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Nat Commun. 2012 Jan 3;3:609. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1619.

Approaching the ideal elastic limit of metallic glasses.

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Center for Advancing Materials Performance from the Nanoscale & Hysitron Applied Research Center in China, State Key Laboratory for Mechanical Behavior of Materials, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, PR China.


The ideal elastic limit is the upper bound to the stress and elastic strain a material can withstand. This intrinsic property has been widely studied for crystalline metals, both theoretically and experimentally. For metallic glasses, however, the ideal elastic limit remains poorly characterized and understood. Here we show that the elastic strain limit and the corresponding strength of submicron-sized metallic glass specimens are about twice as high as the already impressive elastic limit observed in bulk metallic glass samples, in line with model predictions of the ideal elastic limit of metallic glasses. We achieve this by employing an in situ transmission electron microscope tensile deformation technique. Furthermore, we propose an alternative mechanism for the apparent 'work hardening' behaviour observed in the tensile stress-strain curves.

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