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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mechanical Behavior of Materials, Part 3: Time Dependent Behavior and Failure

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX


All around us, engineers are creating materials whose properties are exactly tailored to their purpose. This course is the third of three in a series of mechanics courses from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. Taken together, these courses provide similar content to the MIT subject 3.032: Mechanical Behavior of Materials.

The 3.032x series provides an introduction to the mechanical behavior of materials, from both the continuum and atomistic points of view. At the continuum level, we learn how forces and displacements translate into stress and strain distributions within the material. At the atomistic level, we learn the mechanisms that control the mechanical properties of materials. Examples are drawn from metals, ceramics, glasses, polymers, biomaterials, composites and cellular materials.

Part 3 covers viscoelasticity (behavior intermediate to that of an elastic solid and that of a viscous fluid), plasticity (permanent deformation), creep in crystalline materials (time dependent behavior), brittle fracture (rapid crack propagation) and fatigue (failure due to repeated loading of a material).


Week 1: Linear viscoelasticity Spring-dashpot models Dynamic mechanical measurements Molecular basis for linear viscoelasticity Viscoelasticity in biomaterials
Week 2: Plasticity Yield criteria Dislocations
Week 3: Dislocation mechanics Hardening mechanisms
Week 4: Creep in crystalline materials Mechanisms of creep Deformation mechanism maps Creep fracture
Week 5: Fracture mechanics Mechanisms of fast fracture Fatigue
Week 6: Final Quiz

Taught by

Lorna J. Gibson

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