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Amorphous metals are often referred to as metallic glasses due to their quenched atomic disorder. Do they fracture in the same fashion as silicate glasses? If not, what failure mode(s) do they have?

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After reading some easily found info in www on this subject, I do not dare to say Yes or no. I'd not even say that all examples of amorph. metals would behave the same at fracture. The only thing shure is, that the fracture is in the "brittle" domain. – Georg Nov 13 '11 at 11:58

From memory of working in this area a long time ago, "amorphous metals" aren't really amorphous in the sense that silicate glasses are. They are really crystalline but with a very small grain size and rather disordered grain boundaries. If so they will almost certainly fracture at grain boundaries.

Did you have a particular metal in mind? I'm quite prepared to believe truly amorphous metals have been developed since I was working in the area.


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For example, the alloys produced by liquidmetal technologies. – Richard Terrett Jan 16 '12 at 1:46

I think the answer is not known yet. There are several numerical and theoretical studies of fracture in amorphous solids (see this or this, for example).

Edit: However, it is known that metallic glasses are more fragile than regular amorphous solids.

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