Ductile bulk metallic glass by controlling structural heterogeneities

S Scudino and JJ Bian and HS Shahabi and D Sopu and J Sort and J Eckert and G Liu, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 8, 9174 (2018).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-27285-5

A prerequisite to utilize the full potential of structural heterogeneities for improving the room-temperature plastic deformation of bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) is to understand their interaction with the mechanism of shear band formation and propagation. This task requires the ability to artificially create heterogeneous microstructures with controlled morphology and orientation. Here, we analyze the effect of the designed heterogeneities generated by imprinting on the tensile mechanical behavior of the Zr52.5Ti5Cu18Ni14.5Al10 BMG by using experimental and computational methods. The imprinted material is elastically heterogeneous and displays anisotropic mechanical properties: strength and ductility increase with increasing the loading angle between imprints and tensile direction. This behavior occurs through shear band branching and their progressive rotation. Molecular dynamics and finite element simulations indicate that shear band branching and rotation originates at the interface between the heterogeneities, where the characteristic atomistic mechanism responsible for shear banding in a homogeneous glass is perturbed.

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