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Statistical Fracture Theories

  1. Stefano Zapperi1,2,
  2. Phani K. V. V. Nukala3,
  3. Mikko J. Alava4

Published Online: 20 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118097298.weoc235

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

How to Cite

Zapperi, S., Nukala, P. K. V. V. and Alava, M. J. 2012. Statistical Fracture Theories. Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites. 1–6.

Author Information

  1. 1

    CNR-IENI, Milano, Italy

  2. 2

    ISI Foundation, Torino, Italy

  3. 3

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

  4. 4

    Aalto University, Aalto, Finland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUL 2012


In this article, we review theories and models used to account for size effects in the fracture of disordered media. We discuss extreme value statistics, fiber bundle models (FBMs), and network models of fracture. We briefly discuss the application of these concepts to the failure of composites.


  • fracture;
  • size effects;
  • statistical theories;
  • fiber bundle models;
  • network models