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The effect of cyclic loading on relaxation dynamics and mechanical properties of metallic glasses is studied using molecular dynamics simulations. We consider the Kob-Andersen three-dimensional binary mixture rapidly cooled across the glass transition and subjected to thousands of tension-compression cycles in the elastic range. It was found that during cyclic loading at constant pressure, the system is relocated to progressively lower levels of the potential energy, thus promoting greater densification and higher strength. Furthermore, with increasing stress amplitude, the average glass density increases and the minimum of the potential energy becomes deeper, while the elastic modulus is reduced. The typical size of clusters of atoms with large nonaffine displacements becomes smaller over consecutive cycles, which correlates with the gradual decrease in the potential energy. These results are important for thermomechanical processing of metallic glasses with improved mechanical properties.


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