Cyclic hardening of metallic glasses under Hertzian contacts: Experiments and STZ dynamics simulations

TitleCyclic hardening of metallic glasses under Hertzian contacts: Experiments and STZ dynamics simulations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsPackard, CE, Homer, ER, Al-Aqeeli, N, Schuh, CA
JournalPhilosophical Magazine
Volume90
Issue10
Pagination1373 - 1390
Date Published2010///
Abstract

A combined program of experiments and simulations is used to study the problem of cyclic indentation loading on metallic glasses. The experiments use a spherical nanoindenter tip to study shear band formation in three glasses (two based on Pd and one on Fe), after subjecting the glass to cycles of load in the nominal elastic range. In all three glasses, such elastic cycles lead to significant increases in the load required to subsequently trigger the first shear band. This cyclic hardening occurs progressively over several cycles, but eventually saturates. The effect requires cycles of sufficient amplitude and is not induced by sustained loading alone. The simulations employed a new shear transformation zone (STZ) dynamics code to reveal the local STZ operations that occur beneath an indenter during cycling. These results reveal a plausible mechanism for the observed cyclic hardening: local regions of confined microplasticity can develop progressively over several cycles, without being detectable in the global load-displacement response. It is inferred that significant structural change must attend such microplasticity, leading to hardening of the glass.