The Zr-based bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) are a new family of attractive materials with good glass-forming ability and excellent mechanical properties, such as high strength and good wear resistance, which make them candidates for structural and biomedical materials. Although the mechanical behavior of BMGs has been widely investigated, their deformation mechanisms are still poorly understood. In particular, their poor ductility significantly impedes their industrial application. In the present work, we show that the ductility of Zr-based BMGs with nearly zero plasticity is improved by a laser shock peening technique. Moreover, we map the distribution of laser-induced residual stresses via the micro-slot cutting method, and then predict them using a three-dimensional finite-element method coupled with a confined plasma model. Reasonable agreement is achieved between the experimental and modeling results. The analyses of serrated flows reveal plentiful and useful information of the underlying deformation process. Our work provides an easy and effective way to extend the ductility of intrinsically-brittle BMGs, opening up wider applications of these materials.
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