Yielding in multicomponent metallic glasses: Universal signatures of elastic modulus heterogeneities

K Karimi and MJ Alava and S Papanikolaou, PHYSICAL REVIEW MATERIALS, 7, 063601 (2023).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.7.063601

Sheared multicomponent bulk metallic glasses are characterized by both chemical and structural disorder that define their properties. We investigate the behavior of the local, microstructural elastic modulus across the plastic yielding transition in six Ni-based multicomponent glasses, that are characterized by compositional features commonly associated with solid solution formability. We find that elastic modulus fluctuations display consistent percolation characteristics pointing towards universal behavior across chemical compositions and overall yielding sharpness characteristics. Elastic heterogeneity grows upon shearing via the percolation of elastically soft clusters within an otherwise rigid amorphous matrix, confirming prior investigations in granular media and colloidal glasses. We find clear signatures of percolation transition with spanning clusters that are universally characterized by scale-free characteristics and critical scaling exponents. The spatial correlation length and mean cluster size tend to diverge prior to yielding, with associated critical exponents that exhibit fairly weak dependence on compositional variations as well as macroscopic stress-strain curve details.

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