The stochastic transition from size dependent to size independent yield strength in metallic glasses

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

23 Scopus Citations
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  • S. Wang
  • H. Zhang
  • B.A. Sun
  • Y. Lu


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-216
Journal / PublicationJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Online published5 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


It has been an enduring and heated debate whether the yield strength of metallic glasses (MGs) is size dependent or size independent. In this work, we first develop a micromechanical model by taking into account the stochasticity for shear band initiation in microcompression. Our modeling is subsequently verified through the extensive in-situ and ex-situ microcompression experiments. Through the efforts of combined experiments and modeling, we show a size-controlled stochastic transition from the size dependent to the size independent yield strength in the MG micropillars. Such a stochastic transition is featured with a strong fluctuation in the measured yield strengths when the micropillar size is near an intrinsic length scale which varies with the chemical composition of MGs. In contrast, such a size-controlled transition appear deterministic with little data scattering in tension. At the fundamental level, our results unfold a size dependent shear band initiation process in MGs, which may be applicable to other amorphous materials of technological importance.

Research Area(s)

  • Metallic glasses, Shear band initiation, Size effect, Theoretical modeling