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Bulk Glass-Forming Metallic Alloys: Science and Technology

  • William L. Johnson

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The following article is based on the MRS Medal talk presented by William L. Johnson at the 1998 MRS Fall Meeting on December 2, 1998. The MRS Medal is awarded for a specific outstanding recent discovery or advancement that has a major impact on the progress of a materials-related field. Johnson received the honor for his development of bulk metallic glass-forming alloys, the fundamental understanding of the thermodynamics and kinetics that control glass formation and crystallization of glass-forming liquids, and the application of these materials in engineering.

The development of bulk glass-forming metallic alloys has led to interesting advances in the science of liquid metals. This article begins with brief remarks about the history and background of the field, then follows with a discussion of multicomponent glass-forming alloys and deep eutectics, the chemical constitution of these new alloys, and how they differ from metallic glasses of a decade ago or earlier. Recent studies of deeply undercooled liquid alloys and the insights made possible by their exceptional stability with respect to crystallization will then be discussed. Advances in this area will be illustrated by several examples. The article then describes some of the physical and specific mechanical properties of bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), and concludes with some interesting potential applications.

The first liquid-metal alloy vitrified by cooling from the molten state to the glass transition was Au-Si, as reported by Duwez at Caltech in 1960. Duwez made this discovery as a result of developing rapid quenching techniques for chilling metallic liquids at very high rates of 105–106 K/s.

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Bulk Glass-Forming Metallic Alloys: Science and Technology

  • William L. Johnson

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