SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2000

Fracture Mechanics: Forgotten German and Austrian Pioneers of the Turn of the 20th Century


This contribution gives an overview of the early history of fracture mechanics and highlights the contributions of Karl Wieghardt and Alfons Leon to the development of the basic analytical equations of fracture mechanics. It is shown that the work of these pioneers anticipated many of the later developments by several decades. It will also be shown that particularly the work by Wieghardt was in fact directly related to a practical failure case and the neglect of his fundamental paper is unjustified.

Author Information

Rossmanith, HP
Institute of Mechanics, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
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Developed by Committee: E08
Pages: 347–356
DOI: 10.1520/STP13413S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5418-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2617-6