Crack initiation in metallic glasses under nanoindentation

Yongjian Yang, Jian Luo, Liping Huang, Guangli Hu, K. Deenamma Vargheese, Yunfeng Shi, John C. Mauro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Simulated nanoindentation tests on a model metallic glass reveal that the crack initiates inside a shear band via cavitation. The load-displacement curve was shown to be insensitive to the crack initiation but sensitive to subsequent crack propagation. The critical conditions for crack initiation were identified at both the macroscopic and microscopic levels. At the macroscopic level, the indenter geometry affects the overall critical load for crack initiation. Interestingly, the indentation volume at crack initiation appears to be a constant for different indenter geometries, based on which an analytical formula of the critical load as a function of the indenter geometry was derived. At the microscopic level, cavitation occurs once the normal stress perpendicular to the shear band exceeds a temperature-dependent critical cavitation stress. This critical cavitation stress was shown to reduce significantly upon shear deformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Aug 15 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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