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Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) – Visualization of Ion Transport Processes in Concrete

Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a combination of laser ablation and optical emission spectroscopy. Due to the possibility of direct measurements on the sample surface and a minimum of sample preparation investigations of building materials can be conducted quite fast. In combination with a scanning technique (translation stage or scanning mirrors head) the element distributions are evaluated with mm resolution. Thus the heterogeneity of the material may be considered. This is a significant advantage compared to standard procedures. LIBS measurements are also time and cost saving in comparison to standard methods. The automated measurement procedures minimize the liability for errors. All elements are detectable. Results can be quantified after calibration. At BAM LIBS has been successfully applied for the investigation of distribution and transport of different ions in building materials. Quantitative measurements are performed for chlorine, sodium, potassium, sulfur, lithium and hydrogen. In addition the identification of substances and the evaluation of quantitative ratios by means of an integrated marker are possible. An overview about the principle and the possibilities of LIBS investigations of building materials is presented and typical applications are shown. The LIBS technique is close to practical application on-site.

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