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Introduction to Fatigue and Fracture Analysis

Gas Turbine 5
  • 16 February - 18 February 2015
  • Duration: 3 Days
  • Location: Cranfield campus

The School of Engineering at Cranfield has, for many years, had one of the largest programmes in the world of short courses in Gas Turbine Technology. The course aims to enable delegates to determine the life cycle of machines and machine components.

Fatigue and fracture are essentially two sides of the same coin since they both give us insight into the nature of cyclic failure and both allow us to determine the cyclic life of a component under particular conditions. Of course, fatigue is almost completely empirical in nature and based upon experience of broken components going back to the age when wheels first fell off railway rolling stock. Fracture, whilst still leaning heavily on practical test, is much more analytical in nature, being based upon an analytical model of the small flaw (imperfection) which all failed components can be assumed to have held before finally leading to their failure.

  • Course objectives

    On completion of the course, the attendee will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts and theories of fatigue and fracture and be able to adopt them to undertake calculations.

    The course introduces delegates to the problems involved in lifing machines, or machine components, for cyclic loading. It will deal with what is, without doubt, the most damaging of the failure modes, which we know as fatigue, arising as it does from the repeated application of a load, as for examples when we re-use a gas turbine many times (LCF) or when a component within the gas turbine vibrates (HCF).

    It is not intended to dwell on the metallurgical nature of fatigue but instead to introduce delegates to some of the basic concepts, and resulting methods of calculation, with the aid of which engineers have managed to design for fatigue over the years. Calculating techniques from both the well-established fatigue design approach (SN Diagrams, Goodman Diagrams, Neuber Rule) and from the fracture mechanics approach (Stress Intensity, Paris Curve, Walker etc) will be used.

  • Course topics

    • Brief overview of conventional stress based lifing methods and the estimation of factor of safety using Goodman Diagrams
    • Multi-axial fatigue:  The use of Sines method to estimate equivalent mean and alternating stresses
    • Cycle counting methods involving variation in fatigue stress concentration factor, in particular the ‘Rainflow Cycle Counting Method’
    • Low cycle fatigue: The significance of using strain based methods as opposed to stress based methods; The use of the Neuber and Linear rules in conjunction with the Coffin and Manson equation or Manson’s Equal slopes equation to estimate the cyclic life of a component
    • Introduction to linear elastic fracture mechanics and the use of the Paris equation to estimate the cracked life of a component
    • Lifting philosophies including deterministic, damage tolerance and probabilistic methodologies.
  • Who should attend

    There are no particular requirements for those attending this course except an interest in Cyclic Failure. The standard of the course is fairly fundamental, that is, it is not a forum for the latest theories, and the mathematics involved are fairly basic. Accordingly, attendees will derive additional benefit from the varied backgrounds and experience drawn from many UK and overseas organisations.

  • Speakers

    The course is presented through lectures and tutorials conducted by members of Cranfield University’s staff all of whom have considerable academic and industrial experience. Additional lectures will be presented by senior engineers from industry.
  • Course delivery

    This three-day course is presented through lectures and tutorials. Printed supplements are provided for much of the material covered in the course. A number of worked examples are undertaken by the delegates. Active participation from the delegates is strongly encouraged. All delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion of this course.
  • Course fee


    The course fee includes refreshments and lunch during the day. Accommodation is not included and must be booked separately.

    Where more than five delegates are booking from within one site of one organisation, a discount of 10% will apply to the invoice for the course tuition fee. Accommodation fees are not included in the discount scheme at time of booking.
  • Location and travel details

    Cranfield campus

    Cranfield University is located at the very heart of the UK – within the innovation triangle between London and the cities of Oxford and Cambridge.

    Our central location provides easy access from the M1, excellent main line rail service as well as proximity to key international airports. Set in rolling countryside, Cranfield offers a rich, rural landscape complemented by thriving towns and picturesque villages.

    • Road: We are just 10 minutes from Junctions 13 and 14 of the M1 motorway. There is free parking on campus.
    • Rail: Milton Keynes or Bedford
    • Air: London Luton (22 miles), Heathrow (50 miles) or Birmingham (70 miles).

    View our location maps

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation is available at Mitchell Hall which is located on campus. All rooms are en-suite and bookings are on a half-board basis from the day before the course commences until the final day of teaching. If you would like to book accommodation for this short course at Mitchell Hall, please indicate this on the registration form and we will arrange this for you. 

    Alternatively, you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Read our  Professional development (CPD) booking conditions