Laser-induced breakdown spectrometry (LIBS) has been applied for multi-elemental analysis of slag samples from a steel plant. In order to avoid the time-consuming step of sample preparation, the liquid slag material can be filled in special probes. After cooling of the liquid slag and solidification, the samples can be analyzed with LIBS. Chemical analysis of slag is an essential input parameter used for numerical simulations to control liquid steel processing. The relative variation range of element concentrations in slag samples from steel production can amount to up to 30%. A multivariate calibration model is used to take into account matrix effects caused by these varying concentrations. By optimizing the measuring parameters as well as the calibration models, an agreement between the standard X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis and LIBS analysis in terms of the coefficient of determination <i>r</i><sup>2</sup> of 0.99 for the main analytes CaO, SiO<sub>2</sub>, and Fe<sub>tot</sub> of converter slag samples was achieved. The average repeatability of the LIBS measurement for these elements in terms of the relative standard deviation of the determined concentration is improved to less than 1.0%. With these results, the basis is established for future on-line applications of LIBS in the steel-making industry for slag analysis.
M. Kraushaar, R. Noll, and H.-U. Schmitz, "Slag Analysis with Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometry," Appl. Spectrosc. 57, 1282-1287 (2003)