An alloy is described that is capable of forming a metallic glass at moderate cooling rates and exhibits large plastic flow at ambient temperature. Preferably, the alloy has a composition of (Zr, Hf).sub.a Ta.sub.b Ti.sub.c Cu.sub.d Ni.sub.e Al.sub.f, where the composition ranges (in atomic percent) are 45.ltoreq.a.ltoreq.70, 3.ltoreq.b.ltoreq.7.5, 0.ltoreq.c.ltoreq.4, 3.ltoreq.b+c.ltoreq.10, 10.ltoreq.d.ltoreq.30, 0.ltoreq.e.ltoreq.20, 10.ltoreq.d+e.ltoreq.35, and 5.ltoreq.f.ltoreq.15. The alloy may be cast into a bulk solid with disordered atomic-scale structure, i.e., a metallic glass, by a variety of techniques including copper mold die casting and planar flow casting. The as-cast amorphous solid has good ductility while retaining all of the characteristic features of known metallic glasses, including a distinct glass transition, a supercooled liquid region, and an absence of long-range atomic order. The alloy may be used to form a composite structure including quasi-crystals embedded in an amorphous matrix. Such a composite quasi-crystalline structure has much higher mechanical strength than a crystalline structure.
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-FG02-98ER45699 awarded by the Department of Energy and Grant No. DAAL-019620047 awarded by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. The government has certain rights in the invention.