Localization Lengthscale in Metallic Glass
See an accompanying powerpoint presentation: The aged-rejuvenation-glue-liquid (ARGL) shear band model has been proposed for bulk metallic glasses (Acta Mater. 54 (2006) 4293), based on small-scale molecular dynamics simulations and thermomechanical analysis. The model predicts the existence of a critical lengthscale ~100 nm and timescale ~100 ps, above which melting occurs in shear-alienated glass. Large-scale molecular dynamics simulations with up to 5 million atoms have directly verified these predictions. When the applied stress exceeds the glue traction (computed separately before), we indeed observe maturation of the shear band embryo into bona fide shear crack, accompanied by melting. In contrast, when the applied stress is below the glue traction, the shear band embryo does not propagate, becomes diffuse, and eventually dies. Thus this all-important quantity, the glue traction (a property of shear-alienated glass), controls the macroscopic yield point of well-aged glass. We further suggest that the degree of chemical alienation ("chemical softening"), rather than free volume, is the leading factor governing glue traction.