Atomistic understanding of deformation-induced heterogeneities in wire drawing and their effects on the tensile ductility of metallic glass wires

Lei Zhao, Kangcheung Chan, Shidong Feng, Xianzheng Lu, Shunhua Chen, Gang Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Compared to crystalline metals, metallic glasses (MGs) show an exceptional feature of improved ductility after being mechanically processed by wire drawing. However, its underlying mechanisms have not yet been fully elucidated. In this study, with the aid of atomistic simulations, wire drawing and subsequent tensile loading were performed on MG nanowires to systematically investigate the deformation mechanisms of MGs in wire drawing, the deformation-induced heterogeneities and their influences on the tensile ductility. The results revealed that the deformation mechanisms of MGs in wire drawing are closely associated with the area reduction ratio (R): at a small R of 4.7%, the area reduction is realized via shear transformations of atoms near the surface, leaving the core intact; while at a large R of 9.3%, it relies on the formation of multiple spatially distributed shear bands that redistributes the plasticity throughout the sample. The deformation-induced heterogeneities were understood through the detailed analysis of the resultant residual strain and stresses, the gradient rejuvenated amorphous structures, the unique free volume distribution and spatially distributed shear bands. Moreover, the tensile simulations revealed improved ductility synchronized with decreased yield strength of the drawn samples. The improved ductility is attributed to the synergistic effects of three beneficial factors: 1) The surface compressive residual axial stress leads to a shift of the yield sites from the surface to the core, suppressing the rapid formation of shear bands; 2) The rejuvenated structures near the surface constrain and accommodate the plastic deformation in the core; 3) The spatially distributed shear bands, generated at large R, serve as heterogeneous nucleation sites for highly dispersed plastic shearing. The findings provide a comprehensive elucidation of the deformation-induced heterogeneities of MGs in wire drawing and establish a physical relationship between these heterogeneities and mechanical properties, which can serve to interpret the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-204
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2019


  • Deformation-induced heterogeneities
  • Metallic glass
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Tensile ductility
  • Wire drawing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this