TMR4200 - Fatigue and Fracture of Marine Structures


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home Exam 100/100 4 hours A

Course content

Fatigue and fracture are important potential failure modes for ships and offshore structures. With regard to fatigue, marine structures are in general designed for finite life, requiring detailed knowledge of fatigue strength of the different parts of the structure. Fracture properties are in particular important for structures that are subjected to large strain, for example pipelines during laying operations, and for structures exposed to arctic temperatures where steel materials may become brittle. The course addresses analysis and design methods for welded structures with respect to fatigue and fracture. Emphasis is placed on providing knowledge of materials characterisation and design principles laid down in the most relevant codes and guidelines for design against fatigue and fracture given by NORSOK, DNV, British Standards Institution and American Society for Materials and Testing (ASTM). The theory is illustrated with exercise problems on realistic structures.

Learning outcome

After completion of the course the students will have a thorough understanding of the governing physical phenomena of fatigue and fracture and be able to establish simple calculation models for fatigue and fracture of components in marine structures. The students will be able to:

-Describe the fundamental principles of linear-elastic and elastic-plastic fracture mechanics.
- Understand the theory for analysis of unstable fracture in materials.
- Describe the fracture properties of structural materials, the ductile-to-brittle temperature transition for Carbon steels and the criteria for material characterisation to avoid unstable fracture.
- Understand the failure assessment diagram and be able to use the diagram for quantitative analysis of fracture.
- Understand and use the guideline for fracture design given by BS 7910, Levels 1 and 2.
- Understand the basic mechanisms of fatigue crack initiation and growth in metals.
- Understand and apply fracture mechanics to calculate fatigue crack growth, understand the relationship between SN diagram and the crack growth properties of materials.
- Understand the technological factors that may affect fatigue capacity of welded structures.
- Understand the phenomenon of stress corrosion cracking (SCC), and how materials are characterised with respect to SCC.
- Understand the effect of marine environment and cathodic protection on fatigue initiation and crack growth, and how the effects are accounted for in design.
- Understand the basic theory of cumulative damage, and to calculate fatigue life for structures subjected to stochastic loading.
- Understand and use the guidelines for fatigue design of planar and tubular joints.
- Understand the mechanisms of weld-improvement methods, and the potential and limitations of these methods.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures, exercises, lab demonstrations and a project. 70% of the exercises and the project must be accepted for admission to the final exam. The course is part of an international MSc education and is taught in English when needed.

Compulsory assignments

  • 7 of 10 exercises
  • Exercises, project

Further on evaluation

Examination papers will be given in English only. Students are free to choose Norwegian or English for written assessments.
Postponed/repeated exams may be oral.

Required previous knowledge

Basic materials technology and mechanics of solids.

Course materials

Compendia, lecture notes, exercises, laboratory demonstrations.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIN1047 7.5
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2020

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Marine Technology
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Marine Technology


Examination arrangement: Home examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Home Exam 100/100 A





Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Home Exam 100/100 A INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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