Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Mechanical Behavior of Materials

ME 56900 / 3 Cr. (3 Class)

How loading and environmental conditions can influence the behavior of materials in service. Elastic and plastic behavior, fracture, fatigue, low- and high-temperature behavior. Introduction to fracture mechanics. Emphasis is on methods of treating these conditions in design.


N.E. Dowling, Mechanical Behavior of Materials, 3rd Edition.


To develop methods for characterization of the mechanical behavior of materials. Elastic and plastic behavior, fracture fatigue, environmental effects and composites will be discussed. The mechanical engineer can select the best material for a particular application from a better under- standing of the material behavior.


After completion of this course, the students should be able to:

  1. Explain the concepts of elastic, plastic, fatigue, fracture and creep behavior of materials [a] 
  2. Solve basic problems of finding stresses under various loading conditions [e] 
  3. Explain the plane strain, plane stress and 3D stress state concepts, and evaluate the principal stresses and strains [a] 
  4. Explain various failure theories for brittle and ductile materials and evaluate the conditions for failure [a] 
  5. Explain various defects in materials and the factors affecting the mechanical and failure behavior [a] 
  6. Use the concept of linear elastic fracture mechanics, and estimate the effect of cracks in materials and structures [a] 
  7. Explain the concept of fracture toughness and its use in engineering design [e] 
  8. Evaluate fracture toughness from various methods [a] 
  9. Explain the concepts of stress based fatigue, strain based fatigue, and fatigue crack-growth [a] 
  10. Evaluate fatigue life for materials using various methods [a] 
  11. Compare the mechanical, fatigue and fracture properties of materials [a] 
  12. Predict the fatigue failure properties of structures and materials [a] 
  13. Explain creep and stress rupture concepts for materials [a] 
  14. Analyze structures for stresses and deformations and predict failures [e] 
  15. Select a material for specific design application given the loading environment [e] 
  16. Write individual reports utilizing a peer-review process [g]

Note: The letters within the brackets indicate the general program outcomes of mechanical engineering. See: ME Program Outcomes.

  1. Overview of mechanical behavior
  2. Elastic behavior
  3. Plastic behavior
  4. Fracture mechanics
  5. Fatigue and crack-growth behavior
  6. Composite material behavior
  7. Creep and stress rupture behavior