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The laser-induced discoloration of stonework; a comparative study on its origins and remedies

AuthorsPouli, P.; Fotakis, C.; Hermosín, Bernardo ; Sáiz-Jiménez, Cesáreo ; Domingo, Concepción ; Oujja, M. ; Castillejo, Marta
KeywordsLaser cleaning
Micro-Raman spectrometry
Laser beam combination
Issue Date26-Feb-2008
CitationSpectrochim. Acta A 71(3): 932-945 (2008)
AbstractFor understanding the phenomena associated with the discoloration observed in some cases of infrared laser cleaned stonework surfaces, a comparative study of three different types and morphologies of pollution encrustation and stone substrates was undertaken. Fragments originating from monuments with historic and/or artistic value, bearing homogeneous thin soiling on Pentelic marble (Athens, Greece), thick encrustation on Hontoria limestone (Burgos, Spain) and compact thin crust on gypsum decorations (Athens, Greece), have been studied on the basis of their composition and origin, together with the conditions that may induce yellowing effects upon their laser cleaning with IR wavelengths. While irradiation in the UV (i.e. at 355 nm) could not effectively remove the encrustations studied, irradiation at 1064 nm was found efficient to remove all the studied pollution accumulations. Discoloration towards yellow was evident in all cases and at different levels, including the samples with intentional patination layer. To the limit of Raman detection no chemical alterations were detected on the irradiated areas while the presence of yellow polar compounds in all the pollution crusts studied supports the argument that the discoloration of the stone surfaces upon their IR irradiation may be due to the uncovering of existing yellow layers as result of the migration of these compounds inwards to the original stone surface. To correct and/or prevent such undesired coloration the use of IR and UV radiation both in sequential and synchronous mode was considered, with positive results.
Description14 pages, 11 figures.-- PMID: 18396096 [PubMed].-- Printed version published on Dec 2008.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2008.02.031
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Artículos
(CFMAC-IEM) Artículos
(IQFR) Artículos
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