There exist general conflicts between strength and toughness in crystalline engineering materials, and various strengthening and toughening strategies have been developed from the dislocation motion perspectives. Metallic glasses (MGs) have demonstrated great potentials owing to their unique properties; however, their structural applications are strictly limited. One of the key problems is that the traditional strengthening and toughening strategies and mechanisms are not applicable in MGs due to the absence of dislocations and crystalline microstructures. Here, we show that the strength and toughness, or equivalently the shear modulus and Poisson's ratio, are invariably mutually exclusive in MGs. Accordingly, the MGs can be categorized into four groups with different levels of integrated mechanical properties. It is further revealed that the conflicts originate fundamentally from the atomic bonding structures and the levels of strength-toughness combinations are indeed dominated by the bulk modulus. Moreover, we propose novel strategies for optimizing the mechanical properties of MGs from the elastic perspectives. We emphasize the significance of developing high bulk modulus MGs to achieve simultaneously both high strength and good toughness and highlight the elastic opportunities for strengthening and toughening materials. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.
[liu, z. q.
; zhang, z. f.] chinese acad sci, inst met res, shenyang natl lab mat sci, shenyang 110016, peoples r china.
; zhang, zf (reprint author), chinese acad sci, inst met res, shenyang natl lab mat sci, shenyang 110016, peoples r china.