The potential of the application of an X-ray excited optical luminescence (XEOL) analyzer and portable analyzers, composed of a cathodoluminescence (CL) spectrometer and electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA), to the on-line and on-site analysis of nonmetallic inclusions in steel is investigated as the first step leading to their practical use. MgAl2O4 spinel and Al2O3 particles were identified by capturing the luminescence as a result of irradiating X-rays in air on a model sample containing MgAl2O4 spinel and Al2O3 particles in the size range from 20 to 50 μm. We were able to identify the MgAl2O4 spinel and Al2O3 particles in the same sample using the portable CL spectrometer. In both cases, not all of the particles in the sample were identified because the luminescence intensities of the smaller Al2O3 in particular were too low to detect. These problems could be solved by using an X-ray tube with a higher power and increasing the beam current of the portable CL spectrometer. The portable EPMA distinguished between the MgAl2O4 spinel and Al2O3 particles whose luminescent colors were detected using the portable CL spectrometer. Therefore, XEOL analysis has potential for the on-line analysis of nonmetallic inclusions in steel if we have information on the luminescence colors of the nonmetallic inclusions. In addition, a portable EPMA-CL analyzer would be able to perform on-site analysis of nonmetallic inclusions in steel.
- electron probe microanalyzer
- nonmetallic inclusion
- on-line and on-site analysis
- X-ray excited optical luminescence