Small Business Information
45 Manning Road, Billerica, MA, 01821
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project has as its goal the demonstration of the feasibility of an optical alloy analysis instrument based on a microchip laser excitation source. This instrument will determine elemental composition using laser-induced plasma spectroscopy (LIPS). It will have the advantage over existing portable instruments of being able to determine concentrations of light elements such as carbon, aluminum and silicon. The key to this innovation is the microchip laser, which has been shown to have several advantages in LIPS applications, while being remarkably small, lightweight and robust. In Phase I observations will be made using a laboratory LIPS apparatus, and a set of specifications will be derived for an instrument capable of determining carbon in steel at levels of interest to potential customers in industries where alloy identification is critical. This proposal involves collaboration with a manufacturer with a dominant position in the market. With their input, the optimum instrument configuration which can offer both useful capabilities and easy, portable operation will be determined. There currently exists a strong market for alloy identification instruments, even though existing devices are either limited by inability to determine some of the most important elements, or by significant drawbacks in portability and ease of use. An optical device with important advantages could lead to a much expanded market.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.