Lynton has over 15 years experience of supplying and advising the conservation profession
TEL: +44(0)1477 536977
England & Wales 2956199
experts in laser cleaning technology
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A laser is a unique source of energy, providing an intense, highly directional, pure form of light that is able to deliver energy to a surface in a highly controllable manner.
Lasers can be found in everyday, almost mundane uses including barcode readers and CD players, as well as the highly specialised surgical tools used for example in eye operations. In fact, the laser cleaning systems used in conservation have been modified from medical systems developed for cosmetic surgery.
The most commonly used laser cleaning systems in conservation emit short pulses of infrared light, typically at a wavelength of 1064 nm. Light at this wavelength quickly heats the dirt on the artwork, which expands and comes away from the surface. In many cases, the light interacts only weakly with the surface of the artwork and the removal process stops as soon as the clean surface is exposed.
It is therefore possible for an experienced conservator to completely remove unwanted layers without over cleaning the valuable surface of the artwork. Patina, fine surface detail and important surface coatings can be preserved. Laser cleaning systems offer an extremely high level of control and precision as can be seen from the video clip of a red rose coated in soot being laser cleaned without causing any damage to the rose itself: