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!
Glass's off-kilter harmonies
18.01.2017 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center
Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level
18.01.2017 | Institute for Basic Science
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy