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Softening caused by profuse shear banding in a bulk metallic glass.

Bei H, Xie S, George EP.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 37996, USA.

By controlling the specimen aspect ratio and strain rate, compressive strains as high as 80% were obtained in an otherwise brittle metallic glass. Physical and mechanical properties were measured after deformation, and a systematic strain-induced softening was observed which contrasts sharply with the hardening typically observed in crystalline metals. If the deformed glass is treated as a composite of hard amorphous grains surrounded by soft shear-band boundaries, analogous to nanocrystalline materials that exhibit inverse Hall-Petch behavior, the correct functional form for the dependence of hardness on shear-band spacing is obtained. Deformation-induced softening leads naturally to shear localization and brittle fracture.

PMID: 16605757 [PubMed]