Atomic arrangement in CuZr-based metallic glass composites under tensile deformation
Lacking macroscopic plasticity severely limits structure applications of bulk metallic glasses (BMGs). In general, particle-reinforced BMGs have an enhanced ductility but show reduced strength, whereas body-centered-cubic CuZr phase (B2 phase)-reinforced bulk MGs display improved ductility and strength. The underlying reason for the improvement in B2 phase-reinforced BMGs is still ambiguous. Herein, the atomic arrangement in Cu48Zr48Al4 BMGs with and without the B2 phase under tensile deformation is studied using molecular dynamics simulation. Different from pure MG where shear transformation zones (STZs) are activated along the same direction to form the domain shear band, STZs in the B2 phase-reinforced MG are activated along different directions disturbing the formation of a domain shear band. More plastic deformation and increased stress are allowed because of the phase transformations of B2 phases. The revealed deformation mechanism of B2 phase-reinforced MGs enables us to design heterogeneous structures with excellent strength and toughness.