The plastic flow of bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) is characterized by intermittent bursts of avalanches, and this trend results in disastrous failures of BMGs. In the present work, a double-side-notched BMG specimen is designed, which exhibits chaotic plastic flows consisting of several catastrophic avalanches under the applied loading. The disastrous shear avalanches have, then, been delayed by forming a stable plastic-flow stage in the specimens with tailored distances between the bottoms of the notches, where the distribution of a complex stress field is acquired. Differing from the conventional compressive testing results, such a delaying process is independent of loading rate. The statistical analysis shows that in the specimens with delayed catastrophic failures, the plastic flow can evolve to a critical dynamics, making the catastrophic failure more predictable than the ones with chaotic plastic flows. The findings are of significance in understanding the plastic-flow mechanisms in BMGs and controlling the avalanches in relating solids.
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