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Quasibrittle Fracture Mechanics and Size Effect

A First Course

Zdenek P. Bažant, Jia-Liang Le, and Marco Salviato

Publication Date - 19 January 2022

ISBN: 9780192846242

336 pages
9.7 x 6.7 inches

In Stock


Many modern engineering structures are composed of brittle heterogenous, or quasibrittle, materials. These include concrete, composites, tough ceramics, rocks, cold asphalt mixtures, and many brittle materials at the microscale. Understanding the failure behavior of these materials is of paramount importance for improving the resilience and sustainability of various engineering structures including civil infrastructure, aircraft, ships, military armors, and microelectronic devices.

Designed for graduate and upper-level undergraduate university courses, this textbook provides a comprehensive treatment of quasibrittle fracture mechanics. It includes a concise but rigorous examination of linear elastic fracture mechanics, which is the foundation of all fracture mechanics. It also covers the fundamental concepts of nonlinear fracture mechanics, and introduces more advanced concepts such as triaxial stress state in the fracture process zone, nonlocal continuum models, and discrete computational models.

Finally, the book features extensive discussion of the various practical applications of quasibrittle fracture mechanics across different structures and engineering disciplines, and throughout includes exercises and problems for students to test their understanding.


  • Offers the most up-to-date introduction to the subject, including its challenges and practical applications
  • Includes carefully designed exercises and problems, enabling students to test their understanding
  • Provides necessary background in linear elastic fracture mechanics so no prior knowledge of the subject is required
  • Broad, interdisciplinary examination of the applications which will appeal to students and researchers in various engineering disciplines, as well as geology and materials science

About the Author(s)

Zdenek P. Bažant, Distinguished McCormick Institute Professor and Walter P. Murphy Professor, Department of Material Sciences and Engineering Northwestern University,Jia-Liang Le, Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering, University of Minnesota,Marco Salviato, Associate Professor, William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington

Born and educated in Prague, Professor Zdenek P. Bažant joined Northwestern University in 1969, where he has been W. P. Murphy Professor since 1990 and McCormick Institute Professor since 2002. He has served as the President of the Society of Engineering Science (1993), and was the founding President (1991-93) of the International Association of Fracture Mechanics of Concrete Structures and the founding President (2001-2002) of the International Association of Concrete Creep and Durability Mechanics. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Freudenthal Medal in 2018, the ASME Medal in 2017, and the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art in 2016. He is the author of six books and is generally regarded as the world leader in research on scaling in the mechanics of solids.

Dr. Jia-Liang Le is a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering at the University of Minnesota. He earned his B. Eng. (First Class Honors) and M. Eng. from the National University of Singapore, and a Ph.D. in structural engineering from Northwestern University. He is a registered professional engineer and a member of ASCE, ACI, and SES. His research interests include fracture mechanics, probabilistic mechanics, scaling, computational mechanics, and structural reliability. He received the Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, the EMI Leonardo da Vinci Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Young Investigator Medal for the Society of Engineering Science.

Dr. Marco Salviato is an associate professor in the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington. He earned his B.Sc. (First Class Honors) and M.Sc (First Class Honors) in mechanical engineering, and a Ph.D in theoretical and applied mechanics from the University of Padova. He is a registered professional engineer and a member of ASCE, ASME, SES, ASEE, and ASC. His research interests include computational modelling of composites and nanocomposites, integrated computational materials engineering, and stochastic finite element modelling. He is the recipient of the Haythornthwaite Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the DEStech Young Composites Researcher Award from the American Society for Composites.

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Fundamentals of Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics
    3. Nonlinear Fracture Mechanics - Line Crack Idealization
    4. Nonlinear Fracture Mechanics - Diffuse Crack Model
    5. Energetic Size Effect in Quasibrittle Fracture
    6. Probabilistic Theory of Quasibrittle Fracture
    7. Quasibrittle Size Effect Analysis in Practical Problems
    8. Overview of History

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