Many engineering metal alloys are valued for their ‘strain-hardening’ properties—a tendency to become stronger the more they are strained, which is crucial for structural applications. Metallic glasses, which represent another class of alloy, have a range of mechanical properties that are enhanced relative to their crystalline counterparts, but tend to exhibit strain-softening rather than strain-hardening. Jie Pan et al. now report a mechanical rejuvenation treatment for bulk metallic glasses that results in a material that retains its amorphous glassy structure (and the associated enhanced mechanical properties) while exhibiting strain-hardening. This suggests that metallic glasses can now be exploited for structural applications.
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