Low-temperature plastic rheology of calcite plays a significant role in the dynamics of Earth's crust. However, it is technically challenging to study plastic rheology at low temperatures because of the high confining pressures required to inhibit fracturing. Micromechanical tests, such as nanoindentation and micropillar compression, can provide insight into plastic rheology under these conditions because, due to the small scale, plastic deformation can be achieved at low temperatures without the need for secondary confinement. In this study, nanoindentation and micropillar compression experiments were performed on oriented grains within a polycrystalline sample of Carrara marble at temperatures ranging from 23 to 175 °C, using a nanoindenter. Indentation hardness is acquired directly from nanoindentation experiments. These data are then used to calculate yield stress as a function of temperature using numerical approaches that model the stress state under the indenter. Indentation data are complemented by uniaxial micropillar compression experiments. Cylindrical micropillars ∼1 and ∼3 μm in diameter were fabricated using a focused ion beam-based micromachining technique. Yield stress in micropillar experiments is determined directly from the applied load and micropillar dimensions. Mechanical data are fit to constitutive flow laws for low-temperature plasticity and compared to extrapolations of similar flow laws frommore »
The onset of yielding and the related atomic-scale plastic flow behavior of bulk metallic glasses at room temperature have not been fully understood due to the difficulty in performing the atomic-scale plastic deformation experiments needed to gain direct insight into the underlying fundamental deformation mechanisms. Here we overcome these limitations by combining a unique sample preparation method with atomic force microscopy-based indentation, which allows study of the yield stress, onset of yielding, and atomic-scale plastic flow of a platinum-based bulk metallic glass in volumes containing as little as approximately 1000 atoms. Yield stresses markedly higher than in conventional nanoindentation testing were observed, surpassing predictions from current models that relate yield stress to tested volumes; subsequent flow was then established to be homogeneous without exhibiting collective shear localization or loading rate dependence. Overall, variations in glass properties due to fluctuations of free volume are found to be much smaller than previously suggested.
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