In this paper, a systematic numerical simulation was performed to elucidate the damage mechanisms in bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) subjected to the tension-compression cyclic loading, and then the relation between fatigue life, applied strain, and cycling frequency was therefore presented. The free volume was selected as an internal state variable to depict the shear-band nucleation, growth, and coalescence with the help of free volume theory, which was incorporated into the ABAQUS code via a user material subroutine UMAT. Under cyclic loading, the shear banding initiation mainly stems from the microstructure inhomogeneity in BMGs and, further, the effect of applied strain amplitude and cycling frequency was discussed. The present simulations will shed some light on the fatigue damage mechanisms and fatigue life evaluation of BMG structures.
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