This work is focused on the evaluation by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) of the lead content in different types of lead crystal glasses (sonorous glass, lead crystal and sparkling lead crystal with at least ∼10, 24 and 30 wt. % PbO respectively). Seven different glass samples (including historic original and model samples) with different PbO content were selected as substrates. Characterization of the corrosion degree of these glasses was also carried out after immersing them during 200 hours into acid, neutral and basic solutions. Results obtained by LIBS have been compared with those obtained by conventional analytical techniques used for glass characterization, such as XRF for the bulks and SEM/EDX for the weathered surfaces. LIBS has proved to be a valuable technique for the classification of different glass types taking into account their lead content. Such glass classification will be useful for studies about the provenance, origin and period of manufacture of original historic glass objects. The corrosion process submitted by the glass surfaces could be also characterized by LIBS. Both the degraded layer depth and the elemental composition can be determined by means of this low invasive analytical method, which causes damage only on a micrometric spot of the glass surface. © 2006 Taylor & Francis Group.
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