Dilatancy of Shear Transformations in a Colloidal Glass

19 Jul 2017  ·  Lu Y. Z., Jiang M. Q., Lu X., Qin Z. X., Huang Y. J., Shen J. ·

Shear transformations, as fundamental rearrangement events operating in local regions, hold the key of plastic flow of amorphous solids. Despite their importance, the dynamic features of shear transformations are far from clear... Here, we use a colloidal glass under shear as the prototype to directly observe the shear transformation events in real space. By tracing the colloidal particle rearrangements, we quantitatively determine two basic properties of shear transformations: local shear strain and dilatation (or free volume). It is revealed that the local free volume undergoes a significantly temporary increase prior to shear transformations, eventually leading to a jump of local shear strain. We clearly demonstrate that shear transformations have no memory of the initial free volume of local regions. Instead, their emergence strongly depends on the dilatancy ability of these regions, i.e., the dynamic creation of free volume. More specifically, the particles processing the high dilatancy ability directly participate in subsequent shear transformations. These results experimentally support the Argon's statement about the dilatancy nature of shear transformations, and also shed insight into the structural origin of amorphous plasticity. read more

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Materials Science Soft Condensed Matter