Nano-Dual-Phase Metallic Glass Film Enhances Strength and Ductility of a Gradient Nanograined Magnesium Alloy

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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  • Yong Liu
  • Qing Wang
  • Xiaowei Liu
  • Yan Bao
  • Ge Wu


Original languageEnglish
Article number2001480
Journal / PublicationAdvanced Science
Publication statusOnline published - 16 Aug 2020



Magnesium (Mg) alloys are good candidates for applications with requirement of energy saving, taking advantage of their low density. However, the fewer slip systems of the hexagonal-close-packed (hcp) structure restrict ductility of Mg alloys. Here, a hybrid nanostructure concept is presented by combining nano-dual-phase metallic glass (NDP-MG) and gradient nanograin structure in Mg alloys to achieve a higher yield strength (230 MPa, 31% improvement compared with the reference base alloy) and larger ductility (20%, threefold higher than the SMAT-H sample), which breaks the strength–ductility trade-off dilemma. This hybrid nanostructure is realized by surface mechanical attrition treatment (SMAT) on the surface of a crystalline Mg alloy, and followed by physical vapor deposition of a Mg-based NDP-MG. The higher strength is provided by the nanograin layer generated by SMAT. The larger ductility is a synergistic effect of multiple shear bandings and nanocrystallization of the NDP-MG, inhibition of crack propagation from the SMATed nanograined structure by the NDP-MG, and strain-induced grain growth in the SMATed nanograin layer. This hybrid nanostructure design provides a general route to render brittle alloys stronger and ductile, especially in hcp systems.

Research Area(s)

  • gradient nanograined materials, grain growth, magnesium alloys, metallic glasses, shear bands

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