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Laser cleaning of 19th century Congo rattan mats

AuthorsCarmona, N. ; Oujja, M. ; Roemich, H.; Castillejo, Marta
KeywordsLaser cleaning
Scanning electron microscopy
UV–vis spectroscopy
Museum objects
Issue Date15-Sep-2011
CitationApplied Surface Science 257: 9935–9940 (2011)
AbstractThere is a growing interest by art conservators for laser cleaning of organic materials, such as wooden artworks, paper and textiles, since traditional cleaning with solvents can be a source of further decay and mechanical cleaning may be too abrasive for sensitive fibers. In this work we present a successful laser cleaning approach for 19th century rattan mats from the Brooklyn Museum collection of African Art, now part of the study collection at the Conservation Center in New York. Tests were carried out using the fundamental (1064 nm) and second harmonic (532 nm) wavelength of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser to measure threshold values both for surface damage and color changes for different types of rattan samples. The irradiated substrates were investigated by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and by UV–vis spectroscopy in order to determine the efficiency of laser cleaning and to assess possible deterioration effects that may have occurred as a result of laser irradiation. The study showed that by using the laser emission at 532 nm, a wavelength for which photon energy is below the bond dissociation level of the main cellulosic compounds and the water absorption is negligible, it is possible to select a range of laser fluences to remove the black dust layer without damaging the rattan material.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsusc.2011.06.111
Appears in Collections:(IQFR) Artículos
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