Over centuries, structural glasses have been deemed as a strong yet inherently 'brittle' material due to their lack of tensile ductility. However, here we report bulk metallic glasses exhibiting both a high strength of ~2 GPa and an unprecedented tensile elongation of 2-4% at room temperature. Our experiments have demonstrated that intense structural evolution can be triggered in theses glasses by the carefully controlled surface mechanical attrition treatment, leading to the formation of gradient amorphous microstructures across the sample thickness. As a result, the engineered amorphous microstructures effectively promote multiple shear banding while delay cavitation in the bulk metallic glass, thus resulting in superior tensile ductility. The outcome of our research uncovers an unusual work-hardening mechanism in monolithic bulk metallic glasses and demonstrates a promising yet low-cost strategy suitable for producing large-sized, ultra-strong and stretchable structural glasses.
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