Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Laser-induced breakdown spectrometry (LIBS) and laser ablation sampling with both mass spectrometry and optical emission detection have been use to study the interaction of high-powered pulsed lasers with metal and slag samples. This has involved a variety of laser wavelengths and operating parameters, which have been optimised for a variety of process control applications. The potential for quantitative analysis has been successfully demonstrated on steel samples with results for many elements showing the sensitivity and precision of conventional spark-based optical emission instruments used for production control. For slags the sensitivity and precision are at a level capable of process control but performance is currently limited by the representativeness of the sample and sampling techniques.

Fully exploiting the properties of lasers by focusing the beam and directing it precisely over the surface of steel samples has allowed the qualitative identification of inclusions within the steel matrix and the expression of this in two-dimensional composition maps. Algorithms for quantifying the relative concentrations of elements in the metal matrix and the inclusion population have been determined at the single ppm level, demonstrating the potential for on-site provision of control data related to the microstructure of inclusion critical steels. This principle has also been developed and applied to the characterisation of inter-metallic dross particles within a zinc sample matrix for application in the control of zinc-coated steel production with a significant economic benefit at the final stage in the production of a high-value product.

Additional information

Authors: WHITESIDE I R C, Corus UK, Middlesborough (GB);HEMMERLIN M, IRSID, Maizières-lès-Metz (FR);MEILLAND R, IRSID, Maizières-lès-Metz (FR);WAGNER J F, CEA, Paris (FR);BAENA J-M, Acerinox, Los Barrios (ES);SCHMITZ H-U, Dillinger Huttenwerke, Dillinger/Saar (DE);McLEOD C, University of Sheffield (GB);LASERNA J J, University of Malaga (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20221 EN (2002), pp.88. Euro: 13.00
Availability: EUR-OP reference: KI-NA-20221-EN-S Available from EUR-OP sales agents. URL:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-3254-3
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