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Flaw-Insensitive Fracture of a Micrometer-Sized Brittle Metallic Glass

35 Pages Posted: 18 May 2021 Publication Status: Under Review

See all articles by Rui-Tao Qu

Rui-Tao Qu

University of Göttingen - Institute of Materials Physics

Robert Maaß

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory

Zengqian Liu

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - Institute of Metal Research; Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - Laboratory of Fatigue and Fracture for Materials

Dominik Tönnies

University of Göttingen - Institute of Materials Physics

Lin Tian

University of Göttingen - Institute of Materials Physics

Robert O. Ritchie

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Zhefeng Zhang

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - Institute of Metal Research; University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) - School of Materials Science and Engineering; Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - Materials Fatigue and Fracture Division; Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

Cynthia A. Volkert

University of Göttingen - Institute of Materials Physics

Abstract

Brittle materials, such as oxide glasses, are usually very sensitive to flaws, giving rise to a macroscopic fracture strength that is much lower than that predicted by theory. The same applies to bulk-metallic glasses (BMGs), with the important difference that these glasses can exhibit certain plastic strain prior to the catastrophic failure. Here we consider the strongest metallic alloy known, a ternary Co55Ta10B35 BMG. We show that this macroscopically brittle glass is flaw-insensitive at the micrometer scale. This discovery emerges when the testing pre-cracked specimens with self-similar geometries, where the fracture stress does not decrease with increasing pre-crack size. The fracture toughness of this ultra-strong glassy alloy is further shown to increase with increasing sample size. Both these findings deviate from our classical understanding of fracture mechanics, and are attributed to a transition from toughness-controlled to strength-controlled fracture below a critical sample size.

Keywords: Bulk metallic glass, fracture toughness, size effect, small-scale

Suggested Citation

Qu, Rui-Tao and Maaß, Robert and Liu, Zengqian and Tönnies, Dominik and Tian, Lin and Ritchie, Robert O. and Zhang, Zhefeng and Volkert, Cynthia A., Flaw-Insensitive Fracture of a Micrometer-Sized Brittle Metallic Glass. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3848993 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3848993

Rui-Tao Qu

University of Göttingen - Institute of Materials Physics ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Robert Maaß

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Zengqian Liu

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - Institute of Metal Research

52 Sanlihe Rd.
Datun Road, Anwai
Beijing, Xicheng District 100864
China

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - Laboratory of Fatigue and Fracture for Materials

China

Dominik Tönnies

University of Göttingen - Institute of Materials Physics

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Lin Tian

University of Göttingen - Institute of Materials Physics

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Robert O. Ritchie

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Materials Science and Engineering ( email )

Berkeley, CA
United States

Zhefeng Zhang

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - Institute of Metal Research

52 Sanlihe Rd.
Datun Road, Anwai
Beijing, Xicheng District 100864
China

University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) - School of Materials Science and Engineering

96 Jinzhai Road
Hefei, Anhui 230026
China

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - Materials Fatigue and Fracture Division ( email )

52 Sanlihe Rd.
Datun Road, Anwai
Beijing, Xicheng District 100864
China

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - University of Chinese Academy of Sciences ( email )

Building 7, NO. 80 Zhongguancun Road
Beijing, Beijing 100190
China

Cynthia A. Volkert (Contact Author)

University of Göttingen - Institute of Materials Physics ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

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