (overheads and blackboard.

Language of instruction


Number of ECTS credits


Mode of study

Not applicable.

Entry knowledge

Fundaments of physics, chemistry, mathematics and materials engineering.

Rules for evaluation and completion of the course

Knowledge of the subject matter at least in the range of the reference No. 1. Examination in the form of the test.
The presence on seminars is recommended but not obligatory.


The aim of the course is to present a physical interpretation of differences between mechanical properties of metals, ceramics and polymers and, in particular, to mention a possibility of quantitative description of some common deformation and fracture micromechanisms. Students are guided to a physical art of thinking about fracture processes in materials.
Graduates accuire knowledge about the microstructure, capabilities and limits of mechanical properties of basic kinds of materials for the purposes of engineering design and technology. They gain a valuable experience with a physical view on the world of engineering materials. Moreover, they would better understand microscopical processes operating during their fracture.

Study aids

Not applicable.

Prerequisites and corequisites

Not applicable.

Basic literature

J. Pokluda, F. Kroupa, L. Obdržálek: Mechanické vlastnosti a struktura pevných látek. PC DIR Brno, 1994.
J. Menčík: Pevnost a lom skla a keramiky. SNTL Praha 1990
B. Meissner, V. Zilvar: Fyzika polymerů. SNTL/ALFA Praha 1987.
J. Pokluda, P. Šandera: Micromechanisms of Fracture and Fatigue: In a Multiscale Context. kniha, Springer, London 2010. (EN)
A. Saxena: Advanced Fracture Mechanics and Structural Integrity, CRC Press 2019 (EN)

Recommended reading

A. Kelly, N. H. Macmillan: Strong Solids. Clarendon Press Oxford 1986. (EN)
P. Kratochvíl, P. Lukáč, B. Sprušil: Úvod do fyziky kovů I. SNTL/ALFA Praha.
S. Suresh: Fatigue of Materials. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998. (EN)

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme D-APM-K Doctoral, 1. year of study, summer semester, recommended
  • Programme D-APM-P Doctoral, 1. year of study, summer semester, recommended
  • Programme D-MAT-K Doctoral, 1. year of study, summer semester, recommended
  • Programme D-MAT-P Doctoral, 1. year of study, summer semester, recommended

Type of course unit



20 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Structure of materials
1.1 Bonds in solids
1.2 Structure of perfect crystals
1.3 Crystal defects
1.4 Structure of polymers
2. Deformation of metals
2.1. Elastic and anelastic deformation
2.2 Plastic deformation
2.3 Theory of strengthening
3. Fracture of metals
3.1 Fundaments of fracture mechanics
3.2 Ductile fracture
3.3 Brittle fracture
3.4 Stress corrosion cracking
3.5 Fatigue fracture
3.6 Creep fracture
4. Deformation and fracture of ceramics
4.1. Deformation of monocrystals
4.2. Deformation of polycrystals
4.3. Strength and fracture toughness
4.4. Fracture after long-term degradation
5. Deformation and fracture of polymers
5.1. Micromechanisms a phenomenology of deformation
5.2. Mechanical properties and fracture of basic polymer types