Lasers can be employed to efficiently and precisely remove contaminated layers and unwanted particles from a great variety of surfaces and in some cases even are the oily cleaning device available for this task. By exploiting sophisticated on line diagnostics, delicate surfaces can be treated such as the selective removal of aged varnish, fungi or over paint layers from old paintings and paper, as well as black crust from marble/stone. Obvious advantages of non contact laser cleaning in comparison to conventional methods are the constant high quality and enhanced accuracy of the process. Furthermore, automated cleaning and the use of diagnostics offers the possibility of registration and recording of the process itself. The research project will investigate the general design rules for the development of advanced cleaning workstations and the realisation of a prototype to demonstrate the advantages of this new cleaning method. Further development and engineering work will be required to produce a marketable product. Subjects of this research will include the choice of the laser, gathering knowledge on the surface structure of art works and fundamental laser material interaction, determination of the various concepts for a flexible workstation design in general and the manipulation of the laser beam in specific, the investigation of several diagnostic instruments in controlling and guarding the cleaning progress and the assessment of the advantages of this method by means of extensive field tests.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards