Understanding Fracture Behavior in Materials Using Cheese

By Jessica Anne Krogstad1, Nicole E Johnson-Glauch1, Kaitlin Tyler1, Rachael Mansbach1, Andrew Ferguson1

1. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

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This is a resource from the Girls Learning About Materials (GLAM) outreach camp run at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The learning objectives for this activity are:

  1. Students will compare and contrast different types of fracture behavior (ductile/brittle).
  2. Students will understand how to characterize fracture properties.
  3. Students will apply their knowledge of fracture to predict how different cheeses will fail.
  4. Students will discuss how geometry plays a role in fracture behavior.

Note: The download bundle contains python scripts that simulate the fracture. A companion lecture is available for this lab exercise.


Jessica Krogstad is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Her research focuses on structural materials in extreme environments.  She has also been the faculty coordinator for GLAM (Girls Learning About Materials) since 2015.

Sponsored by

Girls Learning About Materials (GLAM), Women in Engineering

Support for this activity is provided in part by NSF CAREER Award No. 1654182.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Jessica Anne Krogstad, Nicole E Johnson-Glauch, Kaitlin Tyler, Rachael Mansbach, Andrew Ferguson (2018), "Understanding Fracture Behavior in Materials Using Cheese," https://nanohub.org/resources/28588.

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