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Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) – Automated 2D Chemical Analysis of 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 with 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) 2D element distributions of harmful species like chlorides and alkalis are evaluated with a sub-mm resolution. By scanning a surface of typically 100 mm x 100 mm the heterogeneity of the material may be considered. LIBS is capable to identify hot spots in element concentration with a resolution of 0.1 mm or even smaller. A LIBS-system for the on-site application on building materials is, in cooperation with system developers and companies which will use this technique for investigation on real structures, under test at BAM. We present an example. Further work will focus on providing guidelines to establish LIBS as a standard procedure for chemical investigations of building materials.


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