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Extreme rejuvenation and softening in a bulk metallic glass.

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Rejuvenation of metallic glasses, bringing them to higher-energy states, is of interest in improving their plasticity. The mechanisms of rejuvenation are poorly understood, and its limits remain unexplored. We use constrained loading in compression to impose substantial plastic flow on a zirconium-based bulk metallic glass. The maximum measured effects are that the hardness of the glass decreases by 36%, and its excess enthalpy (above the relaxed state) increases to 41% of the enthalpy of melting. Comparably high degrees of rejuvenation have been reported only on microscopic scales at the centre of shear bands confined to low volume fractions. This extreme rejuvenation of a bulk glass gives a state equivalent to that obtainable by quenching the liquid at ~1010 K s-1, many orders of magnitude faster than is possible for bulk specimens. The contrast with earlier results showing relaxation in similar tests under tension emphasizes the importance of hydrostatic stress.



0912 Materials Engineering

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Nat Commun

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
European Research Council (695487)