Self-organized intermittent plastic flow in bulk metallic glasses

G. Wang, Kang Cheung Chan, L. Xia, P. Yu, J. Shen, W. H. Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

169 Citations (Scopus)


Under stress, bulk metallic glasses irreversibly deform through shear banding processes that manifest as serrated flow behavior. These serration events exhibit a shock-and-aftershock, earthquake-like behavior. Statistical analysis shows that the shear avalanches can self-organize to a critical state (SOC). In analogy to the smooth macroscopic-scale crystalline plasticity that arises from the spatio-temporal averages of disruptive earthquake-like events at the nanometer scale, shear avalanches in glassy metals are another model system that can be used to study SOC behavior. With our understanding of SOC behavior, we further demonstrate how to enhance the plasticity of glassy (brittle) materials. It is expected that the findings can be extended to other glassy or brittle materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6146-6155
Number of pages10
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Bulk metallic glasses
  • Intermittent avalanche
  • Plastic deformation
  • Self-organized critical behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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