The development of a pickling process, more effective and appropriate
for the new steel grades, requires a deep and thorough knowledge
of its interaction with the steel surface. The Surface ICP-OES
technique developed for some years at ARCELOR RESEARCH SA,
has permitted to obtain the electrochemical and chemical characterization
of pickling, in real time, up to now on laboratory samples.
The principle and the developments of this technique and its transfer
to pickling are presented. The results obtained in some cases
highlight the potential and the interest of this approach for an improved
control of the pickling process.