Abstract

The presence of chloride in reinforced concrete can cause severe damage to the strength and durability of buildings and bridges. The detection of chloride in concrete structures at early stages of the corrosion buildup process is, therefore, very important. However, detection of chlorine in trace amounts in concrete is not a simple matter. A dual-pulsed laser-induced breakdown spectrometer (LIBS) has been developed at our laboratory for the detection of chloride contents in reinforced concrete by using two atomic transition lines of neutral chlorine (Cl I) at 594.8 and 837.5nm. A calibration curve was also established by using standard samples containing chloride in known concentration in the concrete. Our dual-pulsed LIBS system demonstrated a substantial improvement in the signal level at both wavelengths (594.8 and 837.5nm). However, the new atomic transition line at 594.8nm shows a significant improvement compared to the line at 837.5nm in spite of the fact that the relative intensity of the former is 0.1% of the latter. This weak signal level of the 837.5nm transition line of chlorine can be attributed to some kind of self-absorption process taking place in the case of the concrete sample.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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