Inheriting amorphous atomic structures without crystalline lattices, bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) are known to have superior mechanical properties, such as high strength approaching the ideal value, but are susceptible to catastrophic failures. Understanding the plastic-flow dynamics of BMGs is important for achieving stable plastic flow in order to avoid catastrophic failures, especially under tension, where almost all BMGs demonstrate limited plastic flow with catastrophic failure. Previous findings have shown that the plastic flow of BMGs displays critical dynamics under compression tests, however, the plastic-flow dynamics under tension are still unknown. Here we report that power-law critical dynamics can also be achieved in the plastic flow of tensile BMGs by introducing flaws. Differing from the plastic flow under compression, the flaw-induced plastic flow under tension shows an upward trend in the amplitudes of the load drops with time, resulting in a stable plastic-flow stage with a power-law distribution of the load drop. We found that the flaw-induced plastic flow resulted from the stress gradients around the notch roots, and the stable plastic-flow stage increased with the increase of the stress concentration factor ahead of the notch root. The findings are potentially useful for predicting and avoiding the catastrophic failures in tensile BMGs by tailoring the complex stress fields in practical structural-applications.
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