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Laser microscope to clean fine art objects and an advanced optical method for investigation diagnosis and treatment.

A specialised microscope and method for fine and precise
laser cleaning and spectro-microscopic analysis of fine art
object surfaces; the system will contain a pulsed nd:yag
laser for cleaning and a laser diode system for aiming.

The research aims to realize and to implement a complex and compact laser microscope for artwork cleaning. The equipment will use a pulsed Nd:YAG laser for local and discrete action on the piece's surface. The electronic block of the system will assure the possibility to select different regimes of work. Variable spot diameter, selectable level of the energy, working regime (mono-pulse or double-pulse), a system for precise aiming before action are available. The aiming system will have to replace the most important disadvantage of the Nd:YAG laser, which is the non-visible wavelength (1064 nm). The equipment will be designed to be properly not just for one type of microscope. The laser unit and a special optical system will can up-grade a basic microscope. In addition, this equipment will contains special elements of for user's protection. Researches will be oriented to developed some techniques for restoration in microscopic field. In this idea, a part of the project will contain the advanced study of the laser beam effects over the different types of material (stone, limstone ceramics, glass, old varnish, inorganic and biological deposits from icons and paintings, paper, metals, textiles etc.). The results in this direction will generate the principles of diagnosis and the treatment procedures. Laser safety will be assured for all the specific materials (having in view their reflection indexes) and will respect the international rules and admissible limits of irradiation (specified by ISO, IEC and ANSI). Research will involve finding out useful information about the local phenomena during the laser cleaning process that are also applicable to the large surfaces cleaning. (For example: the comparative study of the interaction of different laser wavelength with polluted surfaces) The mechanism of the laser cleaning is purely mechanic and has no chemical effect as some traditional methods. In this case the effect in time is well determined. The equipment and study will be helpful and accessible for museums, art restoration or evaluation laboratories, universities, etc. Preliminary results are very positive and contains a friendly tool for laser cleaning with high precision and digital storage of the process, a significant database of procedures is now in progress and the prototype demonstrates the designed technical features. Optimal range of the laser regimes is demonstrated for some specific material. An important number of experiments is planned for the right laser working regime establishment. This first model works in a vertical plane and has the following tested characteristics: * wavelength 1064nm; * pulse energy >14 mJ/pulse; * pulse-to-pulse stability ±10%; * pulse repetition frequency 0.2Hz; * pulse duration < 10ns; * laser head size 50 x 50 x 200 mm; * laser head weight 0.8 kg; * scanning area 100 x 26 mm; * depth of the observation field 50 mm. The model is coded MicroLASER x-y. As a results of the various restorations/conservations practice and of the specialist requirements for unmovable objects, the second different prototype is in progress. This model is portable with relative low weight 60 kg. It has a system of wheels for easy transportation on scafolds. It can be used as well as the first model for high accurate operations and with optional accesories can offer the possibility to work out of the microscope's optical filed, with higher frequency and efficiency. Digital images from microscope's filed can be optional storaged. Both models have originality especially because of the associated microscopy techniques. This second model will be coded MicroLASER x-y-z because its very large flexibility. Keywords: laser cleaning, microscopy, image processing.
Acronym: 
CLEANART
Project ID: 
2 094
Start date: 
01-01-2000
Project Duration: 
39months
Project costs: 
750 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.