Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy has been applied to the determination of carbon content in steel samples melted in a laboratory induction furnace. A focused Nd:YAG laser beam was used to generate the plasma on the liquid surface in argon atmosphere. The precision obtained is 10% for carbon contents in the range 150-1100 ppm, and the detection limit is 250 ppm. The present results show that this technique can be applied for direct composition determination in molten alloys.

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