Strain, stress and stress relaxation in oxidized ZrCuAl-based bulk metallic glass

Saber Haratian*, Frank Nießen, Flemming Bjerg Grumsen, Mitchell J.B. Nancarrow, Elena V. Pereloma, Matteo Villa, Thomas L. Christiansen, Marcel A. J. Somers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Surface engineering of Zr 51.3 Al 8.5 Cu 31.3 Ni 4 Ti 4.9 bulk metallic glass (BMG) by gaseous oxidizing below the glass-transition temperature is investigated as a means to introduce compressive residual stress in the surface region. The ZrCuAl-based BMG was exposed to an extremely low oxygen partial pressure of 10−41 bar at 600 K for 60 h. The oxidizing treatment led to the formation of an internal oxidation zone, consisting of finely dispersed nano-crystalline cubic ZrO 2 (c-ZrO2 ), metallic regions inclined with the surface and Cu-hillocks at the surface. The stresses introduced by the volume expansion associated with oxidation were evaluated from i) the lattice strains within c-ZrO2 , as determined with an X-ray diffraction (XRD) based method, and ii) strain-relaxation as a response to annular focused ion beam (FIB) milling, as monitored with digital image correlation (DIC). XRD analysis yielded -1.5 GPa (compressive stress) in the nano-crystalline c-ZrO2 , while the strain relaxation monitored with FIB-DIC analysis indicated compressive residual stresses of −1.4 GPa in the internal oxidation zone. The strains and stresses determined with the independent measurement methods are discussed. The quantitative macro-strains are discussed in relation to the microstructural features and stress relaxation mechanisms during evolution of the internal oxidation zone.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Materialia
Pages (from-to)674-685
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • ZrCuAl-based bulk metallic glass
  • Gaseous Oxidizing
  • Self-healing mechanism
  • Residual stress
  • X-ray diffraction sin 2 ψ method
  • FIB-DIC method


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