Fracture mechanics

Cracks are a hidden threat for mechanical systems and one of the major causes of failure in solid materials. Fracture mechanics is a field of mechanics studying initiation and propagation of cracks. Our mission is to develop novel in situ and real-time monitoring systems for online diagnostic of components and/or structural materials. In this field, our mission is twofold.

  • First, get fundamental understanding of crack growth.

  • Second, develop new in situ and real-time monitoring systems to detect defects and predict the remaining lifetime for components and/or structural materials used in industry.


Selected projects

  • 3D reconstruction of cracks propagation

  • Multi-wire sawing of crystalline solar cells

  • Grinding of single crystal sapphire


Selected publications

  • Shevchik S.A., Meylan B., Violakis G., and Wasmer K., “3D Reconstruction of Cracks Propagation in Mechanical Workpieces Analyzing Non-Stationary Acoustic Mixtures”, Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, Vol. 119, Issue March 2019, pp: 55-64, 2019,

  • Wasmer K., Bidiville A., Van der Meer M., and Ballif C., "Wire-Sawing Processes: Parametrical Study and Modelling", Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol. 132, pp: 392-402, 2015,

  • Bidiville A., Neulist I., Wasmer K., and Ballif C., "Effect of Debris on the Silicon Wafering for Solar Cells", Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol. 95, Issue 8, pp: 2490-2496, 2011,

  • Wasmer K., Pochon P.-M., Sage D., and Giovanola J. H. “Parametric Experimental Study and Design of Experiment Modelling of Sapphire Grinding“, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 141, pp: 323-335, 2017.