We have developed a new type of mechanical testing machine for micro-sized specimens, which can apply a small static or cyclic load, and have investigated fracture and fatigue crack growth behavior of micro-sized specimens. Cantilever beam type specimens (10 μm × 10 μm × 50 μm), with notches were prepared from thin films of a Ni-P amorphous alloy by focused ion beam machining. Fatigue and fracture toughness tests were carried out in air at room temperature using the mechanical testing machine. Fatigue and fracture testing was completed successfully for micro-sized cantilever specimens. Once fatigue crack growth occurs, rapid sample failure was observed in these micro-sized specimens. This indicates that the fatigue life of micro-sized specimens is mainly dominated by crack initiation. This also suggests that even a micro-sized surface flaw can be a fatigue crack initiation site which will shorten the fatigue life of micro-sized specimens. As a result of fracture toughness tests, plane strain criteria for small scale yielding were not achieved for this amorphous alloy. Plane stress and plane strain dominated regions were clearly observed on the fracture surfaces and their sizes were consistent with those estimated by fracture mechanics calculations. This suggests that fracture mechanics is still valid for such micro-sized specimens.

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