Despite recent progress in understanding the outstanding role of shear bands in plastic deformation of metallic glasses, the details of structural changes in the shear-induced zone is not yet known. In order to probe such changes, we determined the distribution of residual strains at short- and medium-range order around a single shear band in cold-rolled Vit105 bulk metallic glass using a nano-focused high energy X-ray beam.

Plastic deformation results in significant residual normal and shear strains at distances of more than 15 μm around the shear band. Based on a detailed analysis of the distribution profile, the magnitude and the direction of the residual shear strain, it is suggested that the shear strain plays a dominant role, compared to the normal strains, for triggering nucleation of further shear bands from a mature shear band.

This article originally appeared in Acta Materialia111, 2016, Pages 187–193.