Ductility refers to a material's plasticity, or its ability to change shape without breaking.
"Most of us think of glasses as brittle, but our finding shows that any glass can be made ductile or brittle," said Jan Schroers, a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Yale, who led the research with Golden Kumar, a professor at Texas Tech University. "We identified a special temperature that tells you whether you form a ductile or brittle glass."
The key to forming a ductile glass, they said, is cooling it fast. Exactly how fast depends on the nature of the specific glass.
Focusing on a new group of glasses known as bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) — metal alloys, or blends, that can be extremely pliable yet also as strong as steel — researchers studied the effect of a so-called critical fictive temperature (CFT) on the glasses' mechanical properties at room temperature.
When forming from liquid, there is a temperature at which glass becomes too viscous for reconfiguration and freezes. This temperature is called the glass transition temperature. Based on experiments with three representative bulk metallic glasses, the researchers said there is also, for each distinct alloy, a critical temperature that determines the brittleness or plasticity of the glass. This is the CFT.
Researchers said it's possible to categorize glasses in two groups — those that will be brittle because in liquid form their CFT is above the glass transition temperature, and those that will be ductile, because in liquid form their CFT is below the glass transition temperature.
They previously thought a liquid's chemical composition alone would determine whether a glass would be brittle or ductile.
"That's not the case," Schroers said. "We can make any glass theoretically ductile or brittle. And it is the critical fictive temperature which determines how experimentally difficult it is to make a ductile glass. That is the major contribution of this work."
The finding applies theoretically to all glasses, not metallic glasses only, he said.
"A glass can have completely different properties depending on the rate at which you cool it," Schroers said. "If you cool it fast, it is very ductile, and if you cool it slow it¹s very brittle. We anticipate that our finding will contribute to the design of ductile glasses, and in general contribute to a deeper understanding of glass formation."
The paper's lead author is Golden Kumar of Texas Tech University. Pascal Neibecker of the University of Augsburg in Germany and Yanhui Liu of Yale are co-authors.
The U.S. Department of Energy provided support for the research.
Eric Gershon | EurekAlert!
One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests
15.12.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology
Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences