The (Zr(48)Cu(36)Al(8)Ag(8))(99.25)Si(0.75)-based bulk metallic glass composite (BMGC) rods ex situ dispersed with Ta particles (with a diameter of 2-4 mm) have been successfully fabricated by suction casting and characterized. These Ta-added BMGCs exhibit similar thermal properties in comparison with its base alloy counterpart, with relatively high glass forming ability (GFA). The results of compression test show that a superior mechanical performance with up to 22% compressive plastic strain, 1800 MPa yield strength and 1850 MPa fracture strength at room temperature can be obtained for the 2 mm diameter rod of the ZrCu-based BMGC with 10 vol.% Ta particles. These ex situ dispersed Ta particles (20 +/- 8 mu m) would arrange as semi-uniform confinement zones to restrict the shear band propagation. In addition, for a given Ta particle size, higher volume fraction particles would lead to more interfacial areas, shorter inter-particle spacings, smaller confinement zone sizes than the smaller volume fraction particles, and results in presenting larger compression plasticity. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING A-STRUCTURAL MATERIALS PROPERTIES MICROSTRUCTURE AND PROCESSING