We have demonstrated that a fiber-optic laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) probe is suitable for measuring the concentration of minor constituents of a molten Al alloy in a laboratory furnace. For the first time to our knowledge we are able to record the LIBS spectra in several spectral regions of seven different molten Al alloy samples by inserting the LIBS probe inside the molten alloys, allowing us to obtain a ratio calibration curve for minor constituents (Cr, Mg, Zn, Cu, Si, etc.), using Fe as a reference element. A ratio calibration curve for Fe with a major element (Al) can also be obtained with which the concentration of Fe in the alloy can be determined. The effects of the surrounding atmosphere on the LIBS spectra of the molten alloy were investigated. Effects of focal length of the lens on the LIBS signals were also studied. LIBS spectra of a solid Al alloy recorded with the same LIBS probe were compared with the LIBS spectra of the molten alloy. Our results suggest that the LIBS probe is useful for monitoring the elemental composition of an Al melt in an industrial furnace at different depths and different positions inside the melt.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(120.4640) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical instruments
(120.6200) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Spectrometers and spectroscopic instrumentation
(140.3440) Lasers and laser optics : Laser-induced breakdown
(300.2140) Spectroscopy : Emission
Awadhesh K. Rai, Fang-Yu Yueh, and Jagdish P. Singh, "Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy of Molten Aluminum Alloy," Appl. Opt. 42, 2078-2084 (2003)