Highly time-resolved mechanical measurements, modeling, and simulations show that large shear bands in bulk metallic glasses nucleate in a manner similar to cracks. When small slips reach a nucleation size, the dynamics changes and the shear band rapidly grows to span the entire sample. Smaller nucleation sizes imply lower ductility. Ductility can be increased by increasing the nucleation size relative to the maximum (“cutoff”) shear band size at the upper edge of the power law scaling range of their size distribution. This can be achieved in three ways: (1) by increasing the nucleation size beyond this cutoff size of the shear bands, (2) by keeping all shear bands smaller than the nucleation size, or (3) by choosing a sample size smaller than the nucleation size. The discussed methods can also be used to rapidly order metallic glasses according to ductility.
Long, Alan A.; Wright, Wendelin; Gu, Xiaojun; Thackray, Anna; Nakib, Mayisha; Uhl, Jonathan T.; and Dahmen, Karin A.. "Experimental evidence that shear bands in metallic glasses nucleate like cracks." (2022) : 18499.