Suppression of Shear Banding and Transition to Necking and Homogeneous Flow in Nanoglass Nanopillars

S Adibi and PS Branicio and SP Joshi, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 5, 15611 (2015).

DOI: 10.1038/srep15611

In order to improve the properties of metallic glasses (MG) a new type of MG structure, composed of nanoscale grains, referred to as nanoglass (NG), has been recently proposed. Here, we use large-scale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of tensile loading to investigate the deformation and failure mechanisms of Cu64Zr36 NG nanopillars with large, experimentally accessible, 50 nm diameter. Our results reveal NG ductility and failure by necking below the average glassy grain size of 20 nm, in contrast to brittle failure by shear band propagation in MG nanopillars. Moreover, the results predict substantially larger ductility in NG nanopillars compared with previous predictions of MD simulations of bulk NG models with columnar grains. The results, in excellent agreement with experimental data, highlight the substantial enhancement of plasticity induced in experimentally relevant MG samples by the use of nanoglass architectures and point out to exciting novel applications of these materials.

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