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At-line monitoring of steel continuous casting sequences using discriminant function analysis and dual-pulse laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy

Abstract

Among the several controlling routines utilized in the steelmaking process, analytical operations during continuous casting are especially demanding due to the extreme environment of the steel shop and the crude conditions of the steel surface at the exit of the casting system. This report presents how dual-pulse laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) can be used for the real-time monitoring of continuous casting sequences in a steel plant and the operations needed for detecting the separation between grades of close chemical composition. Diverse dual-pulse laser conditions have been tested in order to improve the LIBS system performance. Apart from the scale layer formed by oxidation of steel by the surrounding air, the presence of residues of mould powder on the steel surface tends to complicate the LIBS analysis as elements present in the powder such as manganese interfere with the steel components. LIBS data processing by discriminant function analysis has been demonstrated beneficial for identification of steel transitions. Changes in steel composition as low as 0.20 percentage points Cr in a stainless steel containing above 17% of this element are detected by corresponding changes in Wilks lambda values from 1.0 to 0.75 during the transition. Changes in concentration of nickel are of minor relevance as the concentration on the steel surface at the time of continuous casting is depleted. For steel concentrations differing to a larger extent, differentiation of steel grades is straight, involving changes in Wilks lambda values from 1 to below 0.1.

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Mar 2017, accepted on 08 May 2017 and first published on 08 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7JA00093F
Citation: J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    At-line monitoring of steel continuous casting sequences using discriminant function analysis and dual-pulse laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy

    J. Ruiz, T. Delgado, L. M. Cabalín and J. J. Laserna, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7JA00093F

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