Damage and fracture in composites, 7,5 hp

Specific courses for LIGHTer PhD network

Welcome to a course on the damage and fracture mechanics of composites offered by LIGHTer PhD network. Lectures will be given by national experts within the field. The course is held at Chalmers in Gothenburg divided into two blocks: February 25-26th and April 7-8th

Course description

The purpose of the course Damage and fracture mechanics focused on composites is to give an overview on modelling and simulation of problems involving material damage growth and fracture in composite laminates using analytical methods and finite element technology. To describe material and structural damage, the course focuses on typical failure mechanisms of composite laminates combined with generic concepts of continuum damage and fracture modeling based on the cohesive zone concept. Special models of damage and fracture related to composites laminates are considered.

The course consists of two blocks on failure modeling of structural composites. The first block (February 25-26th) is focusing on failure mechanisms and failure criteria for the design of composites. Concepts of fracture mechanics applied to inter-laminar stresses and delamination phenomena are also discussed.  

The second block (April 7-8th) is focusing on continuum damage modelling to describe progressive damage and energy dissipating mechanisms, like inter-laminar failure vs ply failure, for composites. In this context we take up the finite element application of continuum damage mechanics to composites. In this block we also develop the cohesive zone concept for delamination modelling.  


Three assignments are planned: on failure criteria for composites, inter-laminar stress modelling, and FEM for continuum damage applied to a composite ply.  The assignments will be graded pass or fail. To complete the course, all assignments must be graded with a pass.


It will be assumed that all students have fundamental understanding of the finite element method. A first course on linear finite element is sufficient.


Ragnar Larsson
Dept. Applied Mechanics, Chalmers Univ. Tech.

Robin Olsson


The course is open to all PhD students in Sweden with proper prerequisites, but the number of students is limited to 15. Please note that if needed, PhD students enrolled within the LIGHTer PhD network will be given priority. Applications submitted after this date, or applications submitted by PhD students not enrolled in the network will be prioritized based on the date of submission. 
The registration is now open. To apply for the course, please send an e-mail to Martin Fagerström, coordinator within LIGHTer PhD network (martin.fagerstrom@chalmers.se).
The last day for application (for all students) is February 1st
Any questions regarding the course contents is favorably asked to the lecturers.