Using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to monitor the surface hardness of titanium samples bombarded by carbon ions
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On a long run, dominant extreme conditions in nuclear reactors lead to serious problems due to undesired changes in the physical properties of reactor inner walls. Exposure to high energetic ions is considered as a crucial affecting factor. Consequently, it is important to find a way to monitor the changes taking place. In this work laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) was used to monitor the changes in the surface hardness of the Ti samples after being bombarded with carbon ions with different doses. It has been found that bombarding of the titanium samples by carbon ions gives rise to a pronounced change in its physical properties, especially its surface hardness. LIBS measurements were successful in estimating the changes in samples’ surface hardness via monitoring the variations in the plasma excitation temperature (Te), and the obtained results were in good agreement with the values obtained conventionally for the measured surface hardness. Also, it was found that changing the Ti matrix by introducing a new element in the titanium samples material has a great influence on Te and consequently on the hardness measurements via LIBS.
The authors would like to thank Ms. Penny Louw for facilitating the Vickers tester in the center of Material Engineering in the University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa. Also, authors would like to thank the SEM team at the University of Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town, South Africa.
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