In Situ Micromechanical Characterization of Metallic Glass Microwires under Torsional Loading


Small-scale metallic glasses have many applications in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and sensors which require good mechanical properties. Bending, tensile and compression properties of metallic glasses at micro/nano-scale have been well investigated previously. In this work, by developing a micro robotic system, we investigated the torsional behavior of Fe-Co based metallic glass microwires inside a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Benefiting from the in situ SEM imaging capability, the fracture behavior of metallic glass microwire has been uncovered clearly. Through the postmortem fractographic analysis, it can be revealed that both spiral stripes and shear bands contributed to the fracture mechanism of the microscale metallic glass. Plastic deformation of the microwires include both homogenous and inhomogeneous plastic strain, which began with the liquid-like region, then a crack formed because of shear bands and propagated along the spiral direction. Although the metallic glass microwire broke in brittle mode, the shear strain was not lower than that of conventional metal wires. Moreover, we found an inverse relationship between the plastic strain and the loading rate.

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This work was supported by the Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Committee under the grant JCYJ20160401100358589, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51301147, 61773326), the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China (Grant Nos. CityU 11209914, CityU 11278716).

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Correspondence to Y. Yang or Y. Shen or Y. Lu.

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Yang Lu is a member of the Society for Experimental Mechanics.

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Fan, S., Jiang, C., Lu, H. et al. In Situ Micromechanical Characterization of Metallic Glass Microwires under Torsional Loading. Exp Mech 59, 361–368 (2019).

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  • Micromechanical testing
  • Metallic glass
  • Microwire
  • Torsion
  • Fracture behavior