Imperial College London

M H Ferri Aliabadi

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Aeronautics

Chair in Aerostructures



+44 (0)20 7594 5077m.h.aliabadi




Miss Lisa Kelly +44 (0)20 7594 5056




CAGB323City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus




Materials Modelling - AE3-409


This course provides additional theory needed for modelling failure of materials in modern high performance structures, e.g. aircraft. Part A of the course covers basic theory and computational approaches for fracture mechanics and fatigue, while part B covers the causes of failure of composite laminates and design methods for such materials.

  • The definition of stress intensity factors and energy release rates as fracture criteria.
  • The basics of linear elastic fracture mechanics in 2-D and 3-D components, including the Westergaard equations and relationships between the components and fracture criteria.
  • The effects of geometry on stress intensity factor, and examples of 2-D and 3-D geometries including mixed-mode fracture. The use of finite element methods for calculating fracture criteria.
  • A description of fatigue crack growth, Paris’ law, and finite element usage.
  • Basic post-yield fracture mechanics, plasticity fundamentals, Irwin’s plastic zone size around crack tips, crack opening displacement, thickness effects, HRR fields, fracture criteria, and use of finite elements.
  • A description of viscoelastic models.
  • To describe the phenomenon of creep, including the different types of creep curves, constitutive laws, hardening effects.
  • Causes and effects of impact damage on composite materials.
  • Failure criteria for notched and impacted composite laminates.
  • Failure of composite plies and its evaluation in different coordinate systems
  • Failure of laminates and design methods to prevent failure.
  • Interlaminar stresses and delamination growth in composite laminates.
  • Bending and buckling of orthotropic plates and laminates.