This study was focused on improving the plastic properties of FeSiBP bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) by adding small amount of Cu (0.1-0.6%). BMGs with significant plastic strain of up to around 3.1% and a strength of 3.3 GPa were obtained in our investigation. Multiple shear bands and related shear ledges were observed on the deformed specimen. The high plasticity is attributed to the nano-scale inhomogeneity that results from phase separation, which can hinder the propagation of shear bands, in effect promoting multiple shearing. The characteristic size of the α-Fe nanoparticles embedded in the glassy matrix changed with Cu content. Our results indicated a dependence between the plastic behavior and the size of the α-Fe nanoparticles. A higher Cu content resulted in an increase in the size of the α-Fe nanoparticles. Of all the samples tested in our investigation, the (Fe0.76Si0.096B0.084P0.06)99.9Cu0.1 alloy exhibited the best plastic properties.
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