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Duration: 42 months
Status: Concluded
Project Contact:
José Manuel Fonseca
(jmf@uninova.pt)

Project Team:
José Manuel Fonseca, André Damas Mora, José Manuel Martins

LIBSGRAIN - Safe chemical analysis of high temperature metals using pulsed laser - Past Research Projects
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Project Summary
The high temperatures (> 400ºC) of many industrial processes within the petrochemical, electricity generating and other sectors are well known to cause embrittlement and cracking of metal surfaces. The primary mechanism is the diffusion of impurities such as carbonitrides and alternative metallic solid phases towards grain boundaries in the metal structure.

There are no existing techniques available which can operate on-line. Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) involves vaporisation by a pulsed laser of a mg amount of surface material to create an energised plasma. Emission spectra from this plasma can be analysed to detect the presence of most elements, and LIBS has been developed for a number of analytical applications within the nuclear and steel industries, and also for analysis of soils and geological samples.

This project will develop LIBS as an on-!ine technique for the mapping of elemental composition in the region of grain boundaries at heat affected zones. Ideally a resolution at sub-micron level is necessary, but there are limits to the minimum achievable laser spot size. Lateral approaches will be used to obtain a useful 2D resolution -The spectrometer will be subject to a strong thermal radiation flux from the exposed hot sample surface. Ruggedisation will be required in order to protect the components of the spectrometer. Interpretation of results is a complex procedure, particularly as chemical composition must be deduced from elemental composition at a particular point.

Advanced data processing and intelligence features will be developed in order to aid interpretation of the spectra and decrease the skill level required for operation to that of non-expert users. The project will involve; initial specifications; laboratory experiments; development of control/alignment systems; signal processing and intelligence features; design, development and construction of prototypes; and an end-of-project testing programme.

Research Areas
  • Decision Support Tools
  • Chemical image analysis
  • Control systems development
Partners
  • UNINOVA, Instituto de Desenvolvimento de Novas Tecnologias
  • ISTITUTO DI FISICA ATOMICA E MOLECOLARE, Italy
  • PROGRESSIVE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY LTD., UK
  • ENICHEM LIMITED, UK
  • BBT INSTRUMENTER APS., Denmark
  • LASERMET, UK
Publications
  • A. Mora, J. Fonseca, J. Martins, A. Steiger-Garção, LIBS chemical images analysis for fatigue estimation in industrial materials, ISISPA-2003 Third International Symposium on Image and Signal Processing and Analysis, Roma, Itália, 18 a 20 Setembro 2003.
  • A. Mora, J. Fonseca, J. Martins, A. Steiger-Garção, "LIBS chemical images analysis for fatigue estimation in industrial materials", 8º Congresso Luso-Espanhol de Engenharia Electrotécnica, Vilamoura, 3 a 5 Julho de 2003.
  • G. Cristoforetti, M. Corsi, M. Hidalgo, D. Iriarte, S. Legnaioli, V. Palleschi, A. Salvetti, E. Tognoni, S. Green, D. Bates, A. Steiger, J. Fonseca, J. Martins, J. McKay, B. Tozer, D. Wells, R. Wells, In situ LIBS analysis of steel pipes at high temperature, 2nd international conference on LIBS, September 24 - 28, 2002, Orlando, USA
  • D. Bulajic, G. Cristforetti, M. Corsi, M. Hidalgo, S. Legnaioli, V. Palleschi, A. Salvetti, E. Tognoni, S. Green, D. Bates, A. Steiger-Garção, J. Fonseca, J. Martins, J. McKay, B. Tozer, D. Wells, R. Wells, M. Harith, Diagnostics of High-temperature steel pipes in industrial environment by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy technique: the libsgrain project, Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy, Volume 57, Issue 7, 31 July 2002, Pages 1181-1192, Elsevier.
  • D. Bulajic, G. Cristforetti, M. Corsi, M. Hidalgo, S. Legnaioli, V. Palleschi, A. Salvetti, E. Tognoni, S. Green, D. Bates, A. Steiger-Garção, J. Fonseca, J. Martins, J. McKay, B. Tozer, D. Wells, R. Wells, M. Harith, THE LIBSGRAIN PROJECT FOR DIAGNOSTICS OF HIGH-TEMPERATURE STEEL PIPES IN INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT BY LIBS TECHNIQUE, 1st Euro-Mediterranean Symposium on Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy – EMSLIBS I. 2-6 November 2001, Ras-Sudr, South Sinai, Egypt.
  • G. Cristoforetti, M. Corsi, M. Hidalgo, D. Iriarte, S. Legnaioli, V. Palleschi, A. Salvetti, E. Tognoni, S. Green, D. Bates, A. Steiger, J. Fonseca, J. Martins, J. McKay, B. Tozer, D. Wells, R. Wells, In situ LIBS analysis of steel pipes at high temperature, LIBS’2000 – First International Conference on Laser Induced Plasma Spectroscopy and Applications, 8-12 October 2000, Tirenia, Pisa, Italy

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